Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. The park conserves unique, natural environments and is in Centre County on PA 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting. According to local tradition, American Indians called this watershed Moss-Hanne, meaning moose stream, thus the origin of the parks name. Appropriately, the black in the park name describes the tea-colored waters. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is fed by clear springs and small streams which flow through the bogs that stretch in most directions from its shores. As the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant teabag to color the water.
Despite being sedentary and in our early 50s, My wife and I hike the 12-mile (more or less) Moss-Hanne Trail at Black Moshannon State Park every year. The terrain is uneven and in the Spring can be very wet, but it is relatively secluded, has great scenery, and has the potential to expose you to much wildlife (yes, that rustling in the bushes may very well be a black bear sow, whose cubs are up a tree not far ahead of you!). This is a combination light woods and bog trail and despite what the official park map (or Becky Conner) might tell you is indeed a LOOP TRAIL... you just need to travel a mile or three along lightly-traveled back roads to connect the ends. One year we had the pleasure of getting caught in a torrential rainstorm, while we were still 3 miles from our vehicle (parked near the boat rental). The sky was so black we could barely see, the wind was gusting to 50 mph, the dog was thoroughly panicked, AND we all had a great time.
We started at the shingle mill approach trail on Tuesday night around 10.. finished around noon on Friday. Weather was perfect, park was beautiful!
a few places were a little confusing, they could use more blazes...
water sources were pretty good considering there was no rain for a few days..
I definitely will do this one again!
Trail Type: Point to Point OR Out and Back (THIS IS NOT A LOOP)
Trail Length: DCNR says 7.7miles Point to Point
Parking: You can start at either end of the trail... Parking Option 1: Boat Launch and Mooring #3 Parking Option 2: Parking Lot at Beaver Road & Shirks Road Intersection
AWESOME HIKE - Just do your research before going...Best bet: Take two cars and park one at start and one at finish
Spent 2 nights on the trail and did about 28 miles. I had the updated guide and map from pahikes.com which was helpful for finding water and campsites. The allegheny front itself was very nice with 3 vistas. They were a bit grown in but not as bad as what previous reviews had me expecting them to be. Once you're past the front there isn't a whole lot to see and the forest was surprisingly not very dense and we were incredibly hot making for a not so enjoyable trip. The trails were very well maintained though and appeared to have been re-marked recently making it easy to follow.
I did this trail this past weekend. I started at Tram Rd. and Rattlesnake Pike and went clockwise around the trail. Started on Sunday at 9:30am and ended on Monday at 6:30pm. It was definitly a stretch for me to complete it in that time. Lots of snakes on the trail. Saw 7 total. 4 non-poisonous snakes, one copperhead, one water moccasion, and one very large and nervous timber rattlesnake. Watch your step. There are some really nice campsite along nearby to water. And next time I do the trail, I'll take more time and bring my fishing rod. Lots of great trout fishing along the trail. I used Ben Cramers guide. I'll attach the link below. However, I created a simpler guide from his that I could keep in my pocket. Let me know if you want it. (email@example.com)
We just finished this trail over the past couple days and it was a moderate-difficult trail. It is very rocky and your feet get soar pretty quick. The northern part of the trail was very nice, however when we got to the SE part of the trail both of our trail guides were wrong with campsite locations and the vistas were overgrown.
Just hiked this. Trail needs a little work, with a few trees fallen across the trail. Started at Beaver rd. looks like that area got hit micro wind blast. One spot got off trail, knew I was off. Even went back to where I was on last and still didn't find almost 180 degree turn. Almost 12 miles to get back to truck.
I hiked this trail a few years ago with 2 friends. There are some absolutely amazing views on this trail. We hiked in, camped for a night and hiked back out the next day, so I didn't see it all but what I did see makes me want to hike the whole trail.
This is a great spot for moderate hiking. Note that I didn't do the whole forty-mile loop, only about three hours in and back from the intersection of the Allegheny Front Trail with PA-504 (Rattlesnake Pike). Just in this short section of trail you can see some amazing vistas to the south and southeast. I was walking with a six-year-old and a four-year-old, and even though it was a pretty challenging hike for them (lots of scrambling up and down) they could appreciate the scenery and the trail's natural features (hidden springs, fallen trees, strange-colored mushrooms, interesting bugs, lizards, etc.)