Black Moshannon State Park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. The park conserves unique, natural environments and is in Centre County on PA 504, nine miles east of Philipsburg. More than 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest surround the park and help create a remote and wild setting. According to local tradition, American Indians called this watershed Moss-Hanne, meaning moose stream, thus the origin of the parks name. Appropriately, the black in the park name describes the tea-colored waters. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is fed by clear springs and small streams which flow through the bogs that stretch in most directions from its shores. As the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant teabag to color the water.

1 month ago

Great Trail! Combine few others for 13 mile loop.

2 months ago

We loved it. I really loved the sections where it was ferns in all directions. Would have liked a few more established camp sites in the later part of south western quadrant. Took 3 days 2 nights to walk clockwise. Would love to do counter next time

3 months ago

Well marked and lots of different scenery to see. Campsites seemed plentiful on the first half, but not nearly as many on the second half. We started at 504 and went counter clockwise. Great campsites at approximately 5 - 12 - 17 - 20 - 21 mile markers. Didn't see many "pre-made" campsites after that. However, we did not end up completing the entire loop because we did 20 miles both days, and it only got us to beaver road the second day. According to our mileage, this loop is more like 45-46 miles and we were mentally done at 40. We had the GPS tracking us the entire time and weren't even close to being done at 39 miles.

3 months ago

Spent 5 days hiking the full 40 mi loop! Started at 6 mile rd and PN 504 and headed clockwise down the trail. Was beautiful and the trails weren't too difficult for having 60lb packs on our backs. Seen some wildlife here and there, but nothing out of the norm. You can choose where you want to camp if you want or there are existing sites that you can use as well. There are plenty of small creeks to grab water from while on the trail and lots of trees for hammocks. At the top of the mountains there were a couple of good vistas but a lot of the time there were just too many trees in the way to get a good view. It was still beautiful, just wish they'd trim a few trees so you could see the beautiful expanse that lays in front of you. Bugs weren't too bad, few spots the mosquitos and flies were bad, however other then that, pretty easy trail. I'd rate the trail as an easy/moderate one.

This trail is quite possibly the most underutilized trail in central Pennsylvania. It has a trail race/run on it that is historically done the end of July. 20 miles of the AFT are used for the race, so trail maintenance on this section is really good. The trail itself is gorgeous and very hike able or run able. With connecting trails leaving the Black Moshannon State Park area, access is really pretty good as well. The temperature on the trail is usually 5-10 degrees cooler than surrounding areas (both winter and summer).
Looking for a well groomed end of summer/early fall hike on a gorgeous trail, this is it.

Nice hike on a mostly soft trail. Saw a couple of white tails.

7 months ago

The three star rating may be influenced by my inexperience, pack weight, age and weather. I'd do the trail again under other circumstances. I was going to go as far as I could for as long as I could and knew I would not do the whole trail. Starting at Black Moshannon SP I picked up a great trail map of the trail and some advice from the Ranger staff. Don't take the trail without this free map. The Ranger suggested I park in the back lot of the swimming area and take the Shingle Mill Trail out to the AFT loop. This worked perfectly. The Shingle runs along the Moshannon Creek which keeps good company. The trail was mostly flat out to the loop and went through some very narrow sections, with lots of Rhododendrons. It must be fantastic when they are in bloom. Once on the AFT I went right to see the eastern part of the trail which had more vistas on the map. The trail continued flat and along creeks which provided plenty of water. After six hours of hiking I had found my first gentle hill and was now hiking along Benner Run. I have to say that the trail was recently re-blazed and there were no opportunities for even a novice to lose his way. The major concern I had was that I was not able to find suitable campsites. The trails were either to narrow the thickly brushed, or rocky for a tent site. As it was getting towards evening I wondered if I would find any site. Eventually I settled on a small open patch adjacent to the trail. Since I had not seen a single hiker all day, I figured that site would be ok. As nice as the weather was the first day, the next day intermittent showers started in the morning to dampen my spirits. With a bad forecast for the next few days I knew I'd shorten the trip. I hoped on the park's Tram Road for an express hike to the vista points and met back up with the ATF at Rattlesnake Rd. The east vista section of the trail was much more challenging than the first day. There is a lot of up and down and the trails are sometimes rocky. Going south along this section of the trail the vistas got progressively better. The last two have been partially cleared for better views. The best of the marked vistas is "Ralph's Majestic Vista" which is the furthest south stop. With more rain in the forecast I decided my best option was to hike back to the State Park and spend the night there. I took North Run Rd back to my car. Once at the SP I found out they don't have individual camping facilities. There is a group camping spot and camper spots that I think were closed. Basically there were only a few people in the park and they were day trippers. I never saw a single person on the trail in two days and only a few pick up trucks on the park roads. At the end of my two days, I was beat. In the future, I'd look for better weather and a plan for better campsites.

8 months ago

We hiked the trail into a loop (10.69 mi). might want to take waterproof shoes/boots. Plenty of wildlife to see. Little bridges at certain points (newer). Pretty easy trail. 4 hours at a 3.7 pace

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Despite being sedentary and in our early 50s, My wife and I hike the 12-mile (more or less) Moss-Hanne Trail at Black Moshannon State Park every year. The terrain is uneven and in the Spring can be very wet, but it is relatively secluded, has great scenery, and has the potential to expose you to much wildlife (yes, that rustling in the bushes may very well be a black bear sow, whose cubs are up a tree not far ahead of you!). This is a combination light woods and bog trail and despite what the official park map (or Becky Conner) might tell you is indeed a LOOP TRAIL... you just need to travel a mile or three along lightly-traveled back roads to connect the ends. One year we had the pleasure of getting caught in a torrential rainstorm, while we were still 3 miles from our vehicle (parked near the boat rental). The sky was so black we could barely see, the wind was gusting to 50 mph, the dog was thoroughly panicked, AND we all had a great time.

trail running
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Saturday, July 02, 2016

We started at the shingle mill approach trail on Tuesday night around 10.. finished around noon on Friday. Weather was perfect, park was beautiful!
a few places were a little confusing, they could use more blazes...
water sources were pretty good considering there was no rain for a few days..
I definitely will do this one again!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Trail Type: Point to Point OR Out and Back (THIS IS NOT A LOOP)
Trail Length: DCNR says 7.7miles Point to Point
Parking: You can start at either end of the trail... Parking Option 1: Boat Launch and Mooring #3 Parking Option 2: Parking Lot at Beaver Road & Shirks Road Intersection

AWESOME HIKE - Just do your research before going...Best bet: Take two cars and park one at start and one at finish