My first hike of '05 was an ADK / Finger Lakes Chapter hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah in Pennsylvania on 10-Apr-2005. This hike was led by Rich Lupinsky, who is extremely knowledgeable about the mountain and, indeed, the entire area - and who was a very informative guide.
In all, we hiked 7.82 miles. We began at elevation 1100', and measured the top at 2284', but with the endless ups-and-downs I estimate we probably climbed approx. 1600' total. This was a GREAT, unobsessed way to start the year!
Most of the trail we travelled is used as a snowmobile trail in winter, so is quite wide and very well defined. In spite of the recent rains, the trailed had dried out pretty well and was only slightly damp in places (as opposed to truly muddy as I had feared).
We began at the first parking lot by Stephen Foster Lake. Our party of eight walked up the road just a few hundred feet North, and took the Mill Stream trail along the pond. We followed the Avery Crossover to connect to the Ridge Trail, which we followed beyond the state park boundary and on to the summit road in the County park. Walking along the ridge, on the first truly glorious spring weekend, we were treated to views both North and South unencumbered by leaves (and bugs).
The summit itself offers great sweeping views to the West. We also enjoyed watching the flight of many Turkey Vultures and a few Ravens riding the air currents in the sun.
We followed a "secret" unmarked trail off the summit into a shaded gully and back up to rejoin the Ridge trail. In drier weather, Rich said this trail could be continued as the Hicks Hollow trail to take a longer route back to the Ridge trail. We followed the Ridge trail all the way to the Park road. It came out just south of the parking lot where we began.
Maps showing these (and other) trails are available at the main Park office. This is a great park with lots of activities and low usage.