Pinchot Trail: South Loop

MODERATE 5 reviews
#3 of 4 trails in

Pinchot Trail: South Loop is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
918 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

forest

wild flowers

Walks along Choke Creek, with six or seven different campsites, some with pretty creek views. Very popular in the summer.

hiking
2 months 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Trail maps available online are wildly outdated (over 10 years) and there are no detailed maps at the trailhead - only an area map that reduces the entirety of the Pinchot North and South loops to a 2 inch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 Formerly mapped trails are either no longer listed or no longer maintained, but this is unclear since they wouldn't fit on this tiny map.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.

backpacking
11 months ago

Good trail for the beginning backpacker like us. Did the whole Pinchot Trail AUG 25-27 201. Parked at the north loop parking area and started hiking CCW at 5 pm on Friday AUG 25 and got to the Painter's Creek camp at 7:45, 5.5 miles total. Ate Wawa hoagies that night and went to sleep. Got up the next day and hiked 15 miles including a side trip to the Pine Hill observation tower to the very south end camp near Phelps Road (?). Then finished the last 7 miles on Sunday morning with a early lunch stop at Stone Tower which is a pile of rocks. Nice camps and easy trail from the up/down perspective. However, this is a relatively challenging trail for other reasons: (1) many rocky sections that require deft footwork and good footwear and (2) swampy sections that can get ugly. We all wore real hiking boots are were happy that we did. Probably will not come back to this exact hike considering there are so many other trails in the region and this was pretty boring overall. Again, this is a good backpack trip to dial-in your backpacking systems and get used to putting some miles in.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

I followed the loop going counter clock-wise. The trail was very narrow and overgrown for about half of it. Navigating was a tad difficult at times Once you get past choke creek, things start to open up a lot more. Campsites are very plentiful. You'll run into at least one every 10 - 30 minutes or so; especially on the creek. The scenery changed quite a bit from dense forest to flower and fern fields. Elevation change was minimal. If the trail wasn't this overgrown, I'd give this maybe a 4 out of 5.

Friday, June 16, 2017

recorded Pinchot Trail - South Loop

backpacking
Saturday, April 29, 2017