Explore the most popular lake trails in Allegheny National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
13 days ago

First time backpacking is perfect for this trail. very easy going and plenty of wonderful camp sites.

backpacking
27 days ago

Great trail. Very beautiful. Camped out on the reservoir. There was plenty of down trees for firewood and there are bathrooms. Camping by the lake was super peaceful and then at night we could see the milky way galaxy band. Great for beginner backpackers or a great way to test gear.

Hiked here many times. Sweet!

backpacking
7 months ago

Loved this trail. $10 for a camping permit payable down the road. I went solo for one night and did the whole loop and camped at the lake. Such a beautiful lake view. Heard coyotes singing in the middle of the night, saw a porcupine and a big buck came snorting through camp around 5am. I did get a tick so if you don’t wear Deet make sure you give yourself a solid tick check. Lots of streams to catch water at along the loop. Plenty of campsites on the loop if you didn’t get a permit for one of the sweet lake spots that include metal fire ring and picnic table. Apparently they usually have running water at the lake, but a note stated it didn’t pass the last rounds of testing so is off limits for now. If you go here be sure to check out the Rockrim Overlook just west of the trail via a short car ride. Also you won’t catch a signal back here so say your love yous and goodbye before you hit the drive in from route 6!

hiking
7 months ago

We did the Rimrock trail loop. Very pleasant forest hike. No views over the water (you can kind of see it through the trees), but the forest is beautiful with a variety of vegetation. Some of the signage is problematic-- there are a number of unmarked spurs and crossings. There are some signs at trail intersections but not all of the options are marked. The map for the Morrison trail in the app shows a cut across that is now closed (we had to double back to try to find it).

backpacking
8 months ago

3 of us did this trail in July 2017. Lots of great free campsites with clean water sources along the eastern route. The lake sites require a cash only fee under $10 but are very well maintained. This was the trip of snakes for sure. They are all over the lake campsite and I stepped on a few while hiking the trail.

trail running
9 months ago

We did 8 new miles of trail running. Beautiful views.

hiking
9 months ago

Well marked easy to follow trail. Some good views along the way. But mostly a nice stroll in the woods with some great river scenes. Plenty of great camp spots set up close to the river along the way.

hiking
10 months ago

We enjoyed this hike very much. The forest is beautiful, and the stream too. There were a lot of down trees across the trail that my daughter enjoyed hurdling. Me? Not so much. So, I just thought I would warn you. The bugs were a nuisance, but once out of the forest and near the reservoir they were gone. We had planned to hike to Hopewell and Handsome Lake just to check them out for possible overnight trips, but decided to just sit on the side of the hill and watch the boats on the reservoir while we ate lunch. This is one of those trails I will love to hike in the fall

Beautiful area, but unfortunately the trail was poorly marked. it was very confusing

backpacking
11 months ago

Perfect hike and campsite! It is pretty muddy and has several spots where you have to cross a stream, so definitely have waterproof boots. There's a pretty challenging hill, but most of the trail is easy to moderate. Very well marked as well! This was my first trip backpacking and I think it's a very good one to start out on. Be prepared to see deer, snakes, and other wildlife.

Gorgeous lake! For most of the trail you can't hear anything but nature!

backpacking
11 months ago

My first overnight backpacking trip. A group of 5 and a cool dog took the outer loop counterclockwise. The descent down to the reservoir was steeper than the ascent back out which seemed to more gradual. We hiked down to the reservoir and to the Morrison Beach/campground and had a beautiful lunch right on the water. We decided to keep moving and found a great camp site along the stream running along the Morrison loop. Lots of small stream crossings, a little mud (as it was raining heavy at times the second day on the way out) and some downed trees but relatively easy to stay on trail. Some cool big boulders along the way and fields of ferns along the top of the ridge. Probably only negative was that towards the end of our hike on the Morrison loop there was an area where gas wells were put in and lots of trees had been cut down. Otherwise a great first backpacking trip for a beginner.

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

We did 10 miles with our two dogs on a rainy spring day and it was beautiful. We had our backpacking gear and the waterfront campsite was gorgeous but we decided to finish the loop and head out instead. We'll be back ;)

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I've done both the Morrison and Rimrock as single day hikes. I enjoy both in the early spring. There is a small waterfall on the Morrison Trail (41.845510, -78.894960)
The trail is clearly marked and well worn. The scenery for both trails is great. I highly recommend the Morrison trail to someone just getting started in hiking/backpacking.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

nice easy trail. it's not over grown. marked well enough to get from point "A" to point "B"

hiking
Friday, February 24, 2017

Short trail, but nice quick hike

backpacking
Saturday, October 15, 2016

My husband and I hiked the western Rimrock Loop portion of this trail as an overnight. (September 24-25.) Overall hiking was easy to moderate. A few narrow and sloping sidehill sections. A few extremely dense, nearly-impassable blackberry thickets and multiflora (wild) rose thickets when we were there in late September. Tasty windfall apples from old apple trees.

Trail was generally well-marked although the turnoff for the Morrison campground was totally unlabeled, as noted by most of the other reviewers there. There's a three-way trail junction with a sign telling you you're on the Rimrock Trail; absolutely no mention that the third trail, which heads distinctly downhill, is the access to the campground.

The Morrison campground no longer has piped water; due to bacterial contamination they've removed the faucets. Water must be gathered from the reservoir and purified. Vault toilets are still there. Because the Morrison campground is accessible to boaters and is very close to the put-in facilities at Kinzua Beach, Dewdrop, and Elijah (just a few easy miles for kayakers and even stand-up paddle boards, not to mention powered craft), the campground is popular and can be noisy. On a very chilly weekend in late September all but two campsites were occupied. Views over the lake and dark, starry skies were lovely. But if I crave more peace and quiet, next time I'll camp at an established backpacker's campsite at Campbell Run (there's a site visible slightly off-trail where the trail turns southwards away from the run, and it had very low but juuust-viable amounts of water in the stream there) or Morrison Run (good water even in late September and multiple established sites all along the stream).

camping
Friday, July 29, 2016

I don't know yet, anticipating my adventure. Hiking, camping, swimming. All under the stars.

walking
Saturday, July 23, 2016

lovely trail and beautiful view

backpacking
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My husband, son, and I made this into a three day trip. We stayed the first night just off the trail in what looked like had been another's camp in the past. The next morning we hiked to Morrison campground which, to us, was a hidden gem. The trail to the campground isn't marked but you can see an obvious trail and the individual sites are easy to find. It is $12 to stay and the money goes in a drop box so take exact change. We didn't intend to stay the night there but the surroundings were so beautiful and my husband and son couldn't stay out of the water. We spent the rest of the day exploring and swimming. We had a beautiful spot in the lake and I would've loved to stay another day. The hike back seemed mostly uphill and followed along a creek. The scenery was ever changing and beautiful the whole way. We will definitely go back. As to the trail being difficult to follow, we didn't have any trouble except where the two trails come together. I wanted to go one way and my husband another (he was right). Luckily we went the way he wanted or else we wouldn't looped back around. Otherwise, the trail was very well marked.

hiking
Friday, July 01, 2016

I walked this trail yesterday, completing the 5.8 mile Morrison Trail Loop. My brother recorded the hike and the distance is closer to 6.4 miles, not a great difference in distance, I suppose.

This is one of the most clearly marked trail systems I have ever seen. For those who got lost, perhaps signage was not present as it was for me. When I hiked ( June, 2016), there were large wooden signs at every juncture with arrows pointing the way and the miles of each walk listed beside the name of the trail. Along the trail, white diamonds make the trail almost impossible to get lost. This is also one of the widest and nicely maintained trails I have ever seen.

A moderate rating is probably accurate. There are some hills, but very little in the way of long steep climbs (nothing like you get at the fairly nearby Minister Creek Trail). Beautiful forest, as always. A few old oil derricks are a real downer near the start of the trail; I could even smell added gas odor at one of the sites. There is a large portion at the north-eastern edge of the trail that lies adjacent to some clear cut forest ( perhaps for fracking?). Very sad.

All in all, a gorgeous wooded wild location. This forest is one of the real natural gems of the world and should remain untouched.

on Rimrock Trail Loop

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

Great hike unless u miss the trail. Can get lost easily.. Lots is giant boulders and cool streams

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Great day hike or overnight. We did the outer loop for about 12 miles. Trail is well marked and Morrison has an extended portion along a creek. Difficulty is easy to moderate in a few area of Rimrock.

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hiked the loop over the holiday weekend. Completed the entire outside loop at 12 miles. We are beginners and the trail was marked well enough that we had no problem staying on track. A few times you were unable to see exactly where the trail was suppose to be due to rocks, leaves, and downed trees but you could almost always easily see a tree marker in those areas. There is quite a bit of water to cross, however we had no trouble. Each crossing had plenty of rocks or logs to get across without getting wet. At one point there is a steady uphill climb for about a mile if you do the loop clockwise. For the most part it's pretty level. If you plan to stay overnight, I recommend bringing $12/cash to stay at the Morrison Campground. There aren't a lot of "established sites" along the trail and this is also a good halfway point. Overall, it was a good 2 day hike. Not a whole lot to see but definitely a great trail for beginners.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

awesome hiking, my buddy and i backpacked the tral staying the night in the woods. Trail is marked enough that if you know what your doing youll have little trouble staying on the path and finding the path after wondering off of it.

hiking
Saturday, May 21, 2016

Very easy, short trail with a breath taking view! Much more beautiful in person than in pictures. Nice little area that also has restrooms and picnic tables.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Rim rock is an 8.5 mile loop that joins Morrison trail a 5 ish mile loop. All trails has it marked wrong. I hiked the rim rock portion

Horrible hike, ankle deep in mud on a non rainy day, little to no drainage means all the water ends up in the trail. the trail is VERY poorly marked (when it's marked at all) requiring several backtracks to refund the trail. The few signs are horrible and actually make it difficult to tell which trail you're on. Had to use a compass at one point. Multiple felled trees require significant off trail detours as well. Completely missed the campground as there was no sinage. Toward the end the trail needlessly winds back and forth over the same stream but with little in foldable areas, rocks or other assistance to cross meaning at multiple points you have little choice but to wade through shin high water...make sure you are prepared to get wet.

On top of this trail does not go close enough to lake for any good views.

Overall one of the worst trails I've hiked. Did not enjoy and would not recommend

hiking
Monday, March 28, 2016

This is a nice hike probably my favorite. Inclined aren't bad, Morrison inlet beautiful and walking along the creek is great.

camping
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I would rate this as moderate. We took the 3.8 mile trail to Morrison Campground. We took our time as we had 40 lb packs. Took us about 3 hours. No breathtaking views, but full of nature. Morrison run's water was low, but we saw a few wild trout. Purified water was refreshing. Camp site was excellent. Each site had a picnic table, and a fire ring. Each site was separated and semi private. Fire wood was hard to come by, as the area has been picked clean. You will have to leave the campground to get any good wood.

Make sure you tie up your food and lift it 10 feet from a tree when you sleep. We left our food about 50 yards away from our tent, and heard a pack of coyote's yipping and yapping trying to get at our food. Made for a long sleepless night.

We did not see any bears, but they are out there.

Perfect for a 2 day camp / hike. Highly recommend it.

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