PA §5: Port Clinton to PA-183

Pennsylvania §5 spans 14.4 miles. Parking is available for eight mileposts.

Note: "SGL" abbreviates "State Game Lands" of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Mp 0.0/14.4: South Street

Locate: {40.57933, -76.02757}

Orient: In Port Clinton, §4 and §5 meet on the pedestrian walkway along the Railroad Boulevard bridge over the Schuylkill River. Nearby parking is permitted at the town's baseball field on South Street. From I-78/US-22 at exit 29: follow PA-61 north for 2.2 mi to left onto Broad Street into Port Clinton; follow Broad Street for 0.2 mi to left onto South Street into ball field—look for large sign on right side of Broad Street directing visitors to parking area.

Park: Room for a dozen cars on grass along outfield fence. Perhaps be wary of parking near field during practices or games. Alternatively, there is room for several cars along north shoulder of Broad Street just beyond intersection with South Street.

Connect: From intersection of Broad Street and South Street: head east for a few yards to AT {40.579986, -76.026663} at Railroad Boulevard, on right. For AT northbound, continue on Broad Street towards bridge over Little Schuylkill River and turn right onto Penn Street beyond. For AT southbound, turn right onto Railroad Boulevard towards bridge over Schuylkill River and continue into train yard.

Mp 2.5/11.9: via SGL road from Mountain Road

Locate: {40.55204, -76.05415}

Orient: The AT at Auburn Lookout passes close by a service road that connects to an SGL (#110) parking lot 1.0 mi south. The road into the lot branches north from Mountain Road [PA-810] between PA-61 in Hamburg and I-78/US-22 in Shartlesville. From I-78/US-22 at exit 29 in Hamburg: follow PA-61 north for 0.9 mi to left onto Lowland Drive; follow Lowland Drive for 0.5 mi to right onto Mountain Drive; follow Mountain Drive for 2.3 mi to right onto service road, at SGL sign. Or from I-78/US-22 at exit 23 in Shartlesville: follow Mountain Road for 4.3 mi to left onto service road. From Mountain Drive, continue on gravel road for 0.3 mi to left into lot.

Park: Room for dozens of cars in SGL lot on west side of road.

Connect: Follow service road uphill for 1.0 mi to gate in large clearing at crest; continue briefly on footpath from left of gate to AT {40.56027, -76.06011} at Auburn Lookout, signed a few steps to the right. (Or, follow the road east from gate for about 150 yd to Mp 2.4/12.0, where the AT briefly coincides with the road.) For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Note: • The service road from the lot to the clearing and beyond is open to vehicles from mid September to mid January (as posted), and parking is permitted then in the clearing. The road up has persistent medial rutting with some deep stretches that may perhaps make for dicey passage in a standard-clearance car, but the going might be OK for an adventurous driver. • The one-way road turns southwest at the clearing and continues to the SGL parking area on Northkill Road; see Mp 5.2/9.2, below. • This is the road that the AT crosses at Mp 3.3/11.1 {40.55534, -76.07523} and again at Mp 5.2/9.2, below. Roadside parking looks possible in the grassy shoulders at both crossings.

Mp 5.2/9.2: via SGL road from Northkill Road

Locate: {40.53770, -76.12354}

Orient: The AT crosses an SGL road that connects to an SGL (#110) parking lot at the end of Northkill Road in Shartlesville. From I-78/US-22 at exit 23: follow Mountain Road north for 0.3 mi to slight left onto Forge Dam Road; follow Forge Dam Road for 1.1 mi to right onto Northkill Road; follow Northkill Road for 0.2 mi into lot at end of pavement.

Park: Room for two-dozen cars in SGL lots straddling Northkill Road at its terminus.

Connect: From gate: follow service road northeast for 1.1 mi to right at T-intersection onto another service road, unsigned but obvious; continue east on second service road for 0.9 mi to AT {40.54741, -76.10108}; not signed. For AT northbound, turn right—going south. For AT southbound, turn left—going north.

Note: Parking may also be possible near the crossing during hunting season; see note for Mp 2.5/11.9, above.

Mp 6.4/8.0: via SGL road from Northkill Road

Locate: {40.53770, -76.12354}

Orient: The parking area for Mp 5.2/9.2, above, also provides access to Mp 6.4/8.0 and Mp 6.7/7.7. Two old forest roads diverge from a common point on the SGL extension of Northkill Road to meet the AT at these mileposts. The old road meeting Mp 6.4/8.0 is somewhat overgrown, and its intersection with the AT is somewhat obscure (especially from the AT).

Connect: See Mp 6.7/7.7, below: At second gate, turn right onto old forest road; continue east on increasingly overgrown trace for 0.2 mi to AT {40.55680, -76.11065}. The AT is not signed here, but blazes are visible in both directions. For AT northbound, turn right—going south. For AT southbound, turn left—going north.

Note: The KTA map labels this connector to Mp 6.4/8.0 as Conner Spur Trail. The ATC guide does not mention this connector.

Mp 6.7/7.7: via SGL road from Northkill Road

Locate: {40.53770, -76.12354}

Orient: The parking area for Mp 5.2/9.2, above, also provides access to Mp 6.7/7.7.

Connect: From gate: follow service road northeast for 1.4 mi to second gate, where the road turns west at a right angle; continue north on old forest road beyond gate for 0.1 mi to AT {40.55877, -76.11516}, signed to left. For AT northbound, turn right onto old forest road. For AT southbound, turn left onto footpath.

Note: The KTA map labels this connector to Mp 6.7/7.7 as Old Stage Coach Road Trail. The ATC guide does not name this connector.

Mp 9.3/5.1: via Sand Spring Trail

Locate: {40.53770, -76.12354}

Orient: Sand Spring Trail also connects the AT and the SGL lot on Northkill Road; see Mp 5.2/9.2, above.

Connect: Find trailhead on left (west) side of service road 100 yd beyond gate; signed. Follow blue-blazed Sand Spring Trail for 2.0 mi to AT {40.54192, -76.14966}. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 13.9/0.5: via SGL road from PA-183

Locate: {40.52535, -76.21721}

Orient: The AT crosses an SGL road that leads 0.3 mi southwest to an SGL (#110) parking lot on PA-183; see second option for Mp 14.4/0.0, below.

Connect: From gate, follow service road uphill for 0.3 mi to AT {40.52734, -76.21444}; signed. For AT northbound, turn right. For AT southbound, turn left.

Mp 14.4/0.0: PA-183

Locate: {40.52697, -76.22354}

Orient: The AT crosses PA-183 in Strausstown 3.1 mi northwest of I-78/US-22 at exit 19. At the crest of PA-183, shortly after the two-lane roadway expands to four lanes, look for pull-off on west side of road. There is a gate at the pull-off and an AT sign on the east side of the road.

Park: Room for 8–10 cars along tight shoulder on west side of road and straddling gate. See next for additional, easier parking.

Mp 14.4/0.0: via PA-183

Locate: {40.52535, -76.21721}

Orient: The SGL (#110) lot on PA-183 provides easy and spacious parking 0.3 mi south of the road crossing; see Mp 14.4/0.0 above. From I-78/US-22 at exit 19: follow PA-183 N for 2.8 mi to right onto gravel driveway; continue briefly on driveway to right at gate into lot. The lot itself is not visible from the road; look for driveway and brown SGL sign just beyond guardrail.

Park: Room for a boatload of cars in huge SGL lot.

Connect: From lot turn left onto driveway and proceed back to right onto PA-183; walk along berm for 0.3 mi to AT crossing. For AT northbound, turn right onto footpath (but see Mp 13.9/0.5, above). For AT southbound, turn left onto footpath.