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Wet rocks and leaves made it a little sketchy. But worth it! A lot of recent rain had the tiny creek roaring! Beautiful !

hiking
8 days ago

The way I hiked, this was an out and back trail, not a loop. Followed temporary signs for Flat Rock Trail and parked in the upper lot by the horse area. The spur trail from the parking area to the rattlesnake trail is marked with blue ribbon. No indication where the trail joins the yellow blazed Rattlesnake Trail. Several other hikers were confused at this junction. Follow the yellow blazed trail, it winds in a circle until you find a sign pointing towards Flat Rock Trail. Lots of people on the trail on a Sunday afternoon in November but it didn’t feel overcrowded. Beautiful view from the top.

Spectacular views of Cumberland Valley for only a moderate amount of work. Trails from Colonel Denning SP are well marked and maintained and easy enough for families and dogs. Extensions and loops provide adventure for the more adventure-seeking hiker. Kudos to builders of the nice new Flat Rock access trail at park trailhead.

This place is fantastic, but a word to the wise--the initial bridge to the Blue Trail (the "moderate" one) is gone. I'm not sure why. This means that the only good way to get to the moderate trail is to start on the difficult Yellow Trail and walk/slide across one of the fallen log bridges. It's fun, but NOT easy, and I would not recommend taking small children until Spring 2019 or whenever they reinstate the bridge.

Much of the hike is along a busy highway. There are definitely more peaceful options in the area.

Fun trail

Creek, rocks, views: this trail has it all! It’s a very beautiful tropical-like hike with swimming holes, dense vegetation and little light, until you reach the Pinnacle area. What it is not is moderate! For a Pennsylvania hike with the amount of precipitation we’ve had this summer, this trail is HARD. It made Glen Onoko seem like a good place for parent’s to push their little ones in a stroller while wearing flip flops. (Don’t do that.)

There are allot of trail markings on straightaways with no other intersections. However, there are no trail markings when they’re needed most, but that was part of the fun. Quite a few times I needed to backtrack off rocks or creek crossings when I crossed too soon. I followed the orange trail and gave up at the Pinnacle outlook. It was a great climatic approach to the trail.

What you need:

1. Waterproof boots/ shoes with great grip
2. Lots and lots of water
3. Lots of bug spray!!

I'm glad I took others advise and started on the other side of the bridge. First 4 miles are pretty hard. The last 3 are easy. Nice hike though. A lot of diversity. Woods, fields, cropland, hills, and valleys. I will probably do this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

Was hard, but we loved it. The vista made it worth the work. Took our 9 year old and he rocked it.

Love this trail. Lots of different terrain, different scenery, and mostly shaded, all for a relatively short hike. Last time, brought guests, and was turned away by a ranger since parking was an issue. Be prepared for some wet/slippery sections when you choose your footwear. Some people wear flip-flops and crocs everywhere, I guess.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail on Saturday. The last time was about 3 years ago. They've done an amazing job building steps around the water cistern, where it used to be really slippery. There's also evidence of work in other places, including a reroute to include a switchback to replace a formerly steep section. I'm told this is the work of Tom Scully and his rock crew. Great job!!

A few caveats. Much of Col. Denning State Park is closed for renovations. The parking lot just across from the camp was closed, I think because camp is still in session. To park, you have to go into the park and go to the far north end to park. Then, you walk to the south end of the park and find either the lower blue blazed trail or the upper trail, both of which intersect with the trail to Flat Rock.

If you haven't done this hike lately, you should.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice park, safe, nothing exciting just read maps prior to hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Hard trail as the incline is steep but a lot of fun! View is spectacular! I use to hike this in college with my roommates and team mates. We always enjoyed it!

I live a long this trail and respect every aspect of living on a trail. It’s such a special thing to be a part of and I make every element of a trail a part of my life and family’s lifestyle. Beautiful trail and great for running and bike riding. I have road my bike the entire distance and love it. I have ran half of the trail which is great to run because it is shaded and cool. Great for dogs and kids too!

Will go again and finish the loop. I took my two year old and golden doodle which was over ambitious considering the conditions. Next time I will just take my toddler and focus on her. The rocky and steep conditions can make it hard to watch a toddler and dog at once with numerous people around. Parking is scarce, so get there early or later in the day. Beautiful trail and the Tacquan creek is super stellar!! Great holes for swimming too. The views are breathtaking and serene. Go see it but be aware it’s a nature preserve so leave it as you saw it upon arrival. I’ll go again but won’t make it a usual thing as nature persevere are not meant to have high foot traffic.

Our first hiking experience. It was a good trail to be the first!

Beautiful rolling hills type of hike. Nice section where you walk alongside a a beautiful and very approachable Creek. It is definitely is not easy though. I am an average fitness guy (I road bike 7 miles daily). AND I was only able to do 5 miles in 3 hours. There is this one place where the orange trail crosses a stream where it is easy to miss the markings. So be on the lookout.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great hiking fun for the whole family. Some steep parts for my 6 year old, but she was fine throughout the hike. Plenty of great scenery and falls to pause and watch throughout the hike and a lot of swimming holes for the kids to jump in and cool off. We will definitely be back for future hikes.

We hiked this today! Beautiful setting, hiking one side of creek and back the other side. We had to take our time with many rocks and roots to navigate, but that just makes it all the more fun!!

my favorite

hiking
2 months ago

This trail ain’t no joke. Rocks for days. We took our 8 month old pup and he loved it.

I did just under 14 miles out and back from the Holtwood end. It was certainly a workout. There's a fantastic little brook about halfway where a number of people were swimming. On the way back I walked the train tracks for about a mile for a bit of variety. Nice scenery for a hike in this area.

great hike

great hike! had to stop along the way as it was hot, humid and I'm not in the best shape but the view was well worth every minute! will be back with my dogs another day

nice trail..great pics to come

hiking
2 months ago

Many thanks to Kelle Zimmer for recommending going in reverse! It was my first more challenging hike and glad I didn’t hit those hills on the 2nd half.

hiking
3 months ago

Great challenging hike. Got there late and had to book it up to the outlook before sun down, which is NOT a good idea. Large incline in a small amount of distance. Take your time, plan accordingly. Only thing is was we got the lookout at around sundown and there was a timber rattlesnake den about 50 yards before the lookout on the trail. Saw about 6-7 in a span of 10 feet, which is what we could see. Lots of ledges, and downned logs for them. Those suns of guns were rattling at us and we couldnt even see them. Very nerve wracking to go back through that in the dark, but yet it made you feel so alive. Remember NEVER jump away from a rattlesnake. They have heat pits that can sense if there is 1/10th of a degree change to their surroundings. & they can only attack/lunge at you when they are coiled, be cautious and safe, or as my friend said before we headed back "Stay frosty"

hiking
3 months ago

This was my second hiking and yes it was tough being a newcomer. It's a steep hike of 3 mile with an awesome view in end. Then downhill was quick. Please take bug repellent. Overall very nice adventurous , good view, marked properly. Only go if you are fine with tough uphill hike. This is not a simple one unless you are one of my buddy who was running uphill 1500ft.

3 months ago

the loop is not well marked so turn left at the little wood fence. nice to walk along the water and I picked and ate some blackberries along the way. pretty hike, should be rated easy, not moderate.

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