Hike the Lake Shore Trail at Little Pine State Park

Details

Distance

5 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Eric Beiter

This is the most scenic trail in Little Pine State Park and runs along the lake into the upper valley of the park. Very quickly into the hike you are lead to the nesting area of a pair of Bald Eagles.

Once you pass the famous Happy Acres Resort you better slow down. Coming up quickly on your right is the parking area for the Lake Shore Trail.

The trails uses the Little Pine Creek damn as its starting point, which itself is a great place to sit and watch for birds, but to have the best experience you better keep going. Once you cross the damn, follow the trail to the left and enter into the wooded section along the lake. With a moderate elevation gain and descent after the first mile, you will be brought out of the wooded section and placed right in front of the nesting area of a Bald Eagle pair (Be aware that signs are posted and you are not to disturb the area within the nesting site). Depending on what time of year you go, this area will be full of mosquitoes, so make sure you have some spray.

After spending time around the nesting area and continuing your hike, you will be taken to a beautiful valley beyond the lake. This is the loop in the trail; stay to the right and you will have the hard part out of the way early. On this hike, I did the hard part first. The trail continues to stay tucked into the woods until the mountain is too steep and you are forced to cut out of the woods again and into the valley. The views of the mountains to the left are the most beautiful in the early morning hours, so don't sleep in; if you are really lucky you will even see some deer and turkey.

As the trail begins to loop back, the Little Pine Creek will now be on your right. If you enjoy fly fishing, now would be a good time to start casting; however, keep your eyes peeled because you may see a Bald Eagle catch his breakfast out of the creek, if you don't first. This section of the Hike is the easiest, but soon brings you back to the start of the loop where you will be lead back past the nesting area and through the woods and a crossed the damn.

During the winter months with enough snow this is one of my favorite places to go in Lycoming County because it is an excellent spot for cross country skiing. Plus, everything is more beautiful in the snow, at least that's what I think.

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Dog Friendly
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Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
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Not the PA Grand Canyon. Heaven? Maybe!

Don't be fooled. The "Lake Shore Trail" is NOT the PA Grand Canyon (which is located an hour north where the Pine Creek Rail Trail begins in the North trailhead of Ansonia, PA.) Those views are beautiful from the observation decking, just beyond the visitor's center, but again, this is NOT the trail that this site page is referring to. The "Lake Shore Trail" is located at the Little Pine Creek Dam, about 5 miles north of Waterville, PA. You park at the Dam wall where the trail starts, walking across the dam wall. Turn down to the left and walk across a short field and into the woods to begin your adventure. The Eagle nests are well marked and if you just want to try to view the birds without the hike, continue in your vehicle past the dam wall parking area and about a mile further north, past the swimming beach area there is a parking area for the "Eagle Viewing Area" with good signage to help you find it. The entire area is extremely majestic, with panoramic views that will assure many great photo ops to prove to your friends that heaven indeed does exist. Please enjoy my backyard but remember your manners and keep her clean.

Aka Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

This area is also commonly referred to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon because of how beautiful it is - it's definitely a worthwhile trip! Before your hike, stop by the visitor center at the top of the gorge for incredible views looking down onto the river. And yes, you will see lots of birds!

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Leave No Trace

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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