The 13,625-acre Laurel Ridge State Park stretches along Laurel Mountain from the picturesque Youghiogheny River At Ohiopyle, PA to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown, PA. This large park spans Cambria, Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties. The main feature of the park is the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, which features trail shelters for overnight camping.
Only did the Wolf Rocks Trail (not the connectors to Beam Rocks).
It's a great loop just over 4 miles and the overlook at the end is rewarding (and great spot to stop for lunch!). Took a little under 2 hours for the entire trail at a moderate pace. Very flat, and especially on the loop side there's quite a bit of rocks, but they make for an interesting terrain. I'd like to see it in the summer when everything is growing - looks like it would be beautiful! Hiked both on a frigid below zero day, and an unseasonably warm January day - both enjoyable.
If you're parked at the trailhead, be sure to take a quick walk to the bog as well while you're there (past the picnic area).
Many of the surrounding roads aren't well paved or are completely unpaved. We were short on time, so we parked at the gate on Rector Edie Road, which is the end of vehicle access on that road. From there, we walked on the "old" Rector Edie Road for about a mile before entering the smaller trail. (This route is much faster than entering Wolf Rocks Trail less than 1/4 mile up that same road.) The scenic point of the trail was a little less than a half mile from that entrance.
Pleasant view, even though all the trees were bare when we went. Our entire hike took about 1 hr and 45 mins to about 2 hrs.
This is a nice, easy trail that can be shortened with a topo and a little creativity. The trails cover rolling terrain on the ridge top, through mixed second growth forest and dense stands of rhododendron that are fantastic in the late spring. The vistas at the overlooks are spectacular, and sometimes accordingly popular and crowded--this is not a place to be alone; you will almost certainly see other parties on weekends. Autumn foliage is predictably beautiful. The hardest part of the hike is uneven portions--rocks and roots--on the Wolf Rocks sides, especially in autumn when those rocks and roots are covered in wet, fallen leaves. Finally, kids come out here and party at night, especially at beam rocks--do like we do, take a grocery bag with you and pick up the one of two pieces of trash you'll find. We do this on most hikes, anyway.