The trail is challenging for sure, but worth every step! Lots of rocks along the way. We saw one rattlesnake less than 1.5 miles in. There were a couple of views and a beautiful waterfall. There was one gentleman that had a zip line across a small water area. We really enjoyed the trail.

Loved this hike! Definitely recommend going down to the spring at hertein campsite, very cool water feature

Could have saved time by starting at Swarata Trail Head. Needlessly wasted my very limited time hiking to a trailhead that I could have parked at.

Fun overnight trail with a few nice views and scenery. A bit rocky in parts but doable. I would defiantly recommend but bring good boots.

hiked from 183 to Blue Rock Campground

Great for a day hike and can be modified to fit your time or mileage limit. We got to Round Head and decided to keep hiking to the next lookout, maybe 2 more miles, before you would reach Hertein Campsite. It was well worth the extra miles to see that cliff side lookout! All in all, probably had a 9-10 mile hike out and back. Very rocky, but nice trail otherwise.

Extremely rocky trail makes the pace slower than it should have been. Beautiful creek crossing and overlook. Poorly marked trail in some areas near the beginning.

I walked this from 183 northbound and it took about 5 hours to reach Port Clinton. Relatively flat stretch of the AT with a fair amount of rocky sections along the ridges as to be expected. Sand Spring and the Auburn lookout make for some cool stops along the way. Be prepared for the steep decent at the end of the trail.

This was an in and out hike for training purposes. Backpacked to Sand Spring from PA183 parking lot and back. Typical AT trail in PA. Rocky but flat. No views.

Rocky! Elevation isn't bad at all. Did it on Feb 22nd saw 7 people.

7 months ago

Nice trail but very rocky. We went Appalachian Trail north. Your feet will hurt by the time you get out. Great overlook.

Nice trail. Had to cross a major highway, thus kind of noisy around it. But once getting on the top, it is quiet and peaceful.

This was a great AT section. Yes it is rocky. It is the APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN PENNSYLVANIA, aka, “Rocksylvania”. To all the previous reviewers complaining about the rocks, you’ve obviously never been on the AT in PA or did your research on this trail. Shame on you, not on the hike. We started at 501 and hiked to 183. Made it into an overnight and camped at Hertlein. Beautiful scenery, beautiful waterfalls at the dam and an awesome boulder field. Plenty of fresh water sites. Don’t count on AT shuttle drivers (there’s a long list of them), Lyft or Uber at either end of this section- they all pick and choose who/when they pick up passengers. Have an alternate transportation if you’re not parking two vehicles.

Loved the trail, few spots where you can add some mileage and make it even more charming. Went to the lookout past the shelter, probably around 17mi if you don't take detours, easily can be 20mi if you choose to. Lots of great sites, one about 1.5mi past Hertlein with a great view.

Rocks, rocks, rocks..if you love rocks then this is your hike. Two really nice overlooks and a small stream and then rocks. That's it.

amazing day on the trail. I saw a bird. the walk down to the reservoir from the campsite is well worth it.

Nice hike out and back, nice time of the year to be hiking in the woods in PA. Not too difficult at all.

9 months ago

first time on this trail and I had an absolute blast I'm scouting trails for a group trip next month so wanted to find something good. I recommend this trail but it is rocky so be prepared for that.

Overall I really liked this trail! It was a little harder than I expected and we made it only about half way before having to turn back- however doing that made it about 13 miles. Toes hurt and legs are sore but it was worth it! The first 2 miles were where all the money was in my opinion. After that it gets steep and rocky with only a few good overlooks. But the challenge made it worth it! We will definitely be back!

Well marked white trail. Out and back. Lotsa rocks and a couple of mini rock scrambles. A few really nice lookouts. Definitely a moderate trail due to the rocks. It was a definite challenge in spots. Enjoyed it

This was a great moderately challenging trail. We backpacked to Heretin in probably three to four hours. We personally preferred some of the other campsites near Heretin. The reservoir was refreshing, cold, and deep! Some bugs, some mud, a lot of rocks, but nothing that felt prohibitively bad. I thought the scenery was quietly spectacular - ferns, dappled light, streams, rhodedendrons.

does anyone know the distance from the start route 183 to hertein campsite??

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