Bear Run Park Hiking Trail

MODERATE 30 reviews
#4 of 16 trails in

Bear Run Park Hiking Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mill Run, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.5 miles
1312 feet

dogs on leash




cross country skiing


nature trips

trail running





wild flowers




private property

2 months ago

My brother and I did the 11.9 mile loop today in 5 hours. If you want the 8.5 mile loop, you’d probably need to hop from loop to loop; there is no dedicated 8.5 mile loop. Contrary to the review below me, we felt the trail was fairly well marked, and quite easy, even with some snow. Just grab a paper map at the trailhead and it’s very easy to figure out. Yes, the portion of the trail that goes along the river could use a little work, but it still wasn’t bad at all. Overall, nice trail, decent views, pretty easy. Great day hike! I love the Ohiopyle area.

3 months ago

The TL;DR...IMHO, a brutal trail system. Treacherous footing due to miles of baseball sized granite chunks hidden beneath leaves. Signage can be very confusing. Numerous picturesque footbridges over Bear Run (and their on/off ramps) are extremely slick (rain and snow).

Although I just hiked part of the Black as well as the Yellow, white and Orange (which is marked in yellow on Park’s handout!) in Dec., lm assuming the trails are covered in fallen leaves regardless of the season... unless the beleaguered trails crews rake the trails. My point is...although the trail surface looks uniform and “smooth” (as trails go), it ain’t. For about 4 miles I was walking on baseball sized granite chunks which were hidden by the fallen leaves most of the time. IMHO this is a brutal trail system. If you don’t mind a piece of advice...DONT FOCUS YOUR EYES MORE THSN 2 FEET AHEAD of your current footfall. OR... you may sprain an ankle and/or end up in a greenbrier clump after you trip and fall (which I did once). For those who may be unaware...greenbrier is like organic barbed wire.

Also, take the paper map (avail at trailhead) with you BUT don’t rely on the color-coded circular trail medallions. They are inexpertly attached to the “milestone’” posts (which are from .25 to 1.0 miles apart). I.e., sometimes the trail markers arent visible, and therefore not useable, as a guide from the direction of approach. To be CERTAIN you must check each side of the post or you may end up in Scranton. As a result, it very easy to take a wrong turn OR just stand there and fume about the confusing signage. I found the most reliable orienteering was to gauge progress by referring to the NUMBERS on each periodic Oak 8x8 “milestone” posts. Check the top of each post for a metal emblem. Using them in sequence (and this app for contour lines) I was able to decipher the trail labyrinth.

I was hiking for about 4hours, but TBH, it stopped being fun after 2 hours mainly due to the extremely treacherous matter how wide the trail was at some points. It goes without saying, these trails should not EVEN be attempted once snow covered in deep winter. Imagine walking on a pool table, after the break, blindfolded.
PS, there are several picturesque trail bridges over Bear Run and tributaries...most snow covered and slicker’n owl shit. Especially the ramps at either end. Should have used stairs IMHO. Even in summer, the combination of moss on those wooden bridge decks and on/off ramps, drenched after a rain, could be daunting.

No wonder Kaufman built a house in order to enjoy the views of Bear Run. JK...kinda.

5 months ago

Moderate. Beautiful lookouts at the end. 13 miles black loop.

6 months ago

Completed all of the trails at Bear Run. Typically well marked, well maintained, lightly trafficked. Easy to moderate depending on trail choice and weather.
White Loop: 08 Miles.
Yellow Loop: 1.7 Miles
Orange Loop: 5.7 Miles
Red Loop: 5.1 Miles
Blue Loop: 5.7 Miles
Black Loop: 11.9 Miles

6 months ago

Started on the blue trail and around marker 15 ended up on the black, winding CCW back to the parking lot. Rock and dirt path, mostly downhill. On the black trail past 381, I turned left at a caryn that took me straight up a hill. If you go this way, you need a lot of daylight; the blazes are all brown and difficult to see. When this trail, called saddle (you'll see a marker for it) gets to the top, turn left at the metallic "no hunting" sign. Turn left again when the trail ends at a T with a road. Here, you'll start seeing markers for the black trail again. Go straight past the construction stuff and cross the road back to the parking lot.

7 months ago

This is a great trail with multiple loops ranging from easy 0.8 mile hikes to difficult 11.9 mile hikes. There are 5 camp sites along the trails that are first come first serve. The All Trails app shows this as an 8.5 mile loop; however, we did not see that loop once we arrived, and had to grab a paper map from the Bear Run Reserve. Definitely recommend this location for a hike!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I started hiking the black trail yesterday, but several of the trail markers had been removed. I was at a "cross road" and could not find any markers. It took me over 1/2 hour to find another marker about 1/2 mile away. So because this happened two times, I decided to finish on the shorter red trail. Lots of potential here, but was disappointed because someone thought it would be funny to remove the markers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great trail with some awesome views! Followed the black loop and was not disappointed. There was one huge down tree I had to go around but besides that the trail was great! If you are following the black loop counter clockwise when you come to the road cross and go to your right about 50 feet to pick the trail back up again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

We were only able to hike a portion of the trail due to a time constraint. It is such a beautiful area, and I would love to return one day to complete it. We also visited Fallingwater...truly a special place. I hope we get to visit it again someday too!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nice trail with a few steep climbs but mostly level. Well blazed but some of the signage could use updating. Bear Run itself was well worth the 12 miles I put in, absolutely gorgeous. One small stream crossing on my route but was able to make it across dry.

Monday, February 15, 2016

There are a handful of primitive campsites on the reserve, prefect for a quick weekend backpack trip!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Three of us and our dog did an overnight 13 mile trip. Originally planned to do more, but storms were rolling in the Sunday we woke up. We started on Tissue and finished up on Tree. At the first, and maybe only, scenic overlook we came to, our dog was barking pretty intently. Turns out, we had just taken a picture practically standing on a copperhead den. The snakes were in a small bush/tree, about calf length high, and were very difficult to spot even after we knew they were there. Four babies and one big fat Mamma...quite unnerving. Luckily, no one was bit. Pretty solid hike after that. Saw one deer and luckily no bear. We thought this trail would be 'off the beaten path' a little more, but we encountered a decent amount of people and noise from the highway. There were plenty of water sources to refuel and firewood was in abundance.

***After reading all the dos and don'ts online along with speaking to Brian Jones at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, we were told and under the impression that camping was on a first come-first serve basis. After hiking 9 miles to camp and setting up shop, we were approached by a group of 8 guys and their dog about 3-4 hours after our arrival. They asked if we had reservations. They lied to us and said they had signed up with a park ranger and that this camp site was reserved for them. Judging by their lack of heavy breathing and sweat, they had not been hiking very long. They demanded that we leave the campsite and corralled around for a good 10-15 minutes. They tried to get in touch with a Park Ranger via cell but did not have any luck. I played them the voicemail Brian Jones left me about camping being on a first come-first serve basis. There was another camp 1.5 miles down the trail. They claimed you had to reserve a campsite at the trailhead. One of the douche bags even busted out his handy-dandy "Backpacking Pennsylvania"...for dummies...handbook and asked if I wanted to see it in writing. They even threatened to call the cops!? Before the trip, we went out of our way to make sure we were doing everything right. We left at 7 am to make sure we got a camp site and they strolled up around 4 pm. Apparently there is some confusion on this first come-first serve basis thing. I suggest leaving early and marking your campsite at the trailhead where they have maps to avoid confrontation and confusion (though no paper or writing utensil is provided to "reserve your site"). We did not move and we assumed they were happy at the next campsite down the trail...which conveniently happened to be a group campsite.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Great hike on 7/21/14 with my buddy. We hiked much of the front side but man the back side (peninsula) was grown in and tricky after you pass the 2nd over look. If you pay attention there are alot of great hidden areas to check out that offer a great hike. Be aware that once you start its hard to turn back due to the awesome surroundings, so give yourself time to finish what you start in an enjoyable manner. Take a good supply of water Do not rush, stay safe and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Camping is first come first serve, which can has it's pluses and minuses.

The front trails are well marked, but the back trails can have some difficult terrain and are not well marked so mach sure you take a map and compass with you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is a beautiful place and the trails are well marked and interseting. Several creek crossings, rock cliffs, and old stands of pine and oak. I hike with a dog and sfound you should beware because there are lots of deer and porcupines around. Its point to point and I did not finish it - got about 7 in and turned to head back.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Sunday, September 09, 2012