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Backpacking the Hammersley Wild Area via Dutlinger Trailhead

Date and Time

Friday, June 12, 2020 3:00PM - Sunday, June 14, 2020 1:00PM


Cross Forks Trail Head (Cross Forks, PA),
Pennsylvania, Central,


Registration is required for this activity.

Please note:
In order to comply with Pennsylvania Youth Protection Laws, all children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. This policy applies for all events offered by the Delaware Valley Chapter as well as any other chapter events within the state of Pennsylvania.


This trip is a reworked version of a trip that was scheduled to this area this weekend. We modified the trip to make social distancing more easily accomplished and have a variety of things we will do to help make the program as safe as possible. The trip also had twice as many people as we had room for and this was before Covid-19. We now have more leaders helping and are running two trips in this wild area on the same weekend. The Hammersley Wild Area lies within the Susquehannock State Forest and is known for its beautiful forests and streams. Trekkers remark about solitude, quietude, and dark evening skies given it is the largest roadless area in Pennsylvania. There are 50+ miles of marked hiking trails including a 9-mile portion of the Susquehannock Trail System (STS). This is a 11.8 mile base camp backpack with 1.1 miles in on Friday with full packs and a 9.6 loop day hike on Saturday. Sunday is a return to our cars of 1.1 miles. The loop on Saturday takes us through a magnificent stand of old growth forest with many trees as noted in the photo shown. Day 1 we'll meet 3 pm Friday, park at the Cross Fork Trailhead, then drive to our starting point at the Dutlinger Trailhead. Camp is about 1.1 miles up the trail at the junction with the Beech Bottom Trail. Day 2 continues north and then west on Nelson Hollow Trail to the Bell Branch Trail and returning to camp on Trout Ridge Trail and Beech Bottom Trail. Day 3 break camp and return to Cross Fork for lunch and departure. Note that there is a wide stream crossing at the start. If the water is high we will relocate the start to the Trout Run Ridge Trailhead. Note all this on the Hammersley Wild Area Map below. Note also that when we were on part of this route last year the trails were very hard to follow due to no trail maintenance having been done for years and very few blazes on trees. Note that part of this route is a scouting trip for the leaders. We have not been on the Bell Branch Trail or the Trout Run Ridge Trail. While this trail is rated easy for difficulty due to low mileage please don't underestimate that the hike may be a little challenging. We welcome you to join us in this interesting new area.

AMC Trip Policy



Related Link(s):

Hammersley Trip Report - Mid Atlantic Hikes
Hammersley Trip Report - Endless Mountains Press
Susquehannock Trail System Guidebook & Map Set
AMC Waiver Form
Hammersley Wild Area Brochure

Click map for driving directions
Hugging a very large tree.



Offered By

N.Y. - North Jersey






Adults (18+)


I have been leading backpacking trips for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club since 1975. I enjoy taking the time to look at the scenery and have a relatively slow pace. I am patient with beginners and enjoy helping them learn new skills.


(Email this person.)


(Email this person.)

I joined AMC in 2014 and have been an active 3 season backpacker ever since. I enjoy getting outside, making new friends and learning new techniques. I've backpacked a number of weekends on the Appalachian Trail and the Finger Lakes Trail. I look forward to becoming a backpacking trip leader in 2020.