4.66666666667 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.67 (3 Votes)
  • Slate Run Valley

    Slate Run Valley

    One of the main attractions of the Black Forest Trail are the many breathtaking vistas it affords. This is one such view, looking down the Slate Run Valley towards Pine Creek and the town of Slate Run.
  • View of Pine Creek from Canyon Vista

    View of Pine Creek from Canyon Vista

    The southern section of the Black Forest Trail descends into and then climbs out of the Pine Creek Valley. This presents plenty of opportunities to enjoy the vistas and views of Pine Creek.
  • Lush Forest Meadows

    Lush Forest Meadows

    The northern sections of the Black Forest Trail has less elevation change as it treks across the highlands. Forest meadows and large expanses of flat forest land are a welcome reprieve from the many ascents and descents found on the other sections of the trail.
  • Perfect Primitive Campsites

    Perfect Primitive Campsites

    Located along the entire length of the BFT are well placed primitive campsites. Placed along streams, ponds, or within secluded pine plantations, these many campsites contribute to making the Black Forest Trail a backpacking destination for many.
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Black Forest Trail

Located in the Tiadaghton State Forest, the Black Forest Trail and it's many side trails reside in Lycoming and Potter counties. The Black Forest Trail is a loop of a little over 43 miles with the trailhead proper being just north of Slate Run, PA. The Black Forest Trail gets its name from the dense hemlocks that once grew here, keeping the forest floor in an everlasting darkness. The trail is challenging with many steep ascents and descents. However, the vistas make it worth the effort.


The highest point on the trail is 2,145 feet which is reached twice: once on Chestnut Ridge and second at the top of Callahan Run. The lowest elevation is at the crossing of Slate Run at 760 feet. Starting at the trailhead and hiking in a clockwise fashion, there are 8 ascents of over 500 feet, with the longest ascent being the initial climb away from Slate Run. The steepest section of the trail is the descent from Hemlock Mountain to Naval Run. The eastern half of the trail is much more rugged than the western half. This trail should not be your first backpacking trip.

The Black Forest Trail is routed in a way that you don't have to hike the entire trail. There are many places where the trail crosses forest roads so that a shuttle hike can be arranged. You can also hike numerous loops using some of the side trails as well as road hiking. On this backpacking trail you will find the views breath taking, numerous camping sites, plenty of water, and beautiful woods full of wildlife.

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FX Kennedy Trail
Black Forest Trail
For those that might have a hard time finding the trail:41°31'28.47"N     77°36'54.42"W     coordinates on Google Earth It was the month of October and it was a nice mild temperature. All of the leaves were falling off the trees and I knew I had to get out for one last hike before autumn ended. This time around, I went with my significant other after much convincing which lead me to choose the FX Kennedy Trail. Hiking this trail was easy and my goodness ...
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3.20833333333 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.21 (24 Votes)

From September 2003 to September 2005, I was able to section hike the entire Black Forest Trail with a number of fellow hikers. During this time I had stated that the Black Forest Trail was my favorite hiking trail in Pennsylvania. It offered challenging climbs, scenic streams and many breath-taking vistas, all on a well groomed trail. However, the hike in September of 2005 was my last hike on the BFT, which hardly seems appropriate since I referred to this as my favorite Pennsylvania trail. This past weekend I had a chance to right this wrong by heading back to the Black Forest Trail for an overnight backpacking trip. With Mike in tow, we headed up to Naval Run to rehike a section of the BFT that I had previously hiked twice before.

3.75 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.75 (4 Votes)

What started on Labor Day weekend two years ago in 2003 came to a conclusion Labor Day weekend of 2005 as Mark and I finished our hike of the entire Black Forest Trail. Shari, and Storm, came along as we finished the last 10 miles of the trail, hiking southward from route PA44. Just like our hikes the previous two Labor Day weekends, the weather this weekend was beautiful and perfect for hiking.

3.125 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.13 (4 Votes)

If you are looking to do a three day hike I would not recommend hiking the Black Forest Trail (BFT) in the fashion that we did on this hike. Since we had previously hiked part of the BFT we were looking to complete as much of the trail as we could on this weekend without having to re-hike the part of the trail that we already hiked (some of us hiked the previous portion 3 times and was in no hurry to make it 4 times). Also, we wanted to end our days hiking at easily accessible camping sites so friends could come and camp out with us and enjoy the outdoors.

3.07142857143 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.07 (7 Votes)

During Labor Day weekend of 2003, I had the opportunity to experience the thrills of hiking; something that I had not done for many years (when I was much younger and more nimble). My reintroduction was done with the help of my friend Mark as he led me on a section of the Black Forest Trail in north central Pennsylvania. Turn the clock ahead one year, to Labor Day weekend of 2004. In what I hope to be an annual event, Mark and I, along with his wife Cathey and my girlfriend Shari, ventured back into the woods of Tidaghton State Forest and the Black Forest Trail to do a nice weekend, overnight hike.

2.4375 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 2.44 (8 Votes)

Over Labor Day weekend of 2003, Mark had decided that he was going to hike the 42 mile loop of the Black Forest Trail. He was planning on doing this in five days and asked if I wanted to go along. This would be my first hike since I was a teenager, well over 15 years ago and I knew that I was not in shape to do such an extended hike. I did tell Mark that I would hike the first day with him and maybe meet up with him at the end of the hike to hike the last day.