View Full Version : Hiking/Camping In Pennsylvania??

01-31-2005, 04:24 PM
It's still a long way off, but I'll probably be in Pennsylvania for a couple of days in June and I was thinking of trying to get in some hiking. I'm going to a wedding in Pittsburg, so any advice on camping or hiking within an hour or two of the city would be great. I know the Allegheny National Forest is in the NW part of the state and that the AT goes through the state somewhere, but not much else. What about the Kittatinnies?


01-31-2005, 06:20 PM
The Kittatinny's are about 5-6 hours from Pitt. The AT runs along the Northeast part of the State down to the south central part. A little too far from Pitt. Try this site. There are many great backpacking oppertunities. Like Moshannon, Sproul Elk Susquehannock Tioga Forbes State forests. try this site for better info http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/

Jay H
01-31-2005, 06:48 PM
I went to college for 2 years in Pittsburgh, which by my accound it about 7.5 hours from where I live. You might also want to check out NW West Virginia, I know a lot of the MTB is down in WV.

Wasn't a hiker then so the only park I knew of there was Schenly Park because that was next to Carnegie Mellon U.

Used to have cool antique car races in the park and stuff though.


01-31-2005, 08:49 PM
Matt, try the Laurel Highlands trail. It stretches from Seward, PA (NW of Johnstown) and follows Laurel Ridge south 70 miles to Ohiopyle State Park on the Youghiogheny River. This state park also has outstanding whitewater rafting. Also, a bike trail which follows an old rail bed connects Pittsburgh to Baltimore and passes through here.

The Laurel Highlands trail has five distinct sections with road crossing trailheads - you can do sections or the whole thing. Theri are lean-tos along the way, however, overnight reservations are mandatory. Call 412-455-3744.
There is also information available on the internet.

A great way enjoy a beautiful section of Pennsylvania.

01-31-2005, 10:29 PM
I've spent some time in Allegheny National Forest in NW PA. Nothing too extreme, but nice rolling countryside and forests. You can get information and maps from this website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/allegheny.

Minister Creek is a good spot for backpacking. Tracy Ridge campsite is good for car camping with hiking trails leading down to the Kinzua Reservoir. Art Roscoe has good mountain biking. Many other cool spots.

02-01-2005, 01:21 AM
Cooper's Rock State Park is about an hour south of Pgh near Morgantown, WVa. The rock has a great overlook of the Cheat River Gorge. You could get in a nice day hike there or later in the year you can go rafting on the Cheat. Lots of nice trails east of the city in Laurel highlands which someone already mentioned. If ya want a good view of Pgh while there, ride the incline.

02-01-2005, 04:44 PM
Thanks for all the great advice-if there's any more out there, keep it comin!
E. Schlimmer, I knew there were some trails in PA, but, wow! Maybe I'll just walk to the wedding! :D
Of course, then I'd have to pack my suit and shoes, not mention leave, like, now...


Jay H
02-01-2005, 05:58 PM
Pennsy is a big state! For such a big state, they could of at least made the PA Turnpike a bit more interesting... I don't know if it was just me, but the whole turnpike seems to be straight as an arrow... Kind of monotanous until you hit the cool tunnels just before Pittsburgh.


02-01-2005, 08:47 PM
There are lots of great hikes in central PA - Rickets Glen State Park and Worlds End State Park. There is also a trail in Potter County, I think its called the Black Forest Trail. In Wellsboro Tioga County there is the Grand Canyon of PA. These hikes though may be a bit too far for you. There is a Keystone Trails Association (www.kta-hike.org),and the Alpine Club of Williamsport (www.angelfire.com/pa2/alpineclub). Oh yea, there is also the 60 mile long Loyalsock Hiking Trail and the 28 mile long Old Loggers Path. You can check with this website www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry for PA state parks and game lands where there are trails. I think you can downlaod free state game land maps at www.pgc.state.pa.us Happy hiking in PA! As you can tell from my avatar, I am originally a PA girl who relocated to the beach

04-23-2005, 08:22 AM
Okay, I'm starting to formulate a plan as June approaches. Thanks again for all the advice. That Laurel Highlands Trail does look nice, and it would work pretty well location-wise. Also, Terri's (TMax) High Point-bagging thread put Mt. Davis on my radar. The wedding is in Pittsburg on a Saturday @ 4 PM. So...

I take Thursday and Friday off, drive to and climb Mt. Davis on Thursday, then go car camp @ Kentuck Campground, which appears to be in or near Ohiopyle State Park. Then up early on Friday, walk on the Laurel Highlands Trail until I feel it's time to turn around. Then on Saturday I might have time for a real short walk before showering and driving to Pittsburg, which I believe is about 2 hours from the State Park.


04-23-2005, 06:41 PM
Mt Davis is a pretty flat area. Don't be disappointed if you don't climb much. But you just might hit the mountain laurel and rhodendrens in bloom and they are quite spectacular.

04-23-2005, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the input, Tuggy. I was actually hoping for Mt. Davis to be easy, since I may be doing it right after driving 6-7 hours. If the laurel is in bloom that would indeed be a nice bonus. I notice you're a PA resident. any opinions about the rest of my plan?


04-23-2005, 09:39 PM
I went to California State College (now University) in California. PA. The best hiking I did was in Monongahela National Forest about three hours south of Pittsburgh. I am sorry but I was not impressed with Laurel Highlands Trail. I found Harriman far more interesting.

Jay: As for the PA TPK. That road is much more interesting than the NY TWY or NJ TPK. Unfortunately they took out some of the tunnels that existed up until the mid 60s. I heard they are bicycle navigable but I am not sure. also, they had major road improvements made but the old guard rail now replaced with NJ median was rusty and interesting. Also there were old picnic roadsides that were kind of nice to make a stop at. There is an interesting staircase up to a church (westbound - on the left) just before the road goes into its zig-zags en route to Allegheny Tunnel. Not many interstates have parking for churches available. Kind of unique. Also, many different kinds of pavement to drive on until recently. They are currently making the road more mundane. But that is progress?

04-24-2005, 01:21 AM
Sounds to me like you've a good plan. Hope you have a safe trip and a great time in Pa. Its a great state to be outdoors in.
Now if ya did have an extra day on the end of your trip and went back via I79 to I80 and happened to stop at Rickett's Glen State Park. It has a spectacular 5 or 6 mile loop trail that has 22 named waterfalls along it ranging from 94 feet to 12'. Its a natural fault in the Allegheny Front. It starts in a virgin hemlock forest and is one of the nicest trails I've hiked on anywhere in the country. It starts off flat from Pa rt118. There are actually waterfalls under the road. Then it splits and is steep until you hit the top and cross a flat boulder strewn forested area and then drops down the other glen. Doesn't matter which way ya go, clockwise or counterclosckwise.
You can find out more info at www.state.pa.us

04-24-2005, 01:43 AM
I've always wanted to thruhike the West Rim trail that goes through the Pa. Grand Canyon.

04-24-2005, 04:09 PM
Thank you all for the advice and suggetsions. Trip went well...ended up not needing an escape from the inlaws but still got a nice walk in on the nature trail system at Haverford College. Lots 'o warblers and a red headed woodpecker. I was told there was a Cerulean Warbler, but I have drawn the line on my birding skills Sandpiper and warbler identification! Plan to hit some of the suggestions in the future. Thanks again.