From a distance, Cove Mountain looks like it floats on the Susquehanna River, while up close it is an unspoiled forest wilderness with vast views of the river landscape from above. This out and back trail is located near Duncannon with steep climbs and views of the Susquehanna from overlooks, including Hawk Rock.
From the main parking area, take the trail going uphill next to the road. While this connector trail is steep, it is easy to follow and relatively smooth. After about 10 minutes, you will see the Appalachian Trail (AT) coming in from your left; turn right onto the AT. Once on the AT, you will follow the white blazes located on the trees up to Hawk Rock Trail.
After a few minutes on the AT, the trail becomes very rocky. Take care to watch your step; remember to look for the white blazes, as they will be helpful in keeping you on the trail in this area. Once you pass the rocks, you will have another 5-10 minutes of hiking before you reach Hawk Rock Overlook, about a 30-minute hike all together.
After you have enjoyed the views at Hawk Rock Overlook, continue to Cove Mountain Overlook for a better view.
Wildlife is abundant on the mountain. You might see woodrat, porcupine, and white-tailed deer, as well as migrating songbirds and butterflies, including the Baltimore oriole, various hawks and eagles, and the Eastern tiger butterfly.
The trails of Cove Mountain exist on a 353-acre preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy.
Map courtesy of All Trails.
Parking and Trail Access
From Highway 15, take the exit for 274 West to Duncannon. Turn left on South Main Street; South Main Street becomes Inn Road. After crossing Sherman Creek, take your first right onto Little Boston Road. Little Boston Road intersects Watershed Drive. Follow Watershed Drive to a gravel parking lot behind some residential homes. The trail is accessible from the gravel lot.
Parking for trailheads is also available at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 450 Sylvan St., in Marysville, PA. Park in the upper lot where the information kiosk is visible. A short hike on the Red Trail, which begins beside the kiosk, will take you to its junction with the Yellow Trail.