Appalachian Trail

The BMECC Section of The Appalachian Trail

In 1926, planners of the Appalachian Trail asked hiking club members to locate and build 102 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the wilderness along the mountaintop from the Lehigh River to the Susquehanna River. Monuments, cabins, and rest stops were built along the way. After five years of volunteer labor, dedication of the completed section was held on October 12, 1931.The Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club currently maintains a 64.4 mile section of the trail along the Blue Mountains from Lehigh Furnace Gap Road to Rausch Gap, with the exception of a section between Bake Oven Road and Tri-county Corner.

Trail Maintenance

Club members and other volunteers perform on-going maintenance, clean-ups and repairs on the Appalachian Trail, and Shelters. Each section of the Appalachian Trail that the BMECC maintains has a caretaker. Caretakers hike their section and identify areas needing maintenance. Monthly work trips are scheduled to improve areas identified. Repairs are also made to the shelters including new roofs, privys and more each year. Are you ready to help improve the beautiful Appalachian Trail? Find all work trips on our schedule.

Trail Maps

Trail maps are an important necessity to learning about the Appalachian Trail and traveling safely. Here are links to some helpful resources.

  • BMECC Sections of the Appalachian Trail

  • Interactive Map of the full Appalachian Trail made by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

  • Trail Books for purchase from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Store. These books have very detailed maps, are well worth the cost, and are highly recommended for anything more than a day trip.

Parking

Safety: There is sporadic vandalism at any parking area, so don't leave valuables visible in your vehicle.

Abbreviations: Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), National Park Service (NPS),

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

Parking from South to North

  • Clark's Valley Rd. (Rt. 325) - technically, this PGC lot is NOT within our section, but is a popular access point to reach the Rausch Gap shelter for a longer weekend trip.

  • Gold Mine Rd. (between Rt. 443 and Tower City) and Cold Springs (accessed through Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation) are the 2 closest PGC lots to the Rausch Gap shelter. NO PARKING FOR HIKE-IN/HIKE-OUT OVERNIGHT TRIPS TO THE SHELTER - Game Commission regulations require different entry and exit points for "legal" primitive one-night camping along the AT on PGC-owned lands.

  • Parking in Swatara Gap at Rts. 72 and 443 (either DCNR lands or State Parks), limited parking on the east side of Swatara Creek under the I-81 overpass - this is difficult to get to and you will need to take back roads near the Monroe Valley Golf Course.

  • Parking at Rt. 645 (NPS land) and Rt. 501 (PennDOT).

  • Limited parking at trail crossing at Rt. 183 on west side of road; PGC parking lot on east side of Rt. 183 below the ridgetop - can be muddy in winter/early spring.

  • PGC parking in Shartlesville area (use Forge Dam Rd. off of Mountain Rd at the Shartlesville exit off of I-78) and PGC parking near the Blue Mountain Academy off of Mountain Rd. (south access to the Auburn Lookout area of the trail).

  • Port Clinton/Rt 61 Area: parking in NPS lot on west side of Rt. 61 (south-bound lane access only).

  • Hamburg Reservoir parking lot has NO overnight parking- you will be ticketed and towed! Address: 61 North 3rd Street, Hamburg, Pa. 19526. Hours you may park: May-Sept 6am-8pm, Oct-April 7am-5pm. There is a cable put up overnight tha the police undo in the morning.

  • PGC parking in Eckville area - trail crossing on Drehersville-Albany Rd on west side (3-4 cars MAX);

  • PGC parking off of pine Swamp Rd.

  • Parking along Rt. 309 (on Allentown HIking Club's AT section), but there's a PGC lot on the east side of the highway near the top of the ridge. Also, parking by permission at the restaurant there (current name unknown).

  • PGC parking near Bake Oven Knob (2 large parking lots, but no winter maintenance).

  • Limited parking along Ashfield Rd at northern end of our section.

Links to Valuable Trail-Related Information Sources