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2 days ago

A very fun, but short, rock scramble, and the trail is a great hike.
The rock scramble was extra fun with snow on the ground (be careful!), water from melting snow was running (stay dry!) and made for some beautiful scenery.

Great trail, but steep going down. The rocks with the wet leaves this time year, November made the hiking a little more complicated.

14 days ago

The way I hiked, this was an out and back trail, not a loop. Followed temporary signs for Flat Rock Trail and parked in the upper lot by the horse area. The spur trail from the parking area to the rattlesnake trail is marked with blue ribbon. No indication where the trail joins the yellow blazed Rattlesnake Trail. Several other hikers were confused at this junction. Follow the yellow blazed trail, it winds in a circle until you find a sign pointing towards Flat Rock Trail. Lots of people on the trail on a Sunday afternoon in November but it didn’t feel overcrowded. Beautiful view from the top.

Really pretty fall hike. Also relatively uncrowded even though it was a beautiful Sunday. I did the north trail, followed the AT a little ways further, and then went back to the parking lot via the south trail. I definitely wouldn't rate this as a hard hike, but the initial part was a nice little climb.

the trail is very well marked.
it begins with a boulder field where you have to be a mountain goat and then it turns just plain rocky.

This trail is great. Very hilly though

very strenuous, but pleasant

Spectacular views of Cumberland Valley for only a moderate amount of work. Trails from Colonel Denning SP are well marked and maintained and easy enough for families and dogs. Extensions and loops provide adventure for the more adventure-seeking hiker. Kudos to builders of the nice new Flat Rock access trail at park trailhead.

One of my fav hikes. Rock scramble is enough to challenge, but not enough to get you in much trouble.

27 days ago

Great hike with the family and kids. the highlight of the hike was the rock scrambling, AT midpoint, and lunch at Toms Run Shelter.

A number of trails for those who want a good workout. Area offers a variety of activity including kayaking, and swimming during summer months

1 month ago

We had some trouble finding this but ended up parking on a small pull off on old shippensburg road. Very steep and rocking going up to sunset rock. Loved all the rocks but hard to really see the views. We did the loop back around which was fairly easy. Over all very nice hike. We had a little over 7 miles. We were out abt 4 hours.

Overall, a great hike with lots of views. Made a loop of this going up the AT and returning down via North Trail > Charcoal > Prairie Grass > L&NE Trails. There aren't really any views initially at the top unless you continue over the Lehigh Tunnel to the South Trail or loop back on the North Trail. The South Trail has several spots of wide views among piles of large rocks. The North Trail also provides a nice consistent view on the other side almost along the entire stretch until it declines down to the Charcoal trail (mostly exposed meadow trail which was nice change from initial ascent in shaded forest).

First mile is strenuous uphill, but after that, take north loop which is scenic and relaxing. Great views of the valley. The AT is relatively flat, gently rolling. Great hike overall, don’t let the first mile discourage you. Pace yourself up the climb, you will be rewarded!

Good hike experience with the nature and adventure. Although it’s flat after the first 2 miles. It’s challenging with rocks all over. Great feel after doing 12 miler

Fun trail

1 month ago

This was a good trail with minimal views the first portion of the hike is gravel and very easy flat walk to get to the trail. The hike we did was about 8 Miles not sure how somebody seems to have walked a lot further and it was labeled a 10 mile. I would recommend starting closer and enjoying more of in the woods trail portion of these trails. Don’t mind the end of my map I got in my car and left before turning off the recording. I stopped where I started.

This trail can get a bit intense. If you like scrambling then this is a perfect place for you. Knife Edge had a beautiful view but I personally did not enough all the rocks simply because I was rarely able to take in the surroundings because I had my eyes on the ground 99% of the time. I wouldn't do it again but that's just a personal preference. I was not expecting my whole trip to be rocks and car size boulders, plus a mountain on boulders to climb. I gave it 4 starts because I know plenty of people enjoy all the rocks but for those of you who prefer a variety on the trail this might not be for you. We turned back about 1/2 mile after knife Edge because it was getting dark and we couldn't find a campsite. We ended up camping at the campsite right before (NB) the power lines and that was a perfect spot with a little back space perfect for a tent setup rock free and a beautiful view.

2 months ago

We started at NORTH end of trail - only completed 1.7 miles out and back (3.4 Miles round trip). Beautiful, peaceful trail - only passed one other hiker! Trail is very well marked, just look for blue blazes carefully on switchbacks. Trail very "technical" in spots. We both had poles which were helpful but not required. At 1.7 miles in, GREAT "rocktop" view of the river valley! NOTE - at about 1.2 miles in there is a stream crossing - just look upstream for trail markers. North end - we parked right at entrance to trail - not sure if this was a parking area, but no issues.

2 months ago

Was hard, but we loved it. The vista made it worth the work. Took our 9 year old and he rocked it.

We 10.5 miles today (in and out) and it was very buggy and humid. Plenty of water for anyone backpacking. Will try again in the cooler temps.

2 months ago

We chose to start the trail at the end of this route because the otter camp personnel mentioned some of the trail was washed away if your started the trail at the campground.

This trail is not for those who are new to hiking. I would NOT recommend bringing dogs or kids.

As this was our first true hike, we probably shouldn’t have started with mod/hard trail.

1. The trail was marked very well, except one spot noted in the con section, which made it easy to follow.
2. If you’re concerned about water sources, as of today (sep 2018) there were so many many spots to get water you shouldn’t let that worry you. In the 7ish miles we made it through there were 3-4 spots to stop to get water. But you will need a purifier.

1. At one spot the trail enters a wooded area and we spent at least 30-45 min just trying to get back to the trail. Thankfully someone placed quite a number of blue blazes but it was rather disheartening to be turned around. Really glad I had this app to help work as a compass.

2. Spiderwebs. Everywhere.

3. The switchback we experienced was dreadful.

4. Spiderwebs. Did I mention those?

5. If you have a plan to stay the night in a tent this also doesn’t seem to be the trail to do that as most of the trail is on the edge of a hill or washed away. We did find one spot that had promise but would have to have backtracked to get there.

6. Spiderwebs.

Overall. Not a bad first hike but we decided to bail around mile 6-7 and caught an Uber back to our car. I think took too big of a bike this first hike, so the next couple will be shorter and a lot easier.

Definitely a HARD trail!!!!

Did section of this from Port Clinton to Hawk Mountain Rd. The steep ascent and first couple miles are usual fun rocky trail, but once you get to reservoir there is couple miles where is just a wide old/gravel road which can be rather boring as out-and-back hike. Didn't feel like hiking same old road all the way back so took short cut back to AT via the Ha-Ha Trail which was more interesting (thin trail a bit more grown in than usual thinner parts of AT). Overall, enjoyed the 1st half but wouldn't both with part stretch between reservoir and Hawk Mountain Rd again.

2 months ago

We did this trail on Saturday. The last time was about 3 years ago. They've done an amazing job building steps around the water cistern, where it used to be really slippery. There's also evidence of work in other places, including a reroute to include a switchback to replace a formerly steep section. I'm told this is the work of Tom Scully and his rock crew. Great job!!

A few caveats. Much of Col. Denning State Park is closed for renovations. The parking lot just across from the camp was closed, I think because camp is still in session. To park, you have to go into the park and go to the far north end to park. Then, you walk to the south end of the park and find either the lower blue blazed trail or the upper trail, both of which intersect with the trail to Flat Rock.

If you haven't done this hike lately, you should.

2 months ago

Hard trail as the incline is steep but a lot of fun! View is spectacular! I use to hike this in college with my roommates and team mates. We always enjoyed it!

2 months ago

I hopped on the AT near the general store and followed it up until I came to the sign that said "Sunset Rock". I turned up there instead of continuing on the AT across the bridge to find the second sign. In hindsight, I should've hiked it the opposite way so the rocks were at the end of the hike instead of the beginning. The scramble is definitely interesting when you're going through it backwards. There's paths to skip a lot of the major scrambling if it's not something you're comfortable with.
Blue blazes for the Sunset Rock trail, lots of bear poop, watch for copperheads.

I loved this trail. I love the steep incline and rock climbing. I was confused by the trail and became lost. A little more research on my part would have solved my problem. The rocks are challenging and you should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition.

great trail, started at 183 backpacked the whole thing in about 5hrs. i dont think it is actually 18.7 miles long. we ended up at 501 rather quick expecting their to be more to it. so since we hiked the whole thing, we turned around to set up camp near the fresh spring and water fall. the look out was beautiful there were a bunch of amish hanging out up there. a ton of people camping at the waterfall so we set up just on top of the hill to be away from them and secluded. unfortunately we could still hear the highway. i brought my dog along. and we had a good hammock and tarp set up. everything was soaked. the first half of the trail was swamp for the most part but the next day most of the water ran down the mountain and the hike back to 183 wasnt bad. id say from 183 to 501 was only about 10 or 11 miles. we were probably the only ones with fire. everyone else tried but we didnt see any out there haha. fire gods. it was funny. the one dudes girlfriend was checking us out walking by, i could tell she was thinking, " see those are some real men, they made fire and you couldnt" good times. over all it was beautiful. i wish i didnt see as much trash left behind from people. make sure you LEAVE NO TRACE!

We picked up the Woodpecker trail at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center and met with the AT 1/5 way up the mountain. We picked up the Blue trail near the top and walked along the ridge until the communication towers near the Turnpike tunnel. Great weather and spectacular views! We could see all the way to Camelback and Big Pocono mountains and beyond. We took the Charcoal trail down the mountain and connected with the L&NE trail back to the Nature Center. 5hrs total. The two volunteers at the Lehigh Nature Center were super friendly and helpful.

Hiked from lot on Rt 501 to just short of Rt 183. There is a nice variety of forest vegetation throughout the length that keeps scenery changing/interesting in addition to the variety of rockiness (though mostly very rocky). The lookouts are great and the stream area near Hertein Campsite was nice break. The stretch between Rt 503 and Round Head is very rocky throughout and killer on return trip if doing as out-and-back. Once you get up the hill past the stream/campsites area it is pretty much muddy/wet trail all the way to Rt 183 (though there is enough mini-side trails to go around really wet parts).

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