Parking at Trail head

8:33 a.m. on June 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi all,

I'm planning a section hike of the AT, going north from Wind Gap, PA.  How safe is it to leave a car there for two or three nights?  I've heard that leaving a car at the Deleware Water Gap is not a good idea. 


A more general question: where is it safe / unsafe to leave a car along AT trail heads in PA and NJ?

10:10 a.m. on June 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't hike anywhere East of Butte, MT but I do have some ideas about parking at trailheads.

I drive a 2002 Ford Focus (POS) and I used to drive a Geo Metro (compact POS) when I park at a trailhead.  I never leave anything interesting looking inside and I think the garbage inside on the floor and PWT look in general tells a potential thieves that there is nothing inside worth taking.  A hatchback also shows the cargo area so no one wonders whats in the trunk. 

I have not yet been vandalized or had my car prowled even when I park close to Seattle.  Tweakers know backroads too so where you park really doesn't mean too much. 

10:36 a.m. on June 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Wish I could help, but I don't have any personal knowledge of those locations. My experience has been that some areas and trailheads are safe, others are not. This usuallyseems due to what kind socio-ecemonic community or area a trailhead is located near, and how often the rangers patrol.

I've never had my car broken into at a TH, but one of my brothers had his window smashed and some stuff taken. One of my other brothers had his hub caps stolen off his truck. I know several people who leave their cars empty of valuables and the doors unlocked who have never had any kind of incident. Driving a an old beater certainly helps :)

10:56 a.m. on June 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I'v had friends leave their vehicles at DWG for 14 days while section hiking this past year. As long as it's close to the Recreation area near the ranger station you should have no problem.I also have family in the area as well.Here's a number for you to call Mohican outdoor Center 908-362-5670 give them a shout. operated by the AMC and should have parking..They also have bunks etc. try Palmerton Pa john  Stempa it's his home and he has safe parking (610-381-4606) Also gateway motel try them (610) 863-4959 they also have a shuttle to town.giid luck and have a great section hike.

8:50 p.m. on June 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I have done may hikes in Oregon. The rangers tell me how often they patrol an area. I drive a 89 ply horrizon. Crap car, leave it unlocked, or windows down. Nobody has ever touched it. But I do fear flat tires. Crap cars never get bothered. Buy a $300 dollar car and have no worries.

April 23, 2018
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