One of Pennsylvania’s best hikes, the Black Forest Trail is a challenging, scenic 42-mile loop that is a backpacker’s paradise in the north central part of the state.
The trail is found in the expansive Tiadaghton State Forest, just north of Slate Run, Pennsylvania. The area features high-country flats bisected by clean, fast moving mountain streams.
The Black Forest Trail is renowned for its steep ascents and descents that can prove strenuous. But hikers on the trail are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area, including Pine Creek Gorge and other canyons to the west.
Well-placed, primitive campsites can be found along the trail, making it perfect for a multi-day trip. And many side trails and forest roads cross the Black Forest Trail, making it easy to plan out day hikes or shorter backpacking trips.
Keep in mind that timber rattlesnakes are found in decent numbers in the area. While the chances of being bit are small, it’s something hikers should keep in mind, especially when scrambling over rock. Hikers should also be aware the trail has many unbridged stream crossings, especially along the County Line Branch stream, and crossings can be difficult during high water.