Pulpit Rock

MODERATE 225 reviews
#2 of 2 trails in

Pulpit Rock is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hamburg, Pennsylvania that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
905 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

Pulpit Rock is considered to have some of the best views along the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Whether you are a thru-hiker or looking for a fun day-hike, this is a nice moderate trail that can be completed by almost any level hiker. The trail starts from the Hamburg reservoir parking area off of Reservoir Road. From the yellow gate follow the gravel road along up to the Appalachian Trail, at which point you will take a sharp left to follow the white blazes through the switch backs. The steep and rocky incline starts about a mile and half or in from the parking area. Once you reach the summit of Pulpit Rock, you will be rewarded by spectacular views. From the summit you have the option to continue on the Appalachian Trail to the Pinnacle, or head back down. You will come down via the woods road marked as a blue trail - it parallels a very nice stream that keeps it cool and peaceful. This is a popular day hike and the parking area fills up quickly. Make sure to arrive at the trailhead early.

1 month ago

Great hike and very rocky in some spots! Be watchful for snakes! Beautiful view.

1 month ago

I really enjoyed this hike. I would rate it as moderate in most areas.. with a few spots spiking to medium. Watch your footing and pay attention as copperhead snakes are amongst you. We were lucky enough to see one (without it being a surprise). Beautiful snakes and I heard they typically aren’t a bother to hikers. People passing by on this hike were very helpful, which was refreshing. It’s tough getting to the top, but just follow the white blazes and you will be fine. Most importantly, enjoy the views and don’t get too close to the edge! The rock that says “Pulpit Rock” has a small step down area where you can climb onto the rock.. beware!! That’s where we saw the copperhead slithering through the cracks.

1 month ago

Took the trail up and the road down. The road is much quicker than the trail. There’s a strange astrology site at the top

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful vista, definitely will get the heart rate going on the way up. I recommend combining it to Pinnacle for a loop. Oh, and be prepared for lots of rocks.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail to start my hiking season. Good moderate to difficult trail in some spots. Quite rocky and steep if your into that kind of hike. Pulpit is the "half way" point on your way up to Pinnacle Peak...great place to stop and have some lunch before continuing on. Watch out for snakes!! Didn't see any this past weekend, however we saw quite a few last season! Enjoy but be careful!

3 months ago

I am used to hiking the NY Adirondack mountains. This was not as challenging but nice start to my hiking year. Nice views. We opted to help me up the gravel road and down the white blaze trail back. I would do this route again to avoid the pounding pavement on my knees on the way down or I would go up and down the same path through the white blazes. Great hike for dogs as not alot of challenging obstacles. Would be a great hike for younger kids as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Very excellent hike. Going to the right on the way up was the way to go. Definitely check out the spillway on the way down. It's to the right, and a little off the trail, but worth the jaunt. I loved that there was still snow on the ground and you could see through the trees. It is about an hour drive from where I live, and I love to drive, so it was the perfect trip. I will definitely be going back to check out the colors of Autumn.

3 months ago

love this hike but watch out for snakes. I always see atleast one while at the view!!!

hiking
6 months ago

Moderate Trail, quick 1-3 hour afternoon trip. I've done it now about 7 times, and the less people the better. Go in the fall or early spring for less people.

8 months ago

Had a good hike. ALERT...stay to the right and go counter clockwise on this loop. If you go left you hike a steep incline on black top and gravel. Then the decline is over rocky terrain after Pulpit Rock. Much nicer hike walking up the rocks and descending on the road.

ALERT...take care leaving Pulpit Rock. We followed the white blazes up but if you follow them after Pulpit Rock you wont end up at the same parking area. Using the mobile app allowed us to catch our mistake....hiked about 1/2mile out of our way and back....was ok though. Would have been bad if we didnt catch our mistake.

Took our Yorkie on this hike. She did fine except had to carry her over the large boulders closest to Pulpit Rock.

8 months ago

It was sleeting on the way up which just added to the excitement of nature’s unpredictable tendencies around us. When making it to the observatory there were a number of deer to greet us as well. Not an overly challenging hike, but a very worthwhile and enjoyable one!

hiking
8 months ago

Be sure to follow the trail to the right when you have the option to choose (up hill from the parking area). The direction will take you up a forested path which ends with a climb up some rocky terrain. It’s easier to climb up the rocks than to descend down over them. Pulpit Rock isn’t far from where the challenging rocky area begins - it’s a nice reward.

8 months ago

It was really fun and challenging towards the top! But the way down we took the gravel road and the view up top was beautiful

8 months ago

I found it to be a little of a challenge, but I'm not in the best shape either. Took a few water breaks though and made it through. Our dog loved it but i can't imagine a small dog being able to make it on some of the larger rocks. We did the loop. They are right... rocks or steep road, pick your poison. Would do it again. We had fun and I am proud of myself for finishing it. Took us about 3 hours taking our time.

9 months ago

What a great hike. Took my dog and had a lovely afternoon

10 months ago

Great moderate trail with spectacular views. Suggest staying to the right through the woods when hiking this trail. If you hike to the left, the hiking path is asphalt and gravel road with steep slope. While both offer challenge, the hike through the woods provides both challenge and equal recovery.

You won't go wrong with either after reaching the overlook. This was my 3rd hike to PR and had seen several copper head and rattle snakes among the rocks at the overlook which was pretty cool. The snakes were docile and sunny themselves on or between the rocks.

10 months ago

Awesome incline

hiking
11 months ago

Tackled this one today. First hike in a little bit. This one got the muscles moving, though. Made the counter clockwise loop from the parking lot to the rocks. Absolutely beautiful up there and I was lucky enough to have it all to myself for twenty minutes or so. After that, I headed over for a nice break on the nice green grass of the observatory in some shade. Too bad it wasn't open. I would like to see that. The road down from the observatory is steep. I'd actually argue that it's more difficult going down the road than up to the rocks. Your muscles just feel engaged the entire time. Still, fun hike.

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Spectacular view on Pulpit Rock!

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Enjoyed it. Much more fun near the top in the rocks. Took it counter clockwise with the kids. 3 and 5yr old.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Walk over to the pinnacle after, definitely worth hitting both summits

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Counterclockwise is the way to do this trail. The steep and rocky incline starts about a mile and half or in from the parking lot and gets very taxing on the body very fast. Having done this same trail portion today as part of the Pinnacle Loop and not going counterclockwise. I was exhausted coming down from pulpit and it was a very slow hike for the final 1.5 of the 9 mile trail of the Pinnacle loop. But on Pulpit itself the route back down is down a paved road from the observatory and comes in around 4 miles, while it's extremely fast it is boring going down the road. Perhaps going down Pulpit after going up as an out and back works- just not after a 7 mile hike coming from Pinacle. The day I was just doing pulpit it was cloudy and early so there weren't many people there. I still found it beautiful even with the reduced visibility. If the observatory was open as it was for me today there is a guy that loves to let people come in and look at the sun, through special lenses you can see sun spots and solar flares.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great hike that connects to the Pinnicle trail. Great view! One of my favorites

hiking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Great, but challenging hike.

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Beautiful views at the top. scenic landscape down below . Wear good hiking shoes for the rocky terrain!!

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wear sturdy shoes. Pure Boulder hiking towards the top near the lookout. Beautiful view.

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Very beautiful views from Pulpit Rock. Nearby area is rocky, but it's no so hard.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Great hike. Just did the pulpit. One thing to look out for is near the top the trail turns right at a double white blaze. If you keep going straight blazes turn blue and you will have to back track. Beautiful views

Load More