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Backpacking Pennsylvania Guidebook

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  • Author: Jeff Mitchell
  • ISBN: 9780811731805
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Backpacking Pennsylvania: 37 Great Hikes + Explorer's Guide 50 Hikes in Eastern Pennsylvania: From the Mason-Dixon Line to the Poconos and North Mountain (Fifth Edition)  (Explorer's 50 Hikes) + Pennsylvania Waterfalls: A Guide for Hikers & Photographers
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Product Description

Did you know that Pennsylvania has the most extensive system of backpacking trails of any state east of the Mississippi River? Check them out with the assistance of this guidebook. PRODUCT FEATURES: While most hiking guides to the state feature information on day hikes, this valuable guide will give backpackers of all levels a resource for discovering and learning about longer trails for more rugged journeys by foot Author: Jeff Mitchell ISBN: 9780811731805 100008 , Backpacking Pennsylvania Guidebook , guide , guidebook , trail maps , maps , trail guide , hiking guide , backpacking guide , PA , Pennsylvania

Product Details

Size: O/S N/A
  • Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: 0811731804
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on February 8, 2005
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Yes it's possible, in "industrialized" Pennsylvania of all places, to hike for days without seeing a single other person, and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the Northeast should be more familiar with the Pennsylvania backpacking experience. I'm a native of the state who has been seriously hiking and backpacking for years, and I'm still continually amazed by the variety and extensiveness of Pennsylvania's long-distance hiking trails. Amid the state's surprisingly remote and wild areas are dozens of trails that exceed 20 miles in length, and several that surpass 100 miles. There is far more to Pennsylvania backpacking than the famous Appalachian Trail, which Jeff Mitchell accurately describes as one of the least interesting trails in the state. This book is not meant to be a true guide for any of the trails described, but summarizes the long-distance hiking opportunities available. Therefore, unless you really know what you're doing, following trails with this book will be difficult given its abbreviated travelogues and very non-detailed maps, so don't try to do an extensive trip *only* with this book. Detailed trail guides and/or maps are usually available elsewhere.

What makes this book a real winner is an outstanding introduction concerning various backpacking issues and challenges, and excellent geographical info for each trail described, especially in terms of trail conditions, locations of trailheads, and contact information. I have completed several of Pennsylvania's long-distance trails, especially in the central and north-central regions of the state, and given Mitchell's knowledgeable and accurate writing I can attest that he has either hiked these trails himself or has talked extensively with people who have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M. Salerno on March 30, 2009
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This is a very useful guide for people interested in backpacking in PA. I don't use this book as my sole guide for hiking individual trails -- the book does not include topo maps or anything like that, so you'll want to get a map as part of your planning process. I think that this book is intended more as an aid in planning a trip than as a trail guide, although it is pretty accurate in its mile-by-mile descriptions of the trails I've hiked so far.

The book is organized geographically, which is useful. Unfortunately, there is no index of trails by park area, so it makes it a bit annoying if you want to look for a trail in a specific state park or forest area -- you have to look through each trail's entry and see if anything goes through the place you're interested in. (This is bad for me because I hike with my dog, and I can only set up camp with him in a state forest, not a state park.) A lot of the information you will want to know is summarized in bullet points at the front of each chapter (trail length, difficulty, trail condition, availability of water, etc.), which is nice because you don't have to read through a whole entry to figure out that a trail is too easy or hard for what you want.

All in all, this book is a great asset in planning a backpacking trip and useful enough as a trail guide to be worth carrying around on shorter trips. It has information on trails that you aren't likely to find in many other books; however, if you're planning on hiking a more established trail, or in an area that's got a lot of trails, you might be able to find a more specific/detailed guide.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wanda Shirk on August 31, 2006
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Backpacking Pennsylvania does exactly the job the title leads you to believe it will do. 37 major trails are described and made accessible to the the Pennsylvania Backpacker.

Each trail narrative is preceded by a chart summarizing 13 "want-to-know" items for the trail: its length, approximate time needed for the trip, a difficulty rating, typical terrain and trail conditions, blazes, water supply, area vegetation, trail highlights, maintaining organizations, sources of maps/guides/contact information, and trailhead directions.

The trails are divided into seven geographical regions, with a map for each region showing the counties and general layouts and locations of the trails there. For each of the 37 trails, another map shows the local roads, towns, creeks, parks, and potential campsites and vistas. The narratives are sufficiently detailed that backpacker armed with this book would be able to save the purchase of many individual trail guides and maps, though these would offer more in-depth information on the history, geology, or other particulars.

This book is a great guide for planning backpacking ventures of appropirate duration, difficulty, and location in the Keystone state. I most recently backpacked the Bucktail Path and found Jeff's summary to be quite on-target. It should be in every Pennsylvania backpacker's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan on December 25, 2010
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I love this book. I wish there were more like it - backpacking-specific recommendations. There are so many hiking books, but this is the only one of its kind I've found for PA. Suggestions for all ability levels in all parts of the state with many different hiking styles from weekend trip to month-long trek. I refer to it often.
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