Bear Run Park Hiking Trail

MODERATE 39 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.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1312 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

private property

11 days ago

5/30/18 - Awesome trails, very well marked. I really wanted to hit one of the longer trails but, with storms in the forecast for the afternoon I decided to keep it short. The first thing I witnessed was the pollen blowing off the trees in the parking lot. Fortunately I took allergy medicine. Unfortunately my dog suffered, coughing for the first mile or so. Quite the variety of terrain and foliage. Heard an owl and scared some deer away, probably from my dog's bear bell. I would consider this trail lightly moderate.

hiking
20 days ago

On May 28, 2018, I did the black loop which my GPS calculated at about 12.5 miles. The trail was overgrown in parts, was very rocky in parts, was wet and muddy in parts, and had downed trees in parts that blocked the trail. Given this, I was not able to hike at the pace I hoped to keep. Also note that the last portion of the black trail was on a service road. However, the majority of the trail was in good shape, fairly well marked, and overall was an enjoyable experience.

1 month ago

A nice hike yesterday in beautiful weather.

A nice group of red and white trilliums on the west side of 381 section.

Make sure you download the trail maps from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy or pick one up at the start. This trail route is actually a combination of a number of trails, and the marking can be quite confusing.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Followed blue to black. Few down trees great views. Fun hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I went hiking here on Saturday March 31, 2018. Since a lot of snow has recently melted in the area the trail was very muddy (estimated 20-25% of the trail). So bring shoes that you don’t mind getting completely wet if it has rained recently. There were a lot of flowing creeks to cross, plus many of the flatter areas on the trail were soaked in several inches of standing water. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that going around the trail was very difficult due to many thorn bushes in the area.

I agree with others that it would be nice if there were a few more trail markers. We made it back to the parking lot but not by our intended route. At one point there was a very large fallen tree crossing the trail. But due to lack of visible markers we didn’t know that it was had fallen on the trail (because we didn’t know where the trail was) until foraging around it. Also, if you follow the black trail, beware of a another fallen tree right here:
https://goo.gl/maps/cQzUpSVmw3A2
It carries a trail marker, but since the tree has fallen it is difficult to figure out which way to go.

In general, the trail could definitely use some clean up.

Otherwise it was beautiful, quiet and a lovely day in the woods.

hiking
2 months ago

Did the blue trail. Very well marked and easy to follow. Easy hike as well. Will be doing the black trail next trip for a little more distance and hopefully more elevation gain. Didn’t take as long as predicted.

5 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.

5 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 footing...no 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.

8 months ago

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

hiking
9 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

9 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.

hiking
10 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!

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
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.

camping
Monday, February 15, 2016

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

hiking
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!

hiking
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.

hiking
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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