Black Forest Trail has awesome views of some of the most spectacular landscape in Pennsylvania. The trail in northern central Pennsylvania is about 4 ½ hours from New York City and 4 ½ hours from Pittsburgh.
The forty-two mile trail in Tiadaghton State Forest within Lycoming County PA is near Slate Run village. The trail has abundant camping sites, with plenty water in a forest with extensive wildlife. The trailhead is located on route 414 northwest of Williamsport.
The challenging trail has steep ascents and descents with vistas of Pine Forest Gorge making the exertion worthwhile. The western part of the trail is moderate and eastern half strenuous. If hiked at one time the trail may be done in three or four days.
The trail may be entered from route 414 at two points north of Waterville PA. Forest roads, hiking and cross-country ski trails cross Black Forest Trail. This provides several trail entry points allowing shorter hikes. The loop trail ends just north of Slate Run PA.
Black Forest Trail has orange blazed trail markers and side trails have blue blazed markers. Black Forest Trail was built utilizing logging trails, railroad grades and foot trails through a scenic area of Pennsylvania. Civilian Conservation Corps originally constructed portions of the trail in the 1930’s. Black Forest Trail was named based on the regions dense dark virgin forest, causing a gloom on the forest floor.
The unincorporated community of Slate Run is at 751’ elevation on route 414 between Blackwell and Waterville. It is twenty-seven miles north off Jersey Shore, PA. The Blackwell community is 15 miles north east of Slate Run and 6 miles northeast of Cedar Run. Sixteen miles south of Slate Run is the Waterville community.
Tiadaghton State Forest is 147,000 acres of high country separated by the streams of Pine Creek and Slate Run. It is one of eight state forests in the PA Wilds region, with a headquarters in South Williamsport PA.
Pine Creek was named due to the abundance of pine trees lining its banks. It is the largest tributary of West Branch Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The 87.2 miles long Susquehanna River is the largest ‘creek’ in the country.
The area is inhabited by Timber Rattlesnake. Although the incidence of snakebite is not frequent there still is a possibility. Just watch for the critter when scrambling around rocks and be careful where you place your hands. Black bear have also been seen so be sure to hang your food in camp.
Black Forest Trail is a 2 3/4 hour drive of 167 miles from Rochester NY. Drive south on US 390 at Corning NY drive on route 15 into Pennsylvania. Then exit onto route 6 driving west to route 144 south to the village of Slate Run. Turn left on Slate Run Road, at Slate Run village looking for the trailhead parking area.
Here is one hikers impression of the trail:
“It is wild Pa at it’s best, one of my favorites!”