Time  7 hours

Coordinates 1598

Uploaded November 28, 2015

Recorded November 2015

1,516 f
318 f
11.2 mi

Viewed 336 times, downloaded 7 times

near Weiders Crossing, Pennsylvania (United States)

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Stage 102

Tour through section 2.2 of the Appalachian Trail, passing through the state of Pennsylvania (United States), from south to north. From Lehigh Gap, on the banks of the Lehigh River, to Little Gap, returning to the starting point through the old trail of the Appalachian Trail and the winter trail (Winter Trail).

We made this tour with a group of mountaineers from the Appalachian Mountain Club, led by Clara Masessa and Mike Manes, and accompanied by enthusiastic and expert connoisseur of AT in Pennsylvania, Barb Blythe.

We begin the tour in the parking lot of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, on the west bank of the Lehigh Gap, heading towards the bridge over the Lehigh River. We cross the bridge by the pedestrian path and turn right, walking about 200 meters, to cross route 248 and find the small and little signposted detour to another AT parking (for daytime use only), located on a raised ledge, very near the road.

A few meters after the parking lot, the trail starts its fast and very steep ascent towards the rocky ridge of Blue Mountain, at State Game Lands No. 168, where the whole stage will run.

Already in the final stretch of the ascent, the path crosses a remarkable quarry and climbs the rocks of the ridge, with some stretches of some difficulty, offering excellent panoramic views of the Lehigh River and the valley.

For those hikers who travel this stage during the winter season, with snow, ice and difficult weather conditions, there is the possibility of following an alternative trail (Winter Trail), indicated by blue markers, which avoids the passage through the entire rock area, although it also has a steep slope.

Once at the top, the AT continues along the northern slope of Blue Mountain, on a path that at the beginning is quite paved, but little by little it is transformed into a wide and comfortable forest road, with magnificent views to the north, and A great perspective on the town of Palmerton and its surroundings.

Despite the efforts that are being made to repopulate this entire area of ​​trees, both the slopes and the crest of the mountain have little vegetation, and you can see many dead trees, burned by forest fires or the result of pollution produced For what was during several decades of the twentieth century, an important center of zinc production.

From 1980, zinc production decreased considerably in Palmerton, due both to the fall in the market and the consequences of a more demanding environmental policy, resulting in the closure of one of the two existing production plants, and the gradual reduction of the activity in the second.

This decline in industrial activity in the area also meant the beginning of the slow process of recovering its natural spaces, fruit of which you can also see large reforested areas with growing trees, which augur a better future for the place.

The Appalachian Trail also suffered the vagaries of the environmental deterioration of the place, and the initial route of the path, which in this section ran along the top of the Blue Mountain ridge, was moved to its current location by the northern slope of the mountain.

Upon reaching Little Gap, the end of the route of the stage, we took the opportunity to return by the old track that followed the Appalachian Trail, which is wide and comfortable, and runs through the high part of the mountain, with good panoramic views. On both sides of the road, we find fenced and reforested lands.

Already in the final part of the return journey, we descend through the Winter Trail, which avoids the passage through the difficult rocky area of ​​the main trail, and that also offers magnificent views over the bed and the valley of the Lehigh River and surroundings.
AT parking next to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, on the west bank of the Lehigh River
Bridge over the Lehigh River and small parking lot at the entrance to the bridge, on the west bank
Parking at the foot of the mountain, east of the Lehigh River, and start of the march
Very steep ascent of the AT to the Blue Mountain ridge, in Lehigh Gap
Continúa la subida, en terreno cada vez más pedregoso
Zona más próxima a la cima. Cada vez más rocosa.
Ya en la cresta rocosa de Blue Mountain. Vistas panorámicas
Cruce con el sendero de invierno (Winter Trail)
Trail along the northern slope of Blue Mountain, and views of the town of Palmerton
El sendero continúa, por la ladera norte de Blue Mountain
En la cresta
Little Gap
Regreso por el antiguo sendero del AT
Marcadores del antiguo sendero
Bajada por la ruta de invierno. Winter Trail
Vista desde la bajada


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