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Overnighted August, 2018. Followed the loop counter-clockwise. The trail can be challenging to follow around big blow-downs and at the campsites on the southeast portion of the loop. Beware false trails and sudden turns. No major grades and only a few marshy areas. The frequent acres of ferns are the stuff of paintings. Except for the mosquitos it was a wonderful way to experience an encore backpacking trip after a 26 year hiatus.

on Kendall Trail

16 days ago

Really muddy. Still worth it. Be prepared to end the trail with wet feet.

great ttrail for a day hike

Nice trail to bike on. Make sure you do on a weekend so you have enough time to enjoy it. A little hilly near Slickville, but all in all a nice trail.

Pulled over 11 ticks off my dog after this hike. The middle half of the loop has not been maintained and it’s easy to lose the trail. There wasn’t a designated overlook either if that’s something you’re looking for.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail had awesome scenery and even though very muddy at times an over all great trip. I wouldn’t suggest hiking this trail after a very heavy rain bc you are hiking though old creek beds at times and here are certain areas where the runoff from the hills/mountain above run right across the trail. We would most certainly recommend it!

zigzag up and down trail that can be paired with red blaze to make loop. too many bikers for my liking

nice trail, but they have done some construction or logging on a portion of the train. not sure exactly what. trail difficult to follow in these areas. would be one star more if not for that.

This is a decent trail for a quiet hike. Does not get much football. However, we also saw a bear in the woods just 30-40 ft off the this trail in mid July. My first wild bear. Luckily we were a group of four people so he didnt bother us and bounded away once we made some noise. There is the scott run along the path for a good distance so dogs can drink water etc.

I saw a bear at clay furnace.

hiking
1 month ago

my wife and I decided hike this to help her prepare for a longer 26.6 mile trek in September. This trail offers good views of the river and is pretty easy going. The trail was extremely muddy in areas and was a little frustrating trying to negotiate 5 inch deep mud pits. Lots of deer and sign ...but we were disappointed that we didn't see any bear.

07/01/2018: Awesome overnight loop that is clearly marked and well traveled. I went counter-clockwise, so the first day was mainly a steep descent. Once I reached the bottom, I found an awesome campsite near the swimming holes at the far end of the loop. (Great hammock-camping spot at the base of the falls, tricky to reach though.)

Day two was definitely a leg day. Once you round out the far end of the loop it’s all uphill from there. If you’re carrying a 30lb+ pack I would consider it a moderately strenuous climb.

Overall awesome hike and a great introduction to overnighting in Shenandoah National Park.

A friend and I hiked a variation of this loop. We started from the trailhead on Skyline Drive and used Tebolt, Mill Run, Rankin, and Hess to form a loop which recorded as 10.7 miles. It rained off and on all day so trails were muddy with flowing water in some spots. We saw some mountain laurel in bloom along Skyline drive and saw a few rhododendron plants with flowers, but not anywhere near "peak" blooming. A few other bikers and hikers were out and there was a tent pitched along the lower section of Quebec Run south of the bridge to the grist mill ruins.
I can't say I've ever had a bad day at Quebec. I've hiked (and backpacked) here in all seasons. It's a real treasure and gets better as the forest matures.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is MUDDY and pretty tough. If it's very dry out, this trail will still be sloppy. The return on the roadside trail is fine, but Scott Run itself is muddy, and the first 1/2 mile of the uphill is steep.

The Rachael Carson Trail Challenge is an organized event held on the first Saturday closest to June 21st (first day Summer). It alternates start/ finish each year from Harrison Hills to North Park and vise versa. Rain or shine. There's a check in/ rest stop about every 7 miles with food and water. It's limited to 600 participants with a big cookout at the end.
If you've never done this and appreciate a good challenge then I highly recommend this.

Need to take my bike

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail with my 3 kids (9, 12, & 14-years old) as an overnight starting on 6/9/18. We had a wonderful time and were lucky to catch a cool spell with nights in the 50’s and days in the 70’s. This was my kids first backpacking experience and upon finishing I am happy with my choice of Hickory Creek as a starter trip. We took the southern portion first and camped at Jack’s Run for the night, finishing the trail the next day.

The trail is topographically mild with little to speak of in the way of elevation changes. That said, there is a good diversity of habitat along the trail with the southern leg of the loop being a closer canopy-covered section, the bend north has some meadow areas and then northern leg more openly wooded.

I am glad that I read the other reviews here, because as warned stinging nettle on the southern section is dominant and we all wore pants on day 1 in preparation for it. By the northern portion the nettle ends and ferns are the dominant undergrowth. Some reviewers here claim that the trail is hard to follow, but in our case and season, I found the course pretty obvious and that blazes, although dim, were rather frequent and easy to follow. The trail gets a bit sketchy to follow around both Coon’s Run and Jack’s Run were most of the fire-ring campsites have been made and beaten down side trails occur, but we were able to find the course again in short time.

Both Coon’s and Jack Runs were flowing well and water was easy to find and filter. We saw some black bear scat, but never an actual bear. Our animal sightings were deer, small mammals, birds, and a single newt.

We were off trail by lunch on day 2 and spent one more night at Heart’s Content Campground where that night the fireflies put on a beautiful show for us in the meadow. This trail is a good leisurely overnight hike or decent long day.

Completed this one yesterday, with my almost 3 year old. Its a beautiful hike. I'd suggest starting at millrace trail and start the hike clock wise. My toddler did great on the switchbacks and we prefer to do the hard part first, so we didnt mind the ATV trail at the end. Looks like someone made it just to complete the loop and take care of the trail/shelter. The shelter is amazing and you can tell vehicular access is needed. You have to cross brush creek and there are a few trees down (easy to go around), but weve literally had record breaking rains/winds in this are recently so I'm sure the trees will be cleared soon. We saw NO trash. This trail is being kept very nice!!! it is beautiful!!!! Can't wait to go back.

It’s a pretty long loop definitely some struggles on Hess Trail. However, Hess trail was the last trail my wife and I hiked. There are some beautiful stream crossings an abundance of wildlife and plenty of little orange salamanders along the hike. We completed it in a little over 5 hours. I’d recommend looking at the weather first we live in this area and flash floods can happen out of nowhere with a little rain on the mountain.

backpacking
2 months ago

Took Miller trail to Mill Run Trail and set up camp by rushing water, which was awesome. Lucky for us the rain kept most backpackers away, I can imagine this being a good destination for a lot of people being so close to the city. It's definitely hilly. Not for the faint of heart. We hiked a bit more along Mill Run Trail after setting up camp. In the morning we took Rankin back to Hess to the parking lot so we ended up doing a loop. Highly recommend for a quick getaway!

on Whites Woods Trails

2 months ago

I grew up playing in these woods and on these trails and all my kids have enjoyed them as well. Easy hike, nothing harder than a few steep hills. Especially like the area we refer to as "the deep part". It's a stretch that's in between a few ridges and it is quieter and more heavily forested down through there. The entrance to "the deep part" is @ the top of the 12th St stairs and then take the trail past where the old pump was. Use and protect it, a very nice place.

2 months ago

Hiked the first few miles as an out and back before thunderstorms arrived. Fun trail, lots of downed trees, beautiful orange Eastern newts, and some interesting rock formations. Out of paper maps at the trailhead. Three other cars in the parking lot, but I didn't see anyone on the trail.

Well marked and easy trail to navigate on foot...bikers may want to wait till it dries a bit more. Nice.

I love it. I like all the views and it is tricky but awesome. It gets very muddy but it is so fun. I recommend you try it.

trail running
3 months ago

Arrived at the trailhead at 9:30 for what was to be a 6.3 mile loop. We elected to begin the trail on the foot path as opposed to walking the ATV trail through the gate. Climbed 1.7 miles up the side of the mountain and began running, when possible- going counter clockwise at the T. To this point it was a typical East Coast hardwood forest rocky trail with spring just emerging. Spectacular really. One detractor on the ascent was the sound rifle fire from the local firing range sleepy Creek. Had hunted here before many years ago and kind of forgot about that location. Not a sound I would like to get used to hiking but we were out of ear shot eventually. There was some sign of Horse traffic and even bear poop. Once up on the ridge there were areas that were just perfect for trail running. Rock outcrops, great vistas and simply lovely to run. I made the mistake of geeking out on really large rock formation which happened to be right after the turn we should’ve made to head back down the truck. A major oops. Ended up doing 13.86 miles. Thankfully we are prepping for long trail run, the West Virginia trilogy out in Dolly sods area, so we were well stocked with hydration and snacks. Bottom line, this is a great hike, but you purists might not enjoy the ATV trails. It’s not The At. If there are any botanists out there, maybe you can explain the species devils Walkingstick that I found at the aforementioned rock outcrop. Species I’ve seen down on Maryland Eastern shore and I thought it was a wetland species. Thanks to all the rest of you who have shared this post and remember don’t miss your right turn (doing the loop counter clockwise) unless
you got a lot of snacks and a lot of H2O. Enjoy the trail and happy Spring.

hiking
3 months ago

@Greg Michaels and whomever else needs to know: The easiest way to get to the trailhead is to either go to North Park (near Hampton, PA, western trailhead) or Harrison Hills Park (northern most part of Allegheny county, near Freeport, PA, eastern trailhead).

Going from West to East:

Going from West to East though is rather complicated. Basically you start by walking from North Park to Hampton Community Park. A few years back a large part of the trail ended up in a suburban development, despite protests from the community.

Then you walk to Hartwood Acres, following Dorseyville Road and meander along roads and power lines, and eventually end up at Emmerling Park, Rural Ridge area, Indianola, on Rt 910, north of Harmerville, which is near Springdale. You walk from Emmerling to Springdale, and Springdale through New Ken to Harrison Hills Park near Freeport, PA. It's several ups and downs, starting in the mountains of North Park and heading to the river valley near Springdale, then back along the river and eventually along the cliffs that lead to Harrison Hills above Freeport bridge.

Going in reverse you simply start at Harrison Hills and follow the yellow blazes -- though sometimes it is unmarked.

One time I did bridge a gap between Hampton and Hartwood on the Google Maps but it's very hard to find that information today (it seems to be missing). Takes some serious research or go with a group to map it out. It's too bad people didn't find the proper way to protect this trail, some of it has been paved and some of it has been built on.

hiking
4 months ago

I loved this hike. I am currently over 400 lbs, and I completed this in under three hours. If I can do it, you can too!

I am writing a second review on this set of trails. I completed this loop (sort of) for the 2nd time yesterday (Sunday, April 8, 2018). This time, I managed to start on the Miller Trail. Made it to the point where the Miller and Grist Trails converge. We didn't see any signs that indicated a change from the Miller trail to the Grist trail. There did not appear to be an intersection. We somehow managed to come off the Miller Trail and end up on Grist - which ends in a parking lot. We had to backtrack. Then tried to take a shortcut through the woods to get back on Miller (which runs parallel to Grist). We hit Quebec Run Creek - and spent a lot of time trying to cross it (it was high). We finally managed to do that - and get back on Miller - and after that we were fine. The signage in this park needs to be fixed for sure. Hoping this happens now since it is spring.

Awesome Trail! A Friend and I completed this on 3/24/18. We tracked 12.59 miles, not 10.6 But we did mess up at first and headed down the access road instead of Miller Trail. We reconnected with the Miller Run Trail by taking Brocker. That might have made the hike longer. You have to be careful in two places. When you park in the parking lot, the access road is directly in front of you and seems like the logical place to start. Really, Miller trail is off to your left (if you are facing the access road and trail information board). The sign for Miller Trail was missing - but the post was still there. All trails after that were well marked EXCEPT for the Rankin/Hess trail split. Down by Quebec Run (along the stream) the trail splits - you can go straight or left. If you go straight you would be heading onto Rankin Trail, NOT continuing on Hess trail which tracks off to the left. We searched for a sign that had fallen but didn't see one. I've sent a message to the Forbes State forest office, hoping they will fix the signs now that winter is over.

Lots of challenging parts to this hike. Lots of rocky stream crossings, and several somewhat steep uphill parts where the terrain was quite rocky. GREAT time. I will definitely do this loop again!

4 months ago

Great family hike!

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