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  1. #1
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    Default SOBO Bear Mountain to Port Clinton

    I am planning to section hike from Bear Mountain (arriving by Short Line Bus from Port Authority) to Port Clinton, PA, averaging 15 MPD. Does anyone have a sample itinerary for that section? I have the guidebooks and guthooks app, but I figured I would ask before reinventing the wheel. I realize it will be hot and water will be scarce (I will be doing this in late summer, work schedule permitting), so I know I may need to build in some shorter days.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    For the first part of your trip through Harriman State Park, you can hop pretty effectively from shelter to shelter with just under a 15 MPD average. That's not a bad idea in that stretch, since there are some pretty good climbs going SOBO (Bear Mt. itself on the first day, the Agony Grind just south of NY17 on the second day.) It's 14.4 miles from Bear Mt. Inn to Fingerboard shelter, which is one of the wonderful old stone shelters in Harriman (and also has a lot of good camping around it.) The one thing it doesn't have is reliable water, especially late in the summer, but that's pretty much par for the course throughout NY and NJ. You can water up just before you climb Fingerboard Mt. at Tiorati Beach, which is a .4 mile roadwalk off the trail, but well worth it to get to the water taps and restrooms at the park facilities there. From Fingerboard it is 14.5 miles to Wildcat shelter, which is in a protected hollow and has one of the more reliable water sources in this whole section. From there, things get a bit trickier as you head into NJ. The next shelter is Wawayanda, but that's only 12.2 miles south. To go on to Pochuck Mt. shelter is 23.7 from Wildcat. This stretch of north NJ is still a tough one is you're not doing thru-hiker mileage, since there are almost no places besides the shelters and they're an odd distance apart. You face the same problem going from Wawayanda to High Point shelter and bypassing Pochuck Mt., though at least most of that hike (23.9 miles) is pretty flat. From there it's much easier and you can generally shelter hop south more or less on your 15 MPD plan. Good luck and good hiking.
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  3. #3
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    You might want to start out with a lower MPD average. SOBO from Bear Mtn Park is a steep climb; very rocky and has obstacles like the Lemon Squeezer that will slow you down. After the first 30 miles it evens out a quite a bit and the 15 MPD is much more practical. Or maybe its just us senior hikers that need to ease into section hikes??

  4. #4

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    Yep, going SOBO from Bear Mt is a bear. Water will be scarce and to make the trail interesting, they made it go up and over everything they could find to put in the way. But once past Agony Grind, it does get easier. Take advantage of all the ponds along the way. Great wading on a hot day.

    Your pace is pretty much determined by shelter spacing and for the most part, that will be shelter to shelter, or the occasional designated tent site. You might be able to manage every other shelter after a while, depending on spacing. Since there are limited places where shelters or camping is allowed, these can be pretty far apart. You have more flexible camping options in PA, but just off the trail tent sites rarely have water and are always rough ground.

    So, just show up with 3-4 days worth of food and the ability to carry a bunch of water and go from there.
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  5. #5
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    AWOL's website used to have a hiking guide,I assume it still does. Listed resupply,etc by number of miles per day.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all, this is helpful information. Much appreciated.

  7. #7

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    You will be climbing up the Agony Grind, a mile long of boulder scramble (some people love it). Water is an issue, especially in Harriman State Park but trail angels leave water caches in road crossings. Beside, there's so many road crossings that it is easy enough to get off trail if you really need to do so. You can purchase Excellent, high quality maps of the entire section from Bear Mountain State Park to DWG, PA from the NY-NJ Trail Conference website (NY and NJ sections). The bus from Port Authority to West Point the passes by Bear Mountain Inn was suspended during covid, just verify that they reopened that line. Be aware that the section from I-87 NY to Wawayanda State Park, NJ is VERY rocky and not for the faint of heart. Finally, there's a hostel in Port Jervis, NY, Mosey's Place hostel, a former thru hiker. she can help you with shuttling and what have you. Good luck

  8. #8
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Here is my itenerary from when I did most of that section (Port Clinton to I-87/Harriman SP) NOBO last fall. I averaged 13 MPD and mostly avoided shelters due to COVID. Just warning you - I found the southern NY part to be the toughest. Lots of steep climbs and rock scrambing. Probably best as others have said to start at 10-12 MPD and build up to 15 after leaving NY. Most of NJ and PA were rocky but also mostly flat with a few exceptions, most notably Lehigh Gap.

    Day 1 - Port Clinton to Pocahontas Spring (3 mi, drove from NC, arrived in PC late afternoon)
    Day 2 - Pocahontas Spring to campsite 0.5 mi N of Eckville Shelter (12.5 mi)
    Day 3 - Campsite 0.5 mi N of Eckville Shelter to New Tripoli campsite (13 mi)
    Day 4 - New Tripoli campsite to campsite 0.3 mi N of Outerbridge Shelter (11 mi, very rocky)
    Day 5 - Campsite 0.3 mi N of Outerbridge Shelter to Smith Gap Rd (13 mi, camped at Stempa home)
    Day 6 - Smith Gap Rd to campsite 0.2 mi S of Wolf Rocks (15 mi)
    Day 7 - Campsite 0.2 mi S of Wolf Rocks to Delaware Water Gap (9 mi, motel and resupply)
    Day 8 - Delaware Water Gap to campsite 0.4 mi S of Millbrook Rd (13.5 mi)
    Day 9 - Campsite 0.4 mi S of Millbrook Rd to Gren Anderson Shelter (18 mi)
    Day 10 - Gren Anderson Shelter to High Point Shelter (13 mi, very rocky)
    Day 11 - High Point Shelter to Pochuck Mtn Shelter (12.5 mi, easy)
    Day 12 - Pochuck Mtn Shelter to campsite 1 mi S of NJ/NY state line (14.5 mi)
    Day 13 - Campsite 1 mi S of NJ/NY state line to campsite 0.2 mi N of Lakes Rd (11 mi, lots of rock scrambling)
    Day 14 - Campsite 0.2 mi N of Lakes Rd to I-87/Elk Pen parking area (8.5 mi, lots of steep trail and rock scrambing)
    It's all good in the woods.

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