Best Base Camps
Rausch Gap (Pennsylvania)
Wilderness isn't what springs to mind when you think East Coast. But rest assured, tranquility's out there waiting to be discovered. And while Pennsylvania may be one of the nation's most densely populated states, it also has an extraordinary network of mid- and long-distance trails, as well as some lovely pockets of that elusive wildness.
Rausch Gap in the St. Anthony's Wilderness offers a variety of camping options. After a 4.6-mile hike from the trailhead near Swatara Gap, you can set up home in the shelter there, or pick a streamside campsite along the creeks. A network of clearly signed trails lets you explore the area, which comprises thick forests of both hardwoods and pines, as well as a number of historic sites. These include an old miner's village (about three miles from Rausch Gap) and other remnants of the region's non-wilderness history as a mining area. The trails sometimes follow old railroad beds, making for generally easy walking.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication