Total Length: 42.4 miles (68.2 km)  Elevation Gain: 8,550 ft.

Hiking Time: 3.5—4.5 days            Difficulty: Hard

Trailhead(s): Pine Creek Rail Trail access area in Slate Run, off RT 414.  There is also parking on Manor Fork Rd, off Rt 44.  There are a number of other access points too, and the trail crosses or follows a number of forestry roads.  Winter maintenance along theses roads is minimal or non-existent, and any roads that are utilized by snowmobiles can get icy.

Camping: Only primitive (tent) camping is allowed on the trail.  Backpackers only need permits for camping along Pine Creek or Slate Run.  Contact Tiadaghton State Forest Office (570)-753-5409 for camping info, permits, etc.

Water: Water is available along the trail at stream crossings. All water must be purified in order to be considered safe to drink.

 

One of the most scenic and challenging hikes in PA, the Black Forest Trail is a 42-mile orange blazed loop.  There are dramatic ascents & descents over extremely rugged and beautiful hills.  The trail has many views of the idyllic valleys and ridge tops of Slate Run & Pine Creek.

THE BLACK FOREST TRAIL

The Black Forest Trail is not a novice trail.  There are extremely steep, demanding climbs & descents, wet stream crossings, possible encounters with rattlesnakes/bears, and rocky sections that will test the quality of your hiking boots.  The trail features a variety of forest types, including a small virgin hemlock stand, and numerous expansive vistas.

The Black Forest Trailguide & Map is available from Pine Creek Outfitters for $12.00.  The guidebook is a pocket-sized account of the trail’s features and its history.  The color topographic map also shows vistas, water sources, campsites, & connector trails.

I loved the deep, dark forest, where no foot

Of all-polluting man had left a trace.

I loved the pine trees with its rock-bound root,

And low, sweet whispers of a holier place.

 

- George Washington Sears (“Nessmuk”)

Forest Runes

The Black Forest Trail is a horseshoe-shaped loop, and has many linking trails that can be used to customize the length of your hike.  On its western side, the Black Forest Trail connects to the Susquehannock Trail System via the North Link Trail (9 miles) & South Link Trail (6 miles).  On its northern side, it connects to the West Rim Trail via the Long Branch Trail (9 miles).