Teen Naturalist Pinnacle Hike 2012

By Joe Sebastiani, Seasonal Program Team Leader

The Teen Naturalist club of the Delaware Nature Society ventured to the Appalachian Trail on Monday.  We hiked the famous Pinnacle loop, which is an 8.7-mile hike to one of the most scenic overlooks along the trail in Pennsylvania.  You have to stop to look, however, because if you take your eyes off the rocky trail, you are going to trip for sure!  It is a 5-hour hike, but we did it in 4 hours, even with a 20-minute search for a lost wallet. 

This overlook is called Pulpit Rock and at 1,560 feet in elevation. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

The Teen Naturalists learn how to hike safely in a group, stay together, and know how to have a good time.  Some of the slopes on this hike are steep, and the terrain is jagged and boulder-strewn in spots.  After the first few miles of the hike, in which you climb about 800 feet in elevation, the trail levels off and is easy.  You pass Pulpit Rock, then gradually ascend to the Pinnacle, which has an outstanding view of farmland in the valleys, the Kittatinny Ridge to your left, and the Reading Prong hill formation to your right.  You can see Allentown about 30 miles away in the distance.

Dave Pro, an experienced outdoorsman and the Ashland Land Steward for the Delaware Nature Society, is my co-leader for the Teen Naturalists. Dave conquered The Pinnacle and always has a great time with the kids in the group. Photo by Joe Sebastiani


The route down the mountain is a gradual slope along a bubbling, Rhododendron-lined clear stream.  Eastern Hemlock, the Pennsylvania state tree, line the creek as well.  Hemlocks in our region are seriously afflicted by exotic woolly adelgid insects, which weaken and kill the trees over time.  We did not see adelgids here, but the trees did not look as lush as they should and probably have been attacked by the adelgids in the past. 
The Pinnacle is a spectular location for lunch and a quick book break. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Teen Natuarlist adventures are a great way to get high schoolers outdoors, have fun, and learn about our environment.  The Delaware Nature Society takes great pride in the programs we offer for teenagers.  Know a teen?  Contact us if you think they would like the Teen Naturalists, Summer Camp Counseloring, or our Young Waterfowlers program.

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