Mahantango Mountain is located in Central Pennsylvania about thirty miles north of Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River. It is not as high as the surrounding ridges but it does stand as one of the steepest mountains in the area. The mountain is actually a ridge that extends from the Susquehanna River all the way northeast to Hegins, Pennsylvania which is about 25-30 miles in length. The highest point is at 1,810 feet but most of the ridge is just over 1,100 feet. This mountain is known for its' many gaps in its' stretch to Hegins. Deibler's Gap (which has an auto-road), Pillow Gap, and Klingerstown Gap are the most well travelled.
The steepest part of the mountain is near Millersburg at the head above the river. It's location makes it parallel to Berry Mountain to the south of town as they create a geographic border along with the river. The mountain provides many scenic vistas throughout its' entire length of the valley and they include some wonderful views of the river. The mountains latest claim to fame was the wildfire it battled two years ago in the fall. Much of the upper slopes of the mountain were burned and it was the largest wildfire on record for Daupin County. The only good consequence of this is that the views have become even more vast. The most difficult route on this mountain is up the western ridge which is class 3 because of steepness, rock, and also that there are no maintained trail. Other easier hikes ascend the powerline on Deibler's Gap which provides wonderful views to the north and south of the surrounding valleys.
There are many ways in which to access this mountain but the most common would be via route 25. From I-81 near Harrisburg get off onto the Lewistown/22-322west exit and head north until you reach the exit for Halifax which is approximately 10 miles. From here follow route 147 all the way to Millersburg. At the square in Millersburg turn right onto Route 209 and drive until you reach the intersection with Route 25. From here follow directions to your point of access. For Western Ridge:
>Instead of turning right in the square continue north on Route 147 for about 5 miles. You'll be able to see the mountain and once you reach it find a suitable spot to park and pick your route to the top.
Other Area Hiking
With a location just to the north of Millersburg, PA, this region has many other options for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. One of the more popular places is along the Susquehanna River at "The Swamp" below Mahantango Mountain (to the south). Berry Mountain is also on the opposite side of the valley and there are numerous possibilities for hiking there including the Ned Smith Center for Nature and the Arts. All of these locations provide wonderful opportunity for exploring the outdoors.
There are no permits required on the talked about routes. Some parts of the mountain though, are on privately owned property, so check this out before you take a trip. For conservation......follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” system and you won't have to worry about conservation problems.
When To Climb
This mountain is climbable all times of year, but in winter conditions all snow and ice gear may be needed for certain routes. The best time of year to hike this mountain would be in the fall because of the turning leaves and the views combined.
There is no camping on the mountain accept in select areas east towards Hegins. Plan on a day hike when contemplating this mountain.
For weather go to weather.com and type in Millersburg, PA for the region.