Hiking to the (almost) Top of Berks County


Summer time…you know what that means. Prepare to see social media feeds filled with seasonal adventures.  Or, continue reading and have one yourself.

If you live anywhere in Berks County, Pennsylvania, you know that as soon as the weather brightens up, your Instagram feed will fill with images of The Pinnacle. Suddenly, everyone is a hiker as they summit the comparatively short section of the Appalachian Trail to reach a beautiful lookout over fields and farms and to document their feat with on Instagram.


(P.S. The Pinnacle is not technically the highest point in Berks County, but it’s the highest point with a view. You can see the true peak here, but it’s not much to look at, since it’s actually in the middle of the woods)

I’m no exception to the trend, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t taken the hike to give it a shot. It’s a beautiful trail that provides a (in my opinion) perfect length hike and a great workout. I went last summer with two friends, and it took us about 2 hours, but we somehow passed the actual lookout and had to backtrack. I really don’t know how that happened, but we weren’t the only ones to do it. A backpacker stopped to ask us for directions and realized he’d made the same mistake.


Anyway, if that’s too long a hike for you, there’s another lookout about halfway up called Pulpit Rock, which you can use as a turnaround point instead. The picture below (top right) shows the lookout. I’ve done that a few times in the winter when I want to hike after school but I have to be careful about making it back before dusk. 


Tip (These pretty much apply to any hiking excursion):


  • Go in the morning: Especially if it’s a summer, start early. It will be much cooler  and you run less risk of getting caught on the trail in the dark if you end up lost. I know some people cut it really close to dusk and maybe it’s just me, but that sounds pretty scary. I’m not really a lost-in-the-woods-in-the-dark sort of person, I guess. How lame.
  • Bring water and snacks: Hiking is tiring.
  • Dress in layers: Mornings can be chilly, even in the summer. You’ll want to be able to take off layers as the day heats up and the hike progresses.  \
  • Charge your phone: Just in case.
  • Don’t go alone: At least not the first time you do it. It’s just a bad idea.
  • Tell someone where you’re going: If you end up lost and without cell service, you’ll want someone to know where to start looking.



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