Appalachian Trail: Cove Mountain to Duncannon

Shuttle • 8.7 mi • 0 ft

Cove Mountain is where Rocksylvania really begins. It is where hikers start to complain about seeing the Keystone State three feet at a time. Because of the rocks, they have to focus on their two feet and where their next footfall will land. At the end of 8.7 miles, the town of Duncannon, despite its faded charm, is a sight for sore feet. Natural history features: Hawk Rock; Sherman Creek; Little Juniata Creek. Social history features: Thelma Marks Memorial Shelter; Duncannon.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Duncannon
Length: 8.7 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 650 feet
Top Elevation: 1,200 feet
Local Contacts: Appalachian Mountain Club, 617-523-0636
Local Maps: KTA PA Sections 9 & 10
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Recent Trail Reviews


i started at PA 850 (small parking lot near Miller's Gap Rd). Hiked from there past Cove Mtn. shelter through Duncannon to Clark's Ferry shelter. Most of the way from 850 to Cove Mtn. shelter is pretty easy, some ups and downs. Past the shelter you get into more loose rock and some good climbs. Down from Cove Mtn into Duncannon is pretty riocky so I would recommend some good boots. If you plan on going through Duncannon I suggest you keep a good eye for the white blazes b/c there are a number of street crossing and such that can get you turned around. It's about a mile or so of street walking to get through down. The hike up after Clark's ferry brdge is a steep one but not too riocky. However the last 2-3 miles is very rocky and you should definitely have good boots.. I wore some merriil low top trail shoes and paid for it with a sprained ankle. The Clark ferry shelter is clean and nice. All in the trip from Cove Mtn to Clark Ferry was about 14 mi, but there are several place to turn off and go back. I recommend it for someone looking to push themselves.


Awsome hike! Great views from the pipe line when you reach the top of the mountain. The hike up the face is about 800ft but it's a quick straight shot. Some spots get really rough on the feet with all the rocks, you literally can't look past your next step. The desent has good views and is quick and at sometimes tricky. I Hiked up and stayed at the shelter on top overnight and had great protection from the wind (it was 7 deg F on avg). Coming down is much colder but hawks rock is simply AWSOME.

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