hiking
26 days ago

TICKS EVERYWHERE. Trail is poorly maintained and overgrown throughout. Our group found literally dozens of ticks over two days, primarily dog ticks, but also two deer ticks.

Trail maps available online are wildly outdated (over 10 years) and there are no detailed maps at the trailhead - only an area map that reduces the entirety of the Pinchot North and South loops to a 2 inch by 3 inch simplified representation of the trail network. Formerly mapped trails are either no longer listed or no longer maintained, but this is unclear since they wouldn't fit on this tiny map. Yellow dot trails appear in multiple places along northern loop, but it is not always clear which trails they correspond to (Pinchot trail is orange; ALL other trails are yellow). Some trail markers do not follow standard patterns to determine direction of trail, and at some point in time, they switched from Blue to Orange, and did not thoroughly ensure all markers were updated. Additionally, many revisions have been made to the trail such that miles/hours of distance are added as compared to former routes.

Other reviews mention "swampy trails", but that doesn't accurately describe the miles of trail under a foot of water. At one point, we mistook part of the trail for a body of water that was curiously unmapped (the trail had become an 8 foot wide, several foot deep river). Waterproof boots are hardly enough, and it's likely that you will sink and take on water, even with extreme caution.

I had done this trail under good, dry conditions years ago, and the scenery is quite beautiful, but clearly this trail has been heavily neglected, and is not suitable for use under anything less than perfect conditions - and even that is questionable.

Review from Keith below is completely in line with our experience, though he WAS NOT part of our group, so this was not an isolated experience.

From a scenery and wildlife perspective the trail is a five. We saw deer, porcupine, beaver, skunk, multiple toad/frog species, and snakes. The meadows and swamps were spectacular. Here is why the trail gets 2 stars. The trail gets inundated with water. This makes sections very complicated to traverse. It’s frustrating because their is high ground were the trail could have been routed. The all trails map is not accurate there are reroutes in the south loop that are not indicated. However the most overwhelming reason the trail gets 2 stars is TICKS! My cousin and I pulled or flicked over 50 ticks of us. Once home I brushed and washed my gear. I must of knocked 20 more ticks off while cleaning. Only had 3 bites and not one tick was a deer tick. Still you had to be super vigilant monitoring for ticks. It greatly detracted from the trip. We cut the trip short due to the ticks. Winter is the only season I would hike this trail again.

3 months ago

This is our go-to spot since it is pretty close to Philadelphia and it's a loop. It's not always easy to drive many hours for a hike so this works. Great spots to camp, moderate elevations. Southern loop was recently rerouted and has a lot to offer - waterfall with rope swing and a nice swimming hole as well as BEAVERS. Get outside folks and leave no trace!

backpacking
9 months ago

Excellent beginner backpacking trail. Nice campsites. Not too difficult. We backpacked it with two nights out and a total of slightly more than 13 hours of hiking total for the whole loop AUG 25-27 2017. Video @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT2bh66OxAU

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Great beginner trail that provides a wilderness experience but limited to a short trail. Some places are thick to traverse.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Very cool trail. Camp along Choke Creek. Trail goes through some tall mountain laurel, like going through a tunnel. Nice over nighter to test out some new equipment.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

I did the North Loop and South Loop in 10 hours

backpacking
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Both trails are very beautiful, many water sources. I would definitely do this in a small group or solo.

hiking
Saturday, December 03, 2016

was really a great hike! took us 3 hours n we took 2 extra side trails beside choke trail. follow the orange then yellow markers for the nature trail NOT Butler trail. lots of cool beaver dams n beautiful stream scenery. trail is flood out in some places due to dams. easy to reroute n find trail again. for a novice walking stick is a good idea leaves covered rocks roots n branches

hiking
Monday, November 28, 2016

This is a really nice trail. Not much elevation gain or sweeping views but the diversity in terrain and scenery is great. You walk through a mountain laurel jungle and exit into spruce and hemlock along a stream. There is a lot of beaver activity and plenty of places to stop and enjoy lunch or some quiet time. The second half is a less interesting hardwood forest along the state boundary with a sportsman club. It ends with a 1.5 mile walk along a large grass road and Tannery Rd. Here is the PROBLEM, the trail appears to be well marked as you follow the orange blazes. The thing is, the orange blazes do not mark the Choke Creek trail, they mark the Pinchot Trail of which Choke Creek is a part of. There is no where that this is indicated; no info at the trailheard and no signage along the way. Just before about 4 miles there is a junction the indicates Nature Trail or Butler Trail. What happened to Choke or Pinchot? Butler continues with the orange blazes and is well maintained. Nature Trail is not initially marked and appears small and not well traveled. Even though Butler appears to be the correct trail to stay on the loop - IT IS NOT. Take the nature trail. It is about .5 miles long and brings you out onto the large grass road. The trail is marked yellow.

backpacking
Friday, October 28, 2016

Easy trail. The south trail is well used and I picked up a good amount of overnight camp site trash. Leave no trace? Please respect the trails!

Fun for a solo or small group hike. 26.4 on my gps.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

on Pinchot Trail

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

on Choke Creek Trail

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

hiking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

hiking
Thursday, June 23, 2016

hiking
Sunday, October 11, 2015