Callahan Run: Black Forest Trail Loop

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Wolf Run Wilderness Area

Callahan Run: Black Forest Trail Loop is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cedar Run, Pennsylvania that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, bird watching, and fishing and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length9.5 miElevation gain1,771 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashCampingFishingHikingBird watchingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildlifeRockyScramble
Waypoints (0)
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Reviews (30)
Photos (265)
Recordings (23)
Completed (53)
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Martin Noon
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HikingGreat!IcyOver grown
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Scott Butler
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Eric Vilbs
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HikingGreat!

Hiked on a beautiful sunny day in late September. I followed the route Clockwise exactly as mapped out on Alltrails (figured I'd color between the lines since this was my first time on the Black Forest Trail). The trailhead was easy to find... and I picked up a sandwich to-go at Wolf's General Store (recommended) before cutting down over the creek on Slate Run Rd. and taking it up Naval Run Rd. (gravel) to where it dead-ends at the trailhead. The trailhead was easy to find/follow... and I had downloaded 2 maps (both the alltrails map and another one found online which I consulted throughout the day) anticipating some difficulty with route finding (and note that there is zero cell service until you reach the top of the climb). As it turns out that wasn't much of an issue. You start out following yellow blazes south (paralleling pine creek), and the trickiest part came right after cutting across Callahan run. You start back up the run and see a double-yellow blaze as the trail (Pine trail I think) keeps going south paralleling pine creek. At this point you need to leave the yellow blazes and keep going straight up the run (an obvious trail heads upstream but is unmarked). You follow that up a gradual ascent above Callahan run and then run smack into the intersection of the 'Black Forest' and 'Callahan' trails. From there you follow the well-blazed (orange) 'Black Forest' trail up a long steep ascent... until finally reaching the top of the plateau. You cross a few gravel roads but the trail is easy to follow until you reach Rt. 44. From there you cross over a parking lot and take the easy to spot Old Grade Rd/trail until you can take a right on the Gas Line trail... and that will eventually kick you back to the 'Black Forest' trail which you take to the finish (and you take a left leaving the 'Black Forest' trail once you pick up yellow blazes again at the bottom when you reach Naval run to get back to the parking lot). Overall it's a fantastic trail. A brutal climb up... an even steeper descent back down on the switchbacks (which my knees/ankles did not overly appreciate), and several nice viewpoints along the way. The first is at the top of your initial ascent (on the Big Trail Scenic Rd) and then there are 2 in close proximity while descending on the 'Black Forest' trail (short asides to 'White Birch Vista' and 'Moss Hollow Lookout'... both great spots to stop for lunch). The initial ascent is through beautiful forest... while the back end is a little less interesting as you're on wider forest roads (grass/gravel) between Rt. 44 and when you re-connect with the Black Forest trail on the descent. It's hard to complain too much though... as the easier terrain made for faster hiking once fatigue started to set in. There are areas where there should have been water/waterfalls on the ascent which were bone dry (courtesy of our drought-filled summer), but I'm sure the trail is even prettier (and possibly more difficult) with more water. All told it took me 4 hours and 20 minutes moving at a good clip to complete (which includes a 15 minute lunch break and a few other miscellaneous stops). The trails were mostly easy to find/follow, and it was an outstanding day in the woods. I was also a bit surprised at the amount of traffic on the trail. I mostly had the trail to myself but I passed at least 11 other people on the way... which is about 11 more than expected. It's a popular area for good reason and I'm looking forward to hiking more trails here in the future. 4.5 stars.

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Daniel Waldron
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Hiking

Not great blazes, but well cleared and beautiful

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Guido G
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HikingGreat!

16 of us ended up doing this fantastic trail in little over 6 hrs. We wanted to do this trail clockwise but ended up doing it counterclockwise by mistake (We missed making the left after the stream and only realized this after 10 minutes and did not want to turn back). Doing it counterclockwise is I think the way to go because we ended up hiking Callahan creek down at the creek level (rather then on top of the hill on the new Callahan trail) and had so much fun. We all started in the creek (which did not have a lot of water) and some ended up heading up the hill to find the new trail (which is much higher than the old trail) but those who stayed in the creek had the most fun jumping from stone to stone and maneuvering over and under fallen trees. Doing it counterclockwise is I think harder since the ascend to the plateau is steeper. Some of our group had a hard time with this ascend. While heading towards Callahan creek (on the descend from the plateau) we noticed that a lot of the trail should have been wet because of various other streams intersecting the trail but the whole trail was bone dry (except when we were in Callahan creek). We talked later to a Ranger and he said that the area is abnormally dry. We did not see any wildlife (not even any butterflies) and barely saw any other hikers. So nice and remote compared to the busy Pocono trails! Load this map onto your phone before you go since most of the trail has no service and make sure your phone is fully charged otherwise you will get lost. Most of this trail is not marked. The trail has a lot of variable terrain, vegetation, and trees. On the plateau there are many outlooks with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. As someone else said “if I never get to hike another trail it will be alright”!

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Nikki Cohron
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Uncle Kenny
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Great!

on it right now it's a wonderful area the Black Forest Trail is awesome if I never got to hike another Trail it would be alright

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Jason Rimmer
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E Tranimal
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HikingMuddyOver grown
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Kathryn Tillotson
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Hiking

Blazes are few and far in between. recommend an actual map. Most trails did not show up on the Alltrails app or my other apps. I am glad I bought a good map. Amazing adventure today. Trail in the beginning was loaded with stinging nettles. Do not forget your bug spray!

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Kevin Earnest
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Hiking

I was not prepared for the length of time/miles spent walking on access roads/trails. The ups and downs and switchbacks were enjoyable. I crossed streams multiple times. Some of the views were very nice. But the flat walking keeps me from giving a 5 rating.

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wanda Welker
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Hiking

Great trail with gorgeous vistas..

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Peter Thomas
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Hiking

This is an interesting area with many other trails in addition to Naval Run. You cross a stream to start and then shortly thereafter cross again (if you are doing the trail counter clockwise). We missed this turn and hiked merrily along another very nice trail until we noticed our error. Another thing: this trail is remote and does not seem heavily trafficked. About halfway into the hike we encountered a black bear and cubs eating blueberries. This was on an old mountain track and we were able to see them from 100 yards away. They did not retreat, so we turned the loop into an out and back hike. If you plan to do this hike, I would recommend making sufficient noice some of the more densely vegetated areas so you do not inadvertently startle an animal. We were staying overnight in Slate Run and while leaving this morning a 6:30am encountered another bear on the far side of the bridge. A much easier feeling as we were in our car. i have been reading bearsmart.com to brush up on how to safely manage bear encounters. Note: I would definitely return here as the trails are in great shape and the hike is beautiful.

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Robert Carnes Jr
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Hiking

This was a great trail...especially going counter clockwise. Very step incline going up through the valley....had to stop many times for a break. Once on top the trail is great and well maintained. The only bad section is coming down the face where all the switch backs are. There is a section where there are a lot of blowdowns, trail is overgrown with high weeds, berry thorns, etc. This is probably the first 1/3 coming down. Once your past this area the rest of the way down is steep with many switch backs. Bring lots of bug spray for this time of year.

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Micheale Ann
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First to Review

Definitely going back when there's not a heat wave!

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Michael Cole
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Tyler Long
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Mark Mark Butler
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Madison Markell
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Patrick S.
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Shane Kershner
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Kerry Conner
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Joe Seider
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Hal Nordlin
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William Hagaman
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Micheale Ann
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Robert Carnes Jr
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