An email has gone out to a lot of people saying that parking on FS552 is full up, and that folks should go park on the back road, near Back Gate/Supply.
I just spoke with someone on site (June 29, 1pm) who says that they do not know if FS552 parking is full, but that parking along 119 still has quite a lot of parking. This means you can still come in the front way, but that you will have to walk a bit further (or catch a ride) to get to the trail head. 119 is the long Forest Service Road in toward the Gathering, and 552 juts off of 119 like a little cul-de-sac and the trail head is there. So, if you choose to park on 119, you will need to park and then walk down 119, and turn onto 552 to get to the trail head.
The other option is the Back Gate/Main Supply road which is FS209. People have been asked in the past not to use this road unless they were with a kitchen, but it is now open to all, now that parking at the front gate is tight. This is a narrow road and turn-around is tight, so it was the opinion of my informant that if you have a bus or a trailer, you would prefer to park on 119 and walk to the front gate.
Driving from one gate to the other is estimated to be about 40 miles.
A-Camp is located at Front Gate also, and those wanting to avoid that are advised to park on FS209. There is a sort of Bus Village at Front Gate, but my informant was guessing it was mostly full.
Back Gate has some meadow parking but it is hilly and those sleeping in their vehicles would not find level ground. Best parking is along the side of the road.
Be advised that both roads have soft loamy shoulders, and all drivers are advised to get out of their vehicles and check the hardness of the shoulder before parking. Folks are finding that their wheels are sinking a couple hours after parking in some places and need a tow out of their spot.
Directions to Both Gates Here:
Front Gate (FS119 and 552):
(Borrowed from Welcomehere.org)
From the North via Warren, PA: I86 East to US62 South, follow to Warren PA. Continue on Market St 0.3 miles, Turn right at Pennsylvania Ave (US6, Business Route, West), travel 0.2 miles Turn left at Hickory St Bridge, proceed 0.1 mile, slight left at Crescent Rd, 0.4 mi, Continue very briefly (150feet) on Mohawk ave, continue onto Pleasant Drive(SR3005). Follow signs toward "Hearts Content Recreation Area" Follow Pleasant Drive for 11.1 miles. Make a left on SR2002. Keep following signs for "Hearts Content". Drive 5.8 miles, passing "Hearts Content". Make a right onto FS 116, make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home! This is the recommended way in from the north, obviously there are alternates. Here's the google map version
From the East, via Sheffield PA: Go to Sheffield PA, One tenth of a mile from the end of Route 666 (where it meets Route 6) there is a Uni-mart gas station.Turn onto this road and cross over the bridge. Continue onto High St (State Road, SR2002)and follow for 11.2 Miles. Make a left onto FS116. Make an immediate right onto FS119, follow for exactly 5.8 miles to FS552. Follow FS552 to designated parking areas. Welcome Home!
Back Gate (FS209)
From the town of EAST HICKORY, take HIGHWAY 62 to Route 666 East.
Turn LEFT of Yellowhammer Road, also called State Route 4006
That will become BRECHT RD. also called T330
That will soon become Forest Service Road 209
Stay on FS209 to HOME.
From Sheffield, PA Take 666West
Turn right on Yellowhammer Road and continue as above to HOME.