Adventures in the Area

See below for DCOC favorites or check this out a complete guide to Perry and Cumberland Counties!

Click here for another great list of hikes around Carlisle on


Check out the Biking @ Dickinson blog for bike routes.


King’s Gap (30 minutes from campus): King’s Gap in Carlisle, PA offers 16 miles of hiking trails. Hikes can range from 30 minutes to all day. The Buck Ridge Trail goes to Pine Grove Furnace- this hike is 12 miles round trip and the longest trail offered in the park.

Old Rag, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: The Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular hikes in the mid-Atlantic region. With many of spectacular panoramic views, and one of the most challenging rock scrambles in the park, this circuit hike is a favorite of many hikers. There can often be crowds, so the best way to enjoy this trail to be at the trail head at 7am. 5.5 hour hike, 2,510 ft elevation gain.

Tumbling Run, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA (45 minutes from campus): This trail is a pull off of the main road through Pine Grove Furnace; it is about 10 minutes after you pass the lake. It is a two hour hike next to (or in if you so choose) a stream running down the mountain. There is one stream crossing at the beginning. There are a lot of trails which all lead to the rock outcropping at the top, so do not be alarmed if you think you keep changing trails. There are a few rock scrambles at the top which can be difficult when wet or icy. There is a beautiful view of the valley from the top as well as a little cave to climb in (try to find it!)

Pole Steeple, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA (40 minutes from campus) The trail head is located off of the main road through Pine Grove. Take the left at the sign for Pine Grove and follow it until you reach a gravel parking lot on your right. This is a meandering, gradual hike leads up to a spectacular look out of the valley. It takes about 40 minutes to hike to the top.

Whiskey Springs, in between Boiling Springs and Mount Holly Springs, PA (25 minutes from campus): This is a beautiful section of the Appalachian Trail. There is a pull off on the road for parking. You can hike north or south on the trail. North is on the left side of the road and south is on the right side of the road. The southern route is more scenic especially during the late fall when the leaves have fallen. It is a meandering up and down hike through boulder fields and forest. The hike can be as long or as short as you want.

Michaux State Park (45 minutes from campus): Lots of different trails.

Ricketts Glen State Park (2.5 hours from campus): Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Take the Falls Trail and explore the Glens which boast a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94 foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of the 22 named waterfalls. Car camping is available.

Delaware Water Gap (2.5 hours from campus): Awesome backpacking. Shelters along the way.


Conodoguinet Creek (5 minutes from campus): Drive to North Middleton Park where you can put in your boats. If you paddle upstream for an hour at a slow pace, you will reach a dam and a rope swing.

Susquehanna River (range of distances): This is the large river that flows down to the Chesapeake. There are outfitters along the river that will rent equipment. One outfitter we have used is Paddle Happy. There are islands in the middle of the river with camping.

Fuller and Laurel lake: These two lakes are next to each other in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. You can paddle on both.


Purgatory (45 minutes from campus): Bouldering for all levels. Approach is about 15 minutes.

Whiskey Springs (25 minutes from campus): Bouldering for all levels. The approach is about seven minutes on the Appalachian Trail heading south.

Shafer’s Rock (50 minutes from campus): This is the best top roping in the area. All level climbers will find something to work on. There are bolts at the top of some routes. There is some bouldering and hiking as well. The approach is 5-10 minutes.

Walnut Bottom Road: Bouldering

Cave along the Conodoguinet: There is some bouldering here and a fun cave to investigate.

Cooper’s Rock, West Virginia:

Climbnasium: This is the local rock gym. Fun top roping and bouldering at a decent price. Half price on Fridays.

XC Skiing

Laurel Heights:


King’s Gap: King’s Gap offers group car camping areas with platforms, picnic tables, and a fire ring. A site is $39/night for PA residents and $51/night for out of state residents.

Purgatory: Free camping near hiking trails and bouldering!

Pine Grove Furnace State Park group camp sites: In a grassy field with some trees. Bathroom facilities available. Group campsites are about $25.