Favorite Hikes
Porcupine Mountains Black Forest Trail Loyalsock Trail
Horse-Shoe Trail Knobstone Trail Turkey Run
Golden Eagle Trail
Deam Wilderness

Page Content Revised October 17, 2000  -- Resource Links Updated October 27, 2003

Location, History, and General Information

The Black Forest Trail is located in the northwestern corner of Lycoming County in north central Pennsylvania, about 50 miles northwest of Williamsport. The trail can be reached by traveling north on PA Route 44 from the vicinity of Jersey Shore on US 220 between Lock Haven and Williamsport. Some segments of the BFT are accessed by following PA Route 414 to the vicinity of the village of Slate Run. Detailed information about the Black Forest Trail is found in the trail guide, which is the source of the information in the following paragraph. In addition to mileage and descriptions along the BFT, the guide describes five side and alternate trails in the area, and provides an excellent introduction to the forest ecology and geology along the trail. Additional information is also available from: Tiadaghton Forest Fire Fighters Assn., P.O. Box 5091, South Williamsport, PA 17701.

The Black Forest Trail is a 42.21 mile loop trail located in the NW corner of Lycoming County and near the village of Slate Run, PA. The trail starts and finishes on the Slate Run Forestry Road which leaves PA Route 414 in a westerly direction. The BFT travels through some very rugged country. It is blazed with international orange circles. The other marked and maintained trails in the area of the BFT are blazed with blue circles.

NOTE: The trail guide described on our BFT pages is the "old" trail guide, a 31-page black and white pamphlet. The mileages and routes we describe are based on this trail guide. A "new" trail guide including a map is now available, and we would recommend it. However, be aware that our descriptions may not always agree with it.

Our Hiking Experiences    We Complete the BFT on October 16, 1999!
After we completed hiking the Loyalsock Trail in November, 1996, Aimee bought trail guides for the Black Forest Trail and Horse-Shoe Trail to put in Mike's Christmas stocking that year. Mike deferred starting the BFT long enough to redo fifteen miles of the Loyalsock Trail with their daughter Maria the following spring, so that Maria could complete that trail before her second birthday. On June 29, 1997, the three of us began hiking the BFT at mile 0.00 near Slate Run. 

We had some problems on our first hike. According to the trail guide, the BFT began by leaving Slate Run Road, 8/10 mile from Slate Run village. When we parked there, a sign indicated the trail had been relocated to begin back at the village. We hiked back down the road to the parking lot of a small restaurant/tavern where the trail apparently began, only to find there was no easy way across Slate Run. There was a suspension bridge, but it was in such decrepit condition that we did not attempt to use it, choosing to use stepping stones as best we could and getting our feet a little wet. (By the following year, nearly all the remains of the bridge had disappeared. The rerouting was also changed so that part of the old route was followed.) 

One weakness of the "old" BFT trail guide is that neither elevations nor maps are included. We didn't realize that on a relatively warm early summer day, we were about to embark on a climb of over 1000 ft in less than two miles. By the time we reached the top, we decided to turn around and call it a day of hiking after covering only 2.23 miles of the trail. Needless to say, before our next BFT hike a few months later, we bought three USGS topo maps (Lee Fire Tower, Cedar Run, and Slate Run) in order to avoid making the same mistake again. Although we never got a copy of the "new" BFT trail guide, published approximately 1998, it is described as including a topo map. 

Through a series of day hikes, we completed over 80 percent of the trail before moving from Pennsylvania to Indiana in July, 1998. On return visits to our former home state, we hiked the trail three more times and celebrated its completion on the pleasant afternoon of October 16, 1999. The following year, we returned to hike the Old Supply - Foster Hollow Trail, one of the BFT side trails. 

Mile 1.84 vista Mike and Maria posing at a vista at mile 1.84 of the BFT on June 29, 1997. This was our first hike on the BFT, and unfortunately, the trail guide did not contain topographic information. As a result, we wore ourselves out quickly by climbing over 1000 ft in less than two miles. This vista, in the area of a large former quarry, was near the high point of the hike.


Maria's first hike on her own two feet Aimee watches as Maria hikes on her own two feet instead of Mike carrying her in the backpack. This was Maria's first "real" hiking, at the age of 2 years and not quite 3 months. After stopping for lunch near mile 17 of the BFT, we let her walk on her own and surprisingly, she covered about 3/4 mile before getting tired and asking to be carried again. 
 

REVISED Segments Accessed From Francis Road -- Access Point at BFT Mile 7.96 and Old Supply - Foster Hollow Mile 1.27
Mile 7.96 to 0.00, Mile 7.96 to 9.54, and Old Supply - Foster Hollow Trail -- We Complete the BFT!

Segments Accessed From Manor Road -- Access Points at Mile 34.00 and 36.79
Mile 34.00 to 27.84, Mile 34.00 to 36.79, and Mile 36.79 to 42.21 (0.00)

Segments Accessed From Trout Run Road -- Access Points at Mile 23.19-23.50, 25.04-25.13, and 27.84
Mile 23.19 to 20.71, Mile 23.19 to 25.13, and Mile 25.13 to 27.84

NEW Segments Accessed From Route 44 North of Trout Run Road -- Access Points at Mile 12.80 and 17.10
Mile 12.80 to 9.54, Mile 12.80 to 17.10, and Mile 17.10 to 20.71

 

Other Black Forest Trail Information & Resources --Revised October 27, 2003

The Black Forest Trail In Pennsylvania, July 1999 -- Description of a 5-day BFT trip, with several photos

The Black Forest Trail -- An interesting account of a 3-day BFT trip, includes a detailed description of confusion caused by trail rerouting, part of Out There Living by Wendy and Jeff

A1 Trails: Hiking the Black Forest Trail, Pennsylvania -- Site includes a short description followed by comments submitted by various hikers

Webshots Community -- Black Forest Trail, Day 1, April, 2002 --
Webshots Community -- Black Forest Trail, Days 2-3, April, 2002 --
Collections of photos from a BFT trip

Pine Creek Outfitters -- Source for new BFT trail guide/map and other information and supplies

 

Return to Mike, Aimee, & Maria's Home Page