The Pulpit and Pinnacle
The Pulpit and Pinnacle can be done as a loop hike which is what I did and what I recommend. This was an excellent hike to do in winter. But this can be relative depending on the amount of snow. I was fortunate that there was about 3-4 inches and the trail was packed down by previous hikers. This was perfect because the trail is extremely rocky and I believe it would take longer to hike in the summer than in winter. The snow smooths out the trail. The total loop is 8.8 miles with an elevation gain of 1490 feet, according to my GPS.
To gain access tot he loop hike, park at the Hamburg Reservoir parking area. There is a yellow gate. walk up the road past the gate for .5 miles. This is where the Appalachian Trail intersects. Turn right onto the AT. The first notable stop on this trail is the Pulpit. It is a rock ledge that overlooks the valley below. This is the steepest part of the hike and the most rocky section.
From the Pulpit, the trail now continues along the ridge but there are not any view points until you get to Pinnacle. Some rocky areas here.
The Pinnacle is actually a pile of rocks about 10 feet high. However just pass this and another wonderful rock ledge with great views of the valley below. It is about 4.5 miles to this point. Remain on the AT until you reach a Blue Trail which is a sharp left at the only open field you come across. The blue trail descends until it reaches Furnace Creek and out to Hamburg Reservoir.
I did the 8.8 miles in 4 hours, including a stop for lunch. I think it could take longer without snow because of the rocky terrain.
Equipment: This is a very rocky trail so good hiking boots are strongly recommended.
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Rafting, kayaking and more
We didn't have an opportunity to try any of the outdoor activities in Jim Thorpe but it seemed like there was a lot to do. We saw rafters and kayakers on the Lehigh River and saw lots of people biking and hiking along the riverside trail.
From the attached website it looks like rafting season is from mid-March to October with the best rapids (class II and III) in the spring, the summer time is more tame.
We saw some bikers that had just finished the 25 mile trip through the Lehigh Gorge State Park and they asked me to take their picture to commemorate their accomplishment. I laughed at first because 25 miles on the flat terrain in Illinois doesn't seem like all that much but I reconsidered after looking at the surrounding hills. :-)
Hiking up the Glen Onoko trail
Just across the river from the historic center of Jim Thorpe is the Glen Onoko access point to the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
There's a trail that follows the Glen Onoko waterfall all the way up the mountainside.
In places the trail is well marked, but as you approach the top it gets a bit rough - be prepared.
Equipment: Good hiking boots would be helpful.
- Hiking and Walking
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