PA §4: PA-309 (West Penn Pike) to Port Clinton

Pennsylvania §4 spans 26.7 miles. Parking is available for nine mileposts.

Mp 0.0/26.7: PA-309 [West Penn Pike] in Game Lands lot

Locate: {40.70780, -75.80772}

Orient: The AT crosses PA-309 2.9 mi southeast of PA-895 [Summer Valley Road, Lizard Creek Road] and 4.8 mi northwest of PA-143 in New Tripoli; at crest of hill. Look for gravel road on north side of PA-309 just east of Blue Mountain Summit Restaurant's parking lot, west end, on south side of PA-309. Turn north onto gravel road, then turn near-immediate left into lot.

Park: Large lot near terminus of gravel road catty-corner (SW to NE) to Blue Mountain Summit Restaurant.

Connect: A short path leads east from lot's entrance to AT.

Mp 0.0/26.7: PA-309 [West Penn Pike] in restaurant's lot

Locate: {40.70715, -75.80845}

Orient: The AT crosses PA-309 2.9 mi southeast of PA-895 [Summer Valley Road, Lizard Creek Road] and 4.8 mi northwest of PA-143 in New Tripoli; at crest of hill. Just west of crossing, turn south into restaurant's lot.

Park: Ample parking in east end of lot for Blue Mountain Summit Restaurant, on south side of PA-309.

Mp 2.2/24.5: Fort Franklin Mountain Road

Locate: {40.69440, -75.84204}

Orient: The AT crosses Fort Franklin Road 1.4 mi southeast of Blue Mountain Drive. The road's name looks to become Blue Mountain House Road southwest of the crossing. The crossing is 0.7 mi northeast of where Blue Mountain House Road, PA-748, Leaser Road, and Springhouse Road meet.

Park: Small parking area just northwest of crossing, on west side of road.

Mp 11.5/15.2: Hawk Mountain Road

Locate: {40.63381, -75.96079}

Orient: The AT crosses Hawk Mountain Road 3.4 mi southeast of PA-895 [Summer Valley Road] and 5.3 mi northwest of PA-143. There is an AT sign marking the northbound footpath from the road. (Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is 1.5 mi northwest.)

Park: Roadside parking in gravel and grass shoulders straddling crossing on both north and south sides of road; looks to accommodate a dozen-plus cars.

Mp 12.4/14.3: via connector trail from Pine Swamp Road

Locate: {40.62553, -75.95346}

Orient: Pine Swamp Road branches south from Hawk Mountain Road 3.8 mi southeast of PA-895 [Summer Valley Road] and 4.9 mi northwest of PA-143. At this T-intersection, there is a sign for State Game Lands 2 signaling the turn. Follow Pine Swamp Road for 0.5 mi to right onto dirt drive, and continue about 400 ft into parking area. Pine Swamp Road also meets Hawk Mountain Road 5.1 mi southeast of PA-895 and 3.6 mi northwest of PA-143. From this intersection, follow Pine Swamp Road for 1.7 mi to left into lot. Pine Swamp road is well-paved but narrow (at least from the first intersection above).

Park: Park in large State Game Lands lot.

Connect: From behind gate, follow forest road for 0.4 mi to AT {40.62371, -75.95879}. For AT northbound, turn right onto footpath. For AT southbound, continue ahead on forest road.

Mp 17.2/9.5: via yellow trail from Blue Rocks Campground

Locate: {40.59000, -75.90895}

Orient: From I-78 exit 35: follow PA-143 N for 0.7 mi to left onto Mountain Road; follow Mountain Road for 0.1 mi to right onto Blue Rocks Road; follow Blue Rocks Road for 0.7 mi to right onto Sousley Road; continue on Sousley Road for 0.2 mi to left into campground.

Park: Private Blue Rocks Campground allows hiker parking in their lot for a small fee ($3?); register in office. Trails leave from inside campground; get map from office.

Connect: Follow yellow-blazed Pinnacle Trail {40.59148, -75.91479}(?) for 1.3 mi to AT {40.60821, -75.91769}. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 19.5/7.2: via blue trail from Blue Rocks Campground

Locate: {40.59000, -75.90895}

Park: See Mp 17.2/9.5 for parking at Blue Rocks Campground.

Connect: Follow blue-blazed Pulpit Rocks Trail {40.59148, -75.91479}(?) for 1.3 mi to AT {40.59719, -75.92752}. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 20.8/5.9: via Reservoir Road

Locate: {40.58322, -75.94191}

Orient: From I-78 exit 35: follow PA-143 N for 0.7 mi to left onto Mountain Road; follow Mountain Road for 2.9 mi to right onto Reservoir Road; continue on Reservoir Road for 0.4 mi to parking on left, before gate.

Park: Huge lot with room for several-dozen cars; even so, the lot fills on clement weekends. Overflow parking is permitted in grass shoulder along Reservoir Road into lot area.

Connect: Follow blue-blazed service road (Reservoir Road) from behind gate for 0.4 mi to AT, where road makes a sharp right turn; look for wooden signs on grass. For AT northbound, continue on road around bend. For AT southbound, turn left onto grassy footpath and subsequently bear left onto ungated prong at fork.

Mp 26.4/0.3: via path from PA-61 [Centre Street]

Locate: {40.57840, -76.02390}

Orient: At Port Clinton, there is a small hiker lot on the right (west) side of PA-61 S, 0.1 mi south of Broad Street and 2 mi north of I-78 at exit 29. Via PA-61 N, use the dedicated left-turn lane onto Broad Street, whence you can find a place to turn around for PA-61 S.

Park: Parking for about 8 cars in lot; signed for "AT Parking". Additional parking for another 8 cars or so looks possible on berm adjacent to lot.

Connect: Follow blue-blazed path from back of lot for 100 yd to AT {40.57893, -76.0249}. The path goes over stone steps in a steep embankment. On reaching old railroad grade at foot of embankment, turn right and continue a few yards to junction with AT; look for white blaze to left. For AT northbound, turn left onto footpath—heading south. For AT southbound, continue ahead towards gate at Penn Street—heading north.

Mp 26.7/0.0: South Street

Locate: {40.57933, -76.02757}

Orient: In Port Clinton, §4 and §5 meet on the pedestrian walkway along the Railroad Boulevard bridge over the Schuylkill River. Nearby parking is permitted at the town's baseball field on South Street. From PA-61 at Broad Street {40.580334, -76.024120}, follow Broad Street west for 0.2 mi to left onto South Street; look for green and yellow sign on right (north) side of Broad Street directing visitors to parking area. (Via PA-61 N, there is a dedicated left-turn lane onto Broad Street.)

Park: Parking for a dozen or so cars on grass along outfield fence.

Connect: Return to Broad Street via South Street, turn right, and go a few yards more to AT {40.579986, -76.026663} at Railroad Boulevard. For AT northbound (§4), continue on Broad Street, towards bridge over Little Schuylkill River and Penn Street beyond. For AT southbound (§5), turn right into train yard and continue towards bridge over Schuylkill River.