Backpacking Pennsylvania: Pinchot Trail Video Trip Report

When I think of cold weather backpacking in the Northeast, I think of trails covered in snow, biting wind and cracking mugs of hot chocolate on breaks during the day. It just sounds wonderful. With that in mind, Patrick of CampTheSummit, Dan and I headed out on a beautiful Pennsylvania adventure in search of a trail we could do in two days in early December. We'd have to forgo visions of the white stuff due to a warmer-than-average autumn, but despite the lack of snow, it still got down into the 20s (F) at night. It was a great trip, and I'm excited to premier the first-ever video trip report on Adventure-Inspired!


Overall, I'd recommend the Pinchot as a two day trip, like we did, or a very casual three day trip. Patrick did it in a day, but mentioned it was nice to slow down and look around on our hike. The Pennsylvania DCNR map isn't particularly detailed, but with the obvious trail markers and signs, you won't need much more than that. Though there isn't much elevation change, it's a beautiful trail and the scenery keeps things interesting throughout.

There are plenty of established campsites around the loop; use those and practice Leave No Trace. I'd also recommend starting where we did - by parking at the trail's true start and walking down to Tannery Road - to avoid having to walk a mile along the paved road at the end of the trip. Even though we technically hiked the entire trail backwards, it was great to pop out of the woods right at the car. Also, be careful to observe hunting season opening dates. Our trip coincided with big game season, and we didn't bring anything orange, though we did wear the brightest blues and reds we had.

In addition to finding a great backpacking trail close to home, I was also on a mission to complete testing of two pieces of Columbia gear, the Women's Heat 360 Half Zip Top and Cliff Grabber Gloves. Patrick had on his Reach the Peak Hybrid Down Jacket for a good portion of the trip as well. 

Let us know if you enjoyed the video in the comments, and look for an outtakes and bloopers video soon! Thanks to Columbia for sponsoring the video.

Comments

Awesome video Katie! Thanks for sharing. :)
Adam Nutting said…
Thanks for sharing great video.
k8tlevy said…
glad you enjoyed it, Amy!
k8tlevy said…
glad you liked it, Adam! really enjoyed your review of the Injinji toe socks, and actually just bought them as a gift. shhh!
Ann said…
loved the video - and so great that you had such nice weather - and waterproof gear for those treacherous streams !  What a wonderful record of your hike!  anxious to hear how you liked the Heat Half Zip after seeing you hiking in it . .
Adam Nutting said…
Awesome let me know how the person likes them I would be interested in knowing.
k8tlevy said…
it was wonderful that we had such great weather! I was hoping for a little snow, though. and yes, the streams were quite treacherous :) the Heat 360 Half Zip was amazing, and I like it more than I did before the trip. whether an intended consequence or not, the Omni-Heat dots printed on the inside of the garment make it slippery, which helps it slide over other layers. there's nothing worse than having everything bunched up!
Allartbb said…
We enjoyed seeing your newest adventure!  Bill would like to have done it with you....thinks he would like to be 40 years younger.  Thanks for sharing,
Barb & Bill
k8tlevy said…
so glad you watched it and enjoyed it. Bill, you;re welcome to come along next time. you've done things in your lifetime I'd never dream of doing...particularly the marathon(s)!
philipwerner said…
Looks like a really great hike - great video too. I've heard about that trail. Looks like it'd be a great AMC trip for the NY/NJ Chapter. How close is it to Philly?
k8tlevy said…
it is a great trail. I'd definitely do it again! we ran into a bunch of hunters, but I'd imagine it would be a lot less crowded other winter weekends when it's not big game season. it was about 2h30m from Philly. 
enyabeba said…
my husband and i are planning a 2 day trip in april to the pinchot trail.  thanks so much for posting your video.  it was very helpful as this will be my first hiking/camping trip.  we will
definitely do the trail backwards.  thanks
Katie said…
 so glad you like the video, and that it was helpful! if you need any other tips or pieces of advice, feel free to reach out, and let me know how the trip goes!