Pennsylvania Maple Leaf
Bake Oven Knob is a highpoint along the rocky ridge of Blue Mountain in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Trail follows the spine of Blue Mountain in this area and cleaves the Bake Oven Knob area, with a northern overlook in Carbon County and a southern overlook in Lehigh County. Fantastic views of nearby mountains and surrounding country side, plus easy accessibility, make Bake Oven Knob a popular hiking destination. This is especially true in Autumn, when glorious Fall color, a southward raptor migration
and hunting season conspire to turn this into one crowded overlook.
Sadly, the rocks have been marred by graffiti. Nonetheless, the bare rocky outcrops provide a delightful place to enjoy lunch and take in the views while basking in the sunshine. Plenty of hikers will describe the views from Bake Oven Knob as some of the best in southeastern Pennsylvania. Come here and find out for yourself!
Bake Oven Knob sits on the boundary of Carbon County to the north and Lehigh County to the south. The peak is roughly 12 miles north-northwest as the crow flies from Allentown, Pennsylvania. It sits roughly equadistant between PA 309 and I-475, each about 5-6 miles away.
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Autumn Sassafras LeafHere are driving directions to the shortest route to Bake Oven Knob, though there are at least three primary route options depending on how long of a day you desire.
Follow PA Route 309 north for 15 miles through the town of Schnecksville. Before Route 309 starts ascending Blue Mountain, turn right onto Mountain Road (SR 4024). Drive about 2 ½ miles on SR 4024, then turn left onto Ulrich Road (T808). Continue for 1/3 of a mile, staying left on Ulrich Road which changes to a gravel/road base surface. Continue 1 ½ miles on the gravel road to the parking area for the Pennsylvania Game Lands. Parking will be on right, at the crest of the ridge.
On the rock overlook Looking northeast from Bake Oven Knob
Bake Oven Knob sits within Pennsylvania State Game land. Visit the PA State Game Lands Website
to learn more about rules and regulations governing your usage of this recreational resource.
Be attentive in this area during hunting season (all-day October through December as well as sunrise to Noon in May) and mindful of other recreationalist’s right to use this land. Note that while hunting is not allowed immediately along the Appalachian Trail, it is permitted within the remainder of the state game area through which your route will innevitably pass.
Knife's Edge to the West Bear Rocks to the westBake Oven Shelter:
There is an AT shelter near Bake Oven Knob, though it rumored to not be the nicest place to lay one’s head at night. The shelter is said to be very small with low clearance for tall folks, though there are tents sites nearby. The elevation is approximately 1,380 ft. There is a nearby spring, though seasonal reliability can be an issue.
New Tripoli Campsite:
For backpackers, the New Tripoli Campsite east of Bake Oven Knob toward PA 309 would be an another option. The spring for water is said to be more reliable than the spring near Bake Oven Knob.
Weather & Seasons
Autumn is beautiful time to enjoy cool, crisp are and brilliant fall color. This is also the time of year that many bird-watchers gather to enjoy a seasonal, southbound raptor migration, hunters come out to stock the family freezer and other hikers come to enjoy autumn’s splendor. Expect to share this lovely area with many others this time of year, though the views should be well worth the company.
Spring would bring blossoms to the lovely flowing trees and shrubs in the area, but is also the rainy season. Remember: April showers bring May flowers.
Summer in this area, while green and lush, would be hot and sticky. High temperatures and high humidity might make this hike less enjoyable in the summer months, though city dwellers may appreciate cooler breezes blowing over the ridge.
Winter can bring gray dreariness or clear blue skies and bright sunshine – the luck of the draw. Be mindful of heavy snowfalls that may render approach roads treacherous or impassible.