Long weekend from Philadelphia
We're looking to plan a 3 day road trip from Philadelphia for a long weekend this summer. We'd rather head north (upstate New York, New England) or south (WV, Va, etc) than into Western Pennsylvania or Ohio, with a slight preference for heading south, as it's an area we know less about. Any suggestions for a good 3 day loop that avoids I-95 as much as possible? We're open to a combination of camping, motels, or b&b type lodging and would love to mix a little hiking with some small towns.
OK - if you want small towns, hiking, camping, B&B's, etc, consider following the Appalachian Trail. You don't have to hike all of it, but you can make a very nice trip of paralleling it by car and stopping every so often to hike portions of it. If you decide to head 'south', first head out through Amish country to Gettysburg. The Trail is just to the west of there and you can follow any number of back roads between US-11 and US-15 to kind of stay on track. Besides Gettysburg, some highlights of going this way would be Camp David (I don't think they give tours, but just driving through the area, Catoctin State Park west of Thurmont, MD, is relaxing), Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Luray Caverns, and Appomattox. Especially in Virginia, there are anumber of very quaint and hospitable B&Bs. Consider also then crossing over southern VA to Norfolk and coming back up the Delmarva Peninsula to see Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, the NASA facility at Wallops Island, and two very nice small towns on Maryland's eastern shore, Cambridge and Easton.
On the other hand, if you opt for the northern choice, head up to just north of A-B where the Trail basically parallels US-209. The highlight here is the Delaware Water Gap, chock full of great hiking and camping as well as B&Bs that (if memory serves) specialize in catering to honeymooners. Farther along you'd come to the Catskills in southern NY and can continue on into the Berkshires of western Massachusets where you're getting into small town New England. Again consider an alternate route back through western Connecticut, with a big swing around NYC to the north and west, coming back into Philly from more directly north than the Jersey Turnpike.
I think either of these would suit your desires and let you wander at your own pace. Even at the farthest you'd get from Philly on either route you could (shudder) hop back on I-95 and get home in a few hours.
If you like hiking waterfalls, check out Ricketts Glen State Park near Red Rock, PA. The Falls Trail goes by 21 waterfalls, and if you are not into doing the entire 7.2 miles, you can start at the top, have someone drive your car to the bottom, hike one side of the loop and never have to go uphill! Some photos at Waterfall Photos. They also have a campground in the park.
Another state park with some beautiful waterfalls & hiking trails and a campground is Letchworth State Park near Morris, NY.
From Ricketts Glen take PA 487 to US 220. When you reach US 6, you have a choice, fast - keep going on US 220 to NY 17 to Interstates 86 & 390. Scenic (if you have the time) go west on US 6 to PA 449 to NY 19 & 19A to Portageville at the south end of Letchworth.
If you still have the time, take the Seaway Trail as far as you have time, may be returning to PA on Interstate 81.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-16-2005 at 11:54 PM.
Reason: Remove broken link