3.9 Miles / 6.3 km
Time to Hike:
1 hour, ~57 minutes
Surface Type:
Reed, Pennsylvania
40.395912, -77.008379
April 07, 2024
April 23, 2024
914 '

Total Change
1,029 '

1,029 '


Peters Mountain via Appalachian Trail in Reed, Pennsylvania is a moderate 3.9-mile loop hike that features views of the Susquehanna River valley.

This hike follows two named trails: Appalachian Trail (white blazes), Susquehanna Trail (blue blazes).

This loop hike begins at the Clarks Ferry Park & Ride at the junction of US-22 and PA-147 in Reed, PA. Hikers will walk eastbound on PA-147 to find an "Appalachian Trail" sign located on the south side of the road. Here, you'll cross the train tracks to reach the trailhead. Be careful at the road and train track crossings.

Spur to Loop - Mile 0 to 0.4
From the trailhead, hikers will begin their trek along the Appalachian Trail as it ascends from the northern base of Peters Mountain. The sloping grade of the mountain here is extremely steep, so it's smart to stay on-trail for this portion of the hike. The trail will hit a couple of switchbacks before continuing to skirt along the steep northern slopes of Peters Mountain, passing some small rock ledges along the way.

Susquehanna River View - Mile 0.4
At mile 0.4, hikers will first hit the junction with the blue-blazed Susquehanna Trail that leads up to Peters Mountain. This loop brings hikers the opposite way, by following the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail, first hitting a nice view of the Susquehanna River where the Juniata River meets. During colder months, this view is a bit better than when the leaves are on the trees.

After the first vista, the AT follows a mostly-flat route as it heads toward the switchbacks that lead up to the top of the mountain. During seasons with no leaves on the trees, hikers can spot Hawk Rock Mountain located across the river gap (which is another fun AT section hike).

Switchbacks to Rocky Outcropping Vista - Mile 0.95 to 1.4
Hikers will reach switchbacks that ascend the western slopes of Peters Mountain around mile 0.95. Here, the trail becomes more difficult, but the grade of the trail should not be considered much harder than "moderate" difficulty. Finally, hikers will reach the top of Peters Mountain along its western slopes, around mile 1.4. Here, you'll find a large rock outcropping that provides views of the Susquehanna River and obstructed views of Hawk Rock Mountain - the view here is better when there are no leaves on the trees.

Peters Mountain Ridge & Vistas - Mile 1.4 to 2.1
Once you reach the top ridge of Peters Mountain, hikers will trek along its rock-jutted terrain to reach several vista points. The most noteworthy view is located around mile 1.7 where you'll find sweeping south-facing views of the Susquehanna River valley located south of Duncannon, PA heading toward Harrisburg, PA. This view is probably what most hikers are after and the space is large enough on the sloping bedrock to sit and enjoy it for as long as you wish. Heading onward, the terrain includes some ascends and descents along the mountain's ridge but none are very steep or long. You'll also find more views from the ridge, like around 1.8 with a view of the Duncannon, PA area. Just beyond that view at mile 1.8 is a neat jutting rock that hikers can stand on for a neat photo-op. Then finally the last set of views is around mile 2.1 where you'll find views of the Susquehanna and Juniata River's confluence.

Scramble - Mile 2.15
Just beyond the last set of views is a ~10-foot tall rock ledge scramble that hiker should be aware of. It's not difficult or technical, but may be more difficult if you have a small dog that needs help in either direction.

Susquehanna Trail Junction - Mile 2.45
Around mile 2.45, hikers will find the blue-blazed Susquehanna Trail that runs back down Peters Mountain to reach the AT, completing the loop. Hike northward at this junction to follow the Susquehanna Trail down the mountain. Most of the trail follows a gradual but moderate grade. There's an old service road that cuts through the trail -- stay straight to connect back to the AT.

AT to Parking - Mile 3.5 to 3.95
Hikers will hit the AT around mile 3.5 to take this spur back to the parking lot, completing the loop for ~3.95 miles.

Hikers will find a large commuter parking lot located at the junction of US-22 and PA-147 at the coordinates provided in Reed, PA. The lot is large enough to fit a dozen vehicles or so with additional parking located nearby.

Steep terrain: This hike follows steep terrain. It's best to stay on-trail during these sections.

Timber Rattlesnake: Pennsylvania is home to the Timber Rattlesnake and while this area of the state may have less rattlers than the northern section, there's a chance they could be roaming the forest between the end of April and early October each year. Rattlers love open, rocky spaces to sunbathe so be on the lookout. Give any rattlers you find plenty of space.

Explore 2 trails near Reed, PA
  1. Parking

    40.395912, -77.008379
  2. Main Trailhead

    40.395793, -77.007624
  3. View of the Susquehanna and Juniata River confluence

    40.392586, -77.013322
    View of the Susquehanna and Juniata River confluence
  4. View of the Susquehanna River

    40.385397, -77.0149
    View of the Susquehanna River
  5. View of the Susquehanna River

    40.385658, -77.014625
    View of the Susquehanna River
  6. View of Duncannon, PA from Peters Mountain

    40.385914, -77.014594
    View of Duncannon, PA from Peters Mountain
  7. Susquehanna River valley vista

    40.387189, -77.011056
    Susquehanna River valley vista
  8. Susquehanna River valley vista

    40.387181, -77.011056
    Susquehanna River valley vista
  9. Susquehanna River valley vista

    40.387339, -77.010597
    Susquehanna River valley vista
  10. View of Duncannon, PA from Peters Mountain

    40.387878, -77.009567
    View of Duncannon, PA from Peters Mountain
  11. Jutting rock

    40.387961, -77.009422
    Jutting rock
  12. View of Duncan and Haldeman Islands

    40.389894, -77.004411
    View of Duncan and Haldeman Islands
  13. Northward view

    40.389922, -77.004342
    Northward view
  14. View of Duncannon, PA

    40.389922, -77.004342
    View of Duncannon, PA
  15. Scramble

    40.390092, -77.003936
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


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3.9 miles / 6.3 km
Trail added
April 07, 2024
Hiked on
April 07, 2024
Updated on
April 23, 2024

Weather Forecast

In Reed, PA

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