The hikers’ Appalachian Trail runs across southern New York and western New Jersey, but our road route avoids the Garden State almost entirely, crossing instead the natural chasm of the Delaware Water Gap, which has forests, waterfalls, and wildlife popular with city-dwellers escaping the New York-Philly megalopolis. In its 150-mi (242-km) length, this route across Pennsylvania passes through a succession of strikingly different places, starting with the densely populated industrial regions of the Lehigh Valley and the historic little town of Bethlehem, which plays up its Christmas connections more than its role as a formerly vital steelmaking center.
Farther south, modern industry gives way to the traditional agriculture of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, world famous for its anti-technology Old Order Christian communities. Continuing southwest across the Susquehanna River, you’ll follow the route of the old Lincoln Highway through historic York, early capital of the United States, now home to the Harley-Davidson motorcycle assembly plant. The last stop on the Pennsylvania leg of the route is the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg, just shy of the Maryland border.