Appalachian Trail Happiness: Pennsylvania Part 1
Amongst AT hikers Pennsylvania gets a really bad reputation, it gets called Rocksylvania, or Rattle Snakeylvania and in Northern Pennsylvania these criticisms may very well be legitimate. However, Southern Pennsylvania is a whole different story. Particularly the section from the southern border up to Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
The section is great for a number of reasons, the first is the trail itself and everything around it, the second is the quality of the shelters. I’ll address the first in another post but in this post I want to address some of the best shelters I visited on the trail.
With the exception of Antietam Shelter, the shelters in southern PA were really nice. These were newer shelters, not necessarily large, but well built, beautiful floors and they all had great camping and hammocking spaces. They also had one other very important thing in common, they had overseers who frequently visited the shelters and made sure they were being taken care of. Here are some images of a couple of the shelters including one of my favorite ideas, the snoring and non-snoring shelters.
Of course the cream of the crop is Quarry Gap Shelter and innkeeper (overseer) Jim Stauch who takes amazing care of the shelter. The shelter has hanging plants, a bench, a covered eating area, permanent tarps to block the wind and even a sun dial.
All in all, at least for southern PA, we need to be kinder in describing the state on the trail, it provided for several happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane