Backpack the Black Forest Trail



42 miles

Elevation Gain

8550 ft

Route Type


Added by Shawn Grenninger

The Black Forest Trail is a challenging 42 mile backpacking trail with steep climbs and beautiful scenery including several impressive vistas.

The Black Forest Trail is an orange blazed horseshoe loop with many options for a starting point which over the years due to reroutes may make the trail a little longer than 42 miles . I started at the traditional trailhead on Slate Run Road and hiked counter clockwise. Many consider this trail the best backpacking trail in Pennsylvania and for good reason. 

The trail includes many steep climbs and of course descents that can be hard on the knees. Also there are several creek crossings making it likely that you will have wet feet. There are many established campsites for a wide range of camping opportunities at beautiful vistas or down in the hollows along beautiful small streams.

A few highlights include the strenuous climbs with rewarding vistas at Slate Quarry, Hemlock Mountain and the many views along Gas Line Ridge. The trail passes some small waterfalls at Morris Run, Callahan Run and Slate Run, and frequently meanders through mountain laurel and rhododendron.

It is very likely that you will see some wildlife along the trail, including rattlesnakes and black bears. It is a good idea to hang a bear bag while camping.    

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Known for

Easy Parking
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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