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Cowans Gap State Park is a 1,085-acre park in the beautiful Allens Valley of Fulton County. A 42-acre lake, large campground, rustic cabins and many hiking trails are prime attractions. State forest land surrounds the park, providing additional land for recreation and natural beauty in all seasons.

Check out amazing vistas at the small loop at the end of Tower Road off Aughwick Road and behind the Mountain House restaurant at Route 30. Best in Pa. A third vista is nearby about 15 miles away (not on this trail) at the summit on Broad Mountain Road east of Fannettsburg. Circling hawks seen.

On reports that the trail itself is difficult, but knowing that there were several amazing views along the trail, we opted for this day to drive to the two amazing views and do some hiking in and around them.

For the first amazing vista, simply go to the Mountain House restaurant/bar at the intersection of Route 30 (at the Tuscarora Summit) outside McConnnellsburg. There is a small dirt road behind the bar leading to two hang gliding ramps. Amazing views west. Reportedly, hang gliders jump from these ramps and can fly for miles on the updrafts and currents.

The second vista along this portion of the Tuscarora Trail is found by going to the intersection of Tower Road and Aughwick Road, along Aughwick north of Route 30 in Cowan's Gap Park. Take Tower Road to the end where there is a small loop. Incredible views south east.

A third and less know vista, but just as impressive, is at the top switchback in Broad Mountain Road. It's about 10-15 miles east of Cowan's Gap and in the Buchanan State Forest. East of Fannetttaburg. Take Route 4004 east from Fannettabirg to Bear Valley Road to Broad Mountain Road to the Summit.

Great for the area! Moderate rating is accurate. I unknowingly wished for this trail to lead to a nice grassy road walk after the initial climb from the parking area, and that's exactly what I got after hiking the prior five days. The wide grassy old ridge foresting road makes for a nice running path instead of having to be focused on traversing rocks. Not a soul in sight on a Friday afternoon. Several viewpoints along the way instead of just one. Nice little hike :)

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely more than a “moderate” hike. Good for experienced hikers but we saw way too many families and average folks struggling badly going up and down. It’s not very long but is VERY steep with loose rocks.

Extremely steep, more of a difficult hike than moderate.

walking
3 months ago

Great trail for young children! Easy and well maintained. Beautiful area with a lovely lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Last half of the trail is downhill on what seems like a "run off" trail for water from the top parts of the mountain. It was dry during my hike, so it was not an issue - however may be more treacherous the wetter the trail gets. Great hike, you can walk Augwick Road back to the parking lot so it doesn't have to an out and back.

Hiked the Tuscarora Trail SoBo to Pa Hwy 16 (9.58 miles). The trail starts with a vigorous 700 ft climb out of Cowan's Gap. Once you reach the summit, it's a ridge hike with a few ups and downs. As expected for the area, the trail is rocky most stretches. Several nice overlooks. Do yourself a favor and SKIP the short section from Augwick Rd to Pa Hwy 30. This section drops approx 300' to cross a busy road at a blind curve, dumping you onto a poorly maintained section strewn with trash from the nearby road, and requiring you to climb 200' back to the road. Instead, take Augwick Rd to the left. This leads you to Hwy 30 @ Mountain House. Pick the trail up again right behind the Restaurant / bar.

Great hike on a beautiful day! We parked up at the tower, on Tower Rd and immediately came to the most beautiful vista. Parking there made the hike mostly level then a steep decent at the end, at the lake. Be prepared for a steep incline if you park at the lake and walk up to the tower. Also worth going 2/10ths mike to the bunker. Very nice camp for hikers.

In January this year I hiked a loop in Cowans Gap SP:

Parking lot - Tuscarora Trail S. - Geyer Trail - Cameron Trail - Plessinger Trail - Lakeside Trail - Parking lot

Total 4 miles long.

All sections of the loop were well maintained. Saw a few people fishing on the frozen lake near the end.

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

very steep in a very short amount of time

hiking
Saturday, September 09, 2017

Very nice hike...very easy but watch for those snakes...saw two in just the short walk

I would rate this slightly more than a moderate trail due to the elevation gain. It is very challenging. I started in cowans gap state park and hiked to the big mountain overlook.

I think this should be called the Tuscarora Trail which is a spur trail to the Appalachian Trail. Two miles of it goes through Cowans Gap State Park. From the main parking lot you can take the trail south to a beautiful overlook of Path Valley and Franklin County (about 9 miles out and back). Or you can take the trail south until Geyer trail to Cameron trail then to Plessinger Trail which will get you back to your car (about 5 miles). There are two pretty steeps areas on both these paths and the trail is rocky at times.

hiking
Friday, November 27, 2015

This should be called Cowans Gap Trails (plural) There are a number of trails within the park so, depending on your fitness level and amount of time you want to spend out in the woods, you can combine a number of trails. Keep in mind, some of the trails take you up to the top of Tuscarora or Cove Mountains which means the ascents can be steep. I gave this trail a five-star since the trails were well marked and well maintained. Enjoy.

hiking
Friday, November 27, 2015

Nice easy trail with some nice views. Well marked and well maintained. There are also some information signs along the trail.

hiking
Saturday, October 10, 2015

The trail follows very closely to the lake yielding excellent views on the trail. This is an easy trail built mainly for walking. Very well kept and traveled.

hiking
Thursday, August 06, 2015

Horseshoe is a fun trail with an aggressive approach to taking on the Mountain. Its not very long but is fairly steep. Great for a short intense hike.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

We only hiked 6 mikes of this link trail but the back half was straight up a mountain side with a 40 pound backpack in the rain. Other than that the mountain side scenery overlooking the park was amazing.

on Lakeside Trail

hiking
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Easy walk around the lake. Really short, we do it a couple times when we go. Half of it is really shady, near the campsites. Not quiet by any means, usually crowded, no incline, but that doesn't mean that it's bad. Better to rent a boat and go out on the lake.

hiking
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy mostly gravel trail. Our dog enjoyed herself.

hiking
Sunday, May 20, 2012

If you are looking for a good trail for the family, then this is the trail for you. The trail encircles lake at Cowans Gap State Park. The trail is mostly flat but has some slight elevation change. It almost seems like two different trails. The trail on the beach side is a little more active. The trail in this area is better maintained. The opposite side of the lake is used a little less. The trail surface is a little rough in some areas, but still negotiable for the family. The trail stays in pretty good condition even after a rain with minimal muddy spots (especially for a lake side trail). The trail can be accessed in about four or five different locations with little extra walking. Bring your camera because there are some beautiful views along the way and you never know what you might see. The park also offers plenty of other activities for after the hike.

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2011

I did this trail with my 6 y/o son. The trail is easy and well marked. I have been going to Cowan's Gap since I was a little boy, but never walked the trail. The trail is approx 2 miles and goes completely around the lake. Cowan's Gap is a man made lake built during the Great Depression. It has a swimming area and camping, which are the two big draws to the park. If you live near by and want to have a weekend of swimming and mild hiking, I recommend it. The park is clean and well maintained.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
Sunday, November 12, 2017

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

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