Flat Rock Loop Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Newville, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,512 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Flat Rock Trailhead road/parking lot and the main parking lot by Pavilion #1 are closed. Please use the equestrian parking lot to access the Flat Rock Trail via the Rattlesnake Trail. A new connector trail between Rattlesnake Trail and Flat Rock Trail has been built - please use this trail to go to Flat Rock. Please read signs and maps at mark and speak to rangers there for the most up-to-date information. Tough hike with a nice view at the end. The trail starts near the amphitheater area of Colonel Denning State Park. Wear good boots, and bring plenty of water this hike is a workout.

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rocky
17 days ago

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muddy
rocky
17 days ago

Just be aware this hike can be very muddy near the top. It is a beautiful hike up with an incline. More than 75% of the way up was an incline. The overlook is well worth the hike with probably the best view in Central PA. We followed the Preferred way up and down. Narrow path ways and very rocky. Great workout and great views.

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muddy
rocky
28 days ago

This is a great trail with lots of variety. Beware that you do make up a lot of altitude in a very short time. But, the reward is that the view at the flat rock of the valley below is breathtaking. We went up the “preferred” approach which was a steady increase in altitude with lots and lots of steps, and very rocky, and uneven footing. We came down by way of what they called the challenging route. Actually, this route seems like it might not be a bad way to climb up, because this trail is pretty flat to start off with and has a short amount of it which is a very steep climb. One feature on this approach is a couple of old structures dedicated to piping water from a natural spring. All along the trail are beautiful waterfalls. The marshy highlands, about 2/3 of the way to the top, are very pretty as well, though muddy. Also, in this time of social distancing, this heavily trafficked trail is not the trail to be on. The paths are narrow, and out of the approximately 75 people whom we passed, there were only two that had masks available. Also, the flat rocks, just beyond the summit, were a relatively small area and heavily crowded.

29 days ago

We loved this trail! It was intense for us (my 10- and 8-year-olds are relatively new to hiking) but it was sooo worth the view at the top. Highly recommend.

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rocky
1 month ago

This trail is awesome, if you like a challenge. I paced myself going up. Roughly 40 minutes per mile. I’m not in the best shape took several breaks. Well worth the challenges such a beautiful view when you make it to the top.

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blowdown
rocky
1 month ago

Good hike with options - flat rock trail is very busy. View from flat rock is a real draw. We enjoyed taking the blue - Tuscarora trail from flat rock and then cross small run onto red trail - Lehman trail which loops back to flat rock trail for final descent. We did a side spur for about 1/2 mile following the little off Tuscarora trail - very pretty - then doubled back to pick up Lehman trail (red). Lots of mountain laurel on Tuscarora trail - should be stunning in about a month with blooms.

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rocky
1 month ago

A little busy today, lots of dogs! Gorgeous views and a hard up hill all the way to the top, but the return trip was very nice

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muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike. Very challenging. Stunning views. Very well marked

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rocky
2 months ago

The view on Flat Rock is totally worth the hike up! We chose to do the more challenging option- and it definitely was a steeper incline without winding up and around. Overall, the hike was great, well marked, plenty of rest spots, and tons of great views. However, that final view when you reach the peak at Flat Rock is mind blowing! Pictures do NOT do it justice- you need to stand there and feel the wind blow as you gaze out on the world below. There is a small ‘bathroom’ outhouse about halfway up with a small AT picnic table and lean-to. The trail is rocky and trail shoes or boots would be best- but can be done in sneakers. Be sure to bring water and a snack for the top. If you have dogs, BRING THEM WATER and keep them leashes- lots of families on the trails.

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muddy
rocky
2 months ago

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2 months ago

harder hike but worth it for the view!

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2 months ago

Well maintained and marked trails leading to a beautiful lookout point

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2 months ago

Wonderful trail with a beautiful view! just wish it were longer though. It only came out to 4.2 total.

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rocky
2 months ago

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3 months ago

View from Flat Rock is beautiful. Small lookout though so it can get crowded. Tons of trails in this park so make sure you have the map downloaded before heading out.

hiking
3 months ago

My first trip up in 25 years. I hated it the whole way up. Lol But the goal is so worth it! Knee braces and hiking poles help.

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rocky
4 months ago

Winter provides good sight lines and the view at flat rock was clear and clean. Pay attention on Preferred Trail as you will see trail builders used fossil rocks in places. Added to our hike. The snow from last week end just melted thanks to warmer temps and rain day before so trail at the beginning was muddy in places. At top of mountain had a few icy spots - nothing serious but required paying attention especially going down. Bonus for my wife, new bathhouses in camp ground beside trail head - heated, clean, very nice. One of few PA hikes to climb 1200’ in elevation quickly. Solid hike. Enjoy every time.

hiking
6 months ago

The hike itself is decent, and the overlook is very pretty with a panoramic view of the valley below. *****However, be aware that hunters are allowed to hunt in Pennsylvania State Parks!***** I had driven over an hour and a half to get there, so when I saw the signs advising hikers to wear orange, I wasn't about to leave and go home because I didn't have orange. I figured that hunters shouldn't be shooting near the hiking trail. On the return hike coming downhill, over a mile from the parking lot, I saw a man dragging a dead, gutted deer on a tarp down the middle of the hiking trail, stopping every 15 feet or so. He scolded me for not wearing orange as I turned my head and jumped over the dead deer's legs to get by the man. Not what I wanted to see on my hike!

6 months ago

Super solid hike, even in the chilly autumnal air. Enjoy some snacks overlooking Cumberland County at the top.

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rocky
6 months ago

A tough hike with a rocky trail. Well worth the view at the end.

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7 months ago

Hike was great. Very Strenuous. Beautiful scenery at top. Only issue was very little space at top. Other than that hike was great.

hiking
7 months ago

Very nice trail but it is definitely not a “walk in the park” type! Vista is lovely!

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rocky
7 months ago

The rocky incline definitely makes this a strenuous hike. We took the challenging route up and the preferred route down. The view at the top is spectacular.

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rocky
7 months ago

Not too steep, but very rocky. Wear sturdy shoes. The Flat Rock and Tuscarora Trail portions are well-travelled and marked. The Lehman Trail portion is less obvious but you’ll find it if you pay attention to terrain and look for the prominent (red) blazes. Fantastic vista at the end of Flatrock. Ninety minutes up with an 11yo and an 8yo, 3hrs all told with a pause for snacks. Great shade throughout. Again, rocky footing is the only real challenge to this hike.

hiking
7 months ago

From campground, hiked Rattlesnake trail to Flat Rock Preferred trail to Tuscarora Trail to top out and back. Pretty much straight up and straight down. The view was worth the effort! 4 hour round-trip with lunch break.

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