Explore the most popular camping trails near Bethel with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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!

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).

My buddy and I decided to do an overnighter here. We planned out doing an out and back from the southern parking lot to the eagles nest lookout. The trails were definitely muddy and the rocks were slippery, but otherwise very well kept and free of debris. I would definitely wear appropriate gear for wet environments. also, keep an eye out for rattle snakes at the eagles nest. we found 2 large rattle snakes sun bathing as we climbed to the edge.

Haven't done it yet but curious how far in the Hertlein campsite is?

Covered this on two separate days (7/4/18- parking lot on Rt 183 to just past Eagle Nest Lookout trail and 8/5/18 from Sand Spring trail (Tom Lowe), Shartlesville to Port Clinton). First stretch of trail (from 183) is mostly narrow, curvy with moderate rocks which make it nicely scenic and interesting, but gets a lot rockier past the shelter. The Eagles Nest Lookout was decent view but wouldn't bother with the 2-mile out and back trail again to get there. On 2nd hike had taken side trail past the shelter since AllTrails map shows a camera icon at the tip but not sure what was supposed to be there (thought maybe a lookout somewhere, but nothing could find). Remaining hike was up to Port Clinton but looped on a side trail near bottom of the hill to take the Leg Destroyer back up for return hike which was...um, yep, darn steep. Was middle of the day when I got to this point and got never ending spider webs to the face so be warned those two trails do not seem to get much traffic (Leg Destroyer and connecting side trail).

We hiked starting at 501 and camped at the reservoir. Rocks are everywhere on this trail, I thought I was going to break my ankle.

Can get very rocky at times but the view from the 501 lookout never gets old!

Loved the view from the 501 lookout. Will upload some drone pictures.

Overlooks were beautiful, but the reservoir and waterfall made this trip. We camped right next to the waterfall. Beautiful area.

Can get very rocky at times but the view from the 501 lookout never gets old!

All I gotta say is holy rocks. This trail felt like I was getting my ankles broken by James harden every time I made a step. The rocks are everywhere as I learned very quickly after setting up my tent and going to lay down to relax when BAM, my back got bombodied by a rock. Sleep? Non existent on this trail, but the campsites are A1. In all, if your into walking through muddy/Mississippi river flooded trails, ankle shattering rocks for days, 2 maybe 3 good views, then this trails for you.

Did and out and back from Route 183 to 501. Took about 8.5 hours. Trail was a little swampy the 1st few miles today. Located the marker for Fort Dietrich Snyder about 1/2 mile in. Camp Hertline located in Shuberts Gap is beautiful with plenty of running water. There is also a rock field to the right (southbound). Plenty of lookouts along the Shikellamy summit. Great view at Showers Steps as well. Get ready for the rocks after that. There is a parking lot right where the trail meets Route 501. A quick shoutout to the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club who were performing trail maintenance today.

The reservoir is a beautiful spot. Great wide open camping area.

Absolutely love this trail for the summer, the waters cold but worth the swim!

I have now camped on the AT sites twice now (Fall and Winter) and the trail, site, and scenery are all great. The reservoir is a unique and fantastic place to be in all 4 seasons.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Starts out a rocky trail, but leads into a decent trail, with gradual inclines and declines...you come across a few trails and access roads along the way.
The overlook is worth the hike.
Note: If you cross the road you can see the other part of the AT its worth the short walk to another overlook of the valley.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

did this by myself and its a pretty easy trail. that said rocks are everywhere and you should have some purpose made shoes/boots for trails. the camp sight is nice but kind of small and there isnt much in the way of firewood. over all though it was great and would do it again.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I’m getting older! This was tougher than it should Have been for me and my girlfriend. It was a very good hike the view is spectacular very rocky make sure to wear boots we were both wearing just normal sneakers it is a very extremely rocky section of the trail.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Husband and I did this hike on a beautiful September day. We enjoyed hiking through the woods and it took us about an hour and a half to get to Round Head Lookout. Very few people on the trail - nice and quiet. We will be back here once the color starts to peak a bit more!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

We did a short hike in(about 4 miles) from 183 to hertlein campsite, spent the night and hiked back out. it was really muddy and swampy from the flash flood 2 days ago. and its definitely rocky but still a nice hike and good for amateurs like us. The campsite was nice and theres a old dam they use as a watering hole. We'll do it again!

We left one car at either end and did a nice 4 hour hike. The was a lot of water on the trail for about a mile on the 183 end. It was about 85° but there was plenty of shade from the forest.

Not a review...looking for insight.
Me and my husband are planning on backpacking this trail overnight in early August. Are there any considerations that I should be aware of in terms of camping and parking?
Do I need to reserve a campsite?
Is my car ok overnight in the parking lot at Rt 183

Did this as a long out and back day hike. Ended up at 21.5 miles after a few side trails. Typical PA rocks throughout but not that bad once you are used to them. Cool boulder field near the reservoir about 5 miles from the parking area at 183. There are also springs near both ends of this hike. 1 about a mile from 183 and one near the 501 shelter on the other end.

Did an out and back from the Port Clinton (N) end - maybe 10 miles total. The climb out of Port Clinton is very steep and although there are stone steps, it requires some scrambling in places. But it's short. Nice trail with all the PA rocks you'd expect.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

We did this hike but parked at 645 parking lot and did it as an in and out hiking North to Hertlein Campsite. Hike was rocky but it's PA we are known for our rocks. Campsite was great there are multiple spots to camp with fire pits. Fresh spring work water that feeds into the reservoir. The water was cold so we chose not to swim. Also neat boulder field to explore.

Did this section twice in life not a significant elevation gain but a good walk none the less. The water is fresh cold spring water that heals the soul. I seriously do believe that. And when i was there 2 thru hikers were jig'ing fish in the dam and cooking them over a campfire and man...that IS living!

The reservoir is a great place to camp. Lots of decent campsites along the trail and around the resevoir.

This is not a review!

I have a question: my friend and I are looking for a nice backpacking/hiking trip over 24-48hours on the AT. The description of this trail says it's an out & back trail and listed as 19.1 miles. Is that a "round trip" total or each way? I'm new to backpacking and want to take my time on my first AT trip. Any help or advice/suggestions would be very appreciated. Thanks!

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