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Backpacking Pennsylvania: the West Rim Trail

The 30-mile West Rim Trail's been on my Pennsylvania backpacking to do list for a while now almost entirely because it skirts the edge of what's referred to as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Traversing terrain in the Tioga State Forest, Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area, and Colton Point State Park, the West Rim Trail (mostly) follows a path along the deep, steep Pine Creek Gorge, offering hikers some pretty spectacular views and varying terrain.


The West Rim Trail also offers hikers plentiful campsites, water sources often no more than 1.5 miles apart, and moderate elevation change, making it a perfect weekend trip for those of us living within a relatively short driving distance. We started around 1:30pm Friday, finished around 9:30am Sunday, and I can say with some certainty that I'll be back to do part, or all, of it again.
Day 1: Rattlesnake Rock to First Night's Camp, 10.41 miles, 2,388' Elevation Gain Point-to-point trails can be a challenge because doing them r…

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