For those of us who live in Central PA, the nearest respectable mountain range is at least 500 miles away. Our mountains provide for many enjoyable days in the outdoors and also assist in getting ready for the "real ranges". Fortunately PA's forest system has preserved much of the wildlife and beauty found in our mountains. It is barely a hill when compared to most mountains but it is one of the highest in the Harrisburg area that offers good views up and down the Susquehanna River.
On clear days views extend south to Harrisburg and North to Juniata County. The most common route to the top is on the Appalachian Trail . Many people pass around the summit on the Appalachain Trail, but to reach the actual summit there are some rock ledges that extend verticle about a hundred feet.
Most of the hike is pretty gradual and when you reach the ridge-top of the mountain, it is mostly a narrow rock ridge to the base of the summit block which is composed of sandstone that can be slippy when it rains, so be careful of this. The rest of the hike is an easy scramlble a hundred feet or so to the top. The views are about the best you'll find anywhere in central PA with some great views of the river.
To get to the base of the mountain from the north take either Route 147 south through Halifax or Route 322E across the Clark's Ferry Bridge. From the south take 322W to the foot of the mountain at the Clark's Ferry Bridge. There is a sign at the base of the mountain at a stone wall across some railroad tracks that has trail information.
Most of the summit lies within state gamelands and there are no fees or closures during anytime. There are camp areas on the way to the summit. There is a parking lot at the Clark's Ferry Bridge right across from the trailhead and there are no fees for parking. I and fellow outdoor enthusiasts can only ask that we take in more than we take out to preserve the hills for the future. Also, if we all follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” program that many other areas use, the woods will be a better place for all to enjoy for many generations to come.
When To Climb
This mountain is climbable all year round in any weather due to the low elevation but in the winter time depending on snow you may need crampoons to climb the summit block.
Camping is permitted in the camp areas that are en route to the summit and there are no fees. The Peters Mountain Shelter is also right off of the trail.
Current and up to date weather conditions may be found by clicking the link below!
Distances and Mileage from Peter's Mountain on the Appalachain Trail
Mileage from Clarks Ferry Shelter on Appalachain Trail
New Appalachain Trail Bridge across highway over Peter's Mountain
Pennsylvania Appalachain Trail Club website with Trail Conditions
Appalachain Trail in Pennsylvania