The 2,158-acre Little Pine State Park is in a beautiful mountain section of Tiadaghton State Forest in PA Wilds. The 94-acre Little Pine Lake, hiking trails and the campground are prime attractions to the park.
This is a nice day hike trail with a short steep climb and a few rocky descents. We started at the parking lot for the eagle viewing area, from there we hiked up the dirt road that leads to a cabin in the woods. Then we joined up with the Mid-State Trail and followed that to where it connects with the Panther Run Trail, which we followed back down the mountain to where we began, making it a moderate 3 mile trek.
This is a fun trail. The steep initial incline leads to a flat stretch through mostly deciduous forest and eventually to large exposed rocks at the top of a ridge before descending. Not a long hike, but a perfect length for an afternoon. I have encountered Timber Rattlesnakes on this trail, but that is not unusual in this area.
If you go up Panther Run then connect to Love Run just make sure you turn left at the cabin in the woods. Don't cross the bridge at the cabin and climb the next mountain. That is not Love Run Trail and will add miles and a steep climb to your trip and you will end up on the Mid States and lost like we did. We bush whacked back down the mountain to meet back up with Love Run and it was a total of 6 miles because we missed that turn at the cabin. Otherwise it is a good hike but the backside of Panther Run is super steep and a bit technical. I would rate the Panther Run loop difficult for most normal hikers. Adding in what we did made it crazy difficult and just dumb on our part although we did not see the turn at the cabin marked.
You need to know to turn at the cabin in the woods. Follow the dang stream. We started at Panther Run Trail and climbed that mountain then connected to Love Run but missed that turn as it is not marked. We climbed a big long mountain because of this then meandered up on the Mid States for a mile or so before bush whacking back down to Love Run. Don't make this mistake. It added lots of hiking tough terrain and added miles to our hike. Make sure you turn back down at the cabin you come to in the woods, don't cross the little wood bridge and don't go that way. It is not the way. Follow the driveway thing at the cabin, that is the Love Run Trail. Otherwise it is a nice hike. Our bad decision made it MUCH more difficult than it is. Have fun, watch for snakes and be safe!!
It's a great trail, but a lot of the panther run loop needs remarked south of 322. There were a couple parts I almost got lost because of the faded marks. If you look around enough you should be able to spot on here and there to help you along.
The trail north of 322 is newly marked and easy to follow.