Hike to Sunset Rocks in Michaux State Forest

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One of the best hikes in the Mid Atlantic.

Sunset Rocks is a scenic two-mile spur off the Appalachian Trail in southern Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest. If you hike it as a loop--incorporating 6 miles of the AT into the circuit--you can visit some of the AT's most notable landmarks in this area, including the remains of Michaux Camp (a former CCC turned WWII POW camp), the halfway point of the 2,200-mile journey, and the Appalachian Trail Museum, located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

The Pine Grove Furnace parking lot is where you will begin and end this 8.3 mile hike. Starting out on the AT, the trail will climb South Mountain and lead you into dense forest alongside the lovely Tom's Run creek. At about 1.5 miles in, you'll pass the first trailhead for Sunset Rocks (which you can opt for if you have limited time)--skip it. The next few landmarks are: Camp Michaux, the AT's halfway point, and Tom's Run Shelter. At about 3.8 miles in, you'll arrive at the other Sunset Rocks trailhead--take it. 

The boulder fields up to Sunset Rocks make for a fun and sometime daring scramble. (Probably best to leave the pups and little ones at home for this one.) At the top, take some time to snack, stretch, and savor the view. Because you are on state forest land, you can also spend the night.  

Pack List

  • Trail Map (this is the best one out there)
  • Good, ankle-supporting boots
  • Camera
  • Water or water filter (plenty of stream crossings)
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RT Distance 8.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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