Laurel Highland Hiking Trail: Rt. 653 to Grindle Ridge

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Laurel Ridge State Park

Laurel Highland Hiking Trail: Rt. 653 to Grindle Ridge is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Rockwood, Pennsylvania that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 554 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

running

views

Fairly level trek along ridge w/ several overlooks and rock mazes. (5 miles) The yellow-blazed Laurel Highland Hiking Trail covers 70 miles from Ohiopyle State Park north to Seward. This review covers the 5.2 mile section between PA Route 653 and the Grindle Ridge Shelter Area. The two most interesting features of this section of the trail are the rocky overlooks of Middle Fork and a Rock Maze. The broken geology is damage done during the last Ice Age when this section of Pennsylvania was tundra and subjected to freeze-thaw cycles that 12,000 year later make the trail rocky and tough on the feet. The trail designers take some delight in the terrain by running the trail through these huge cracks in the stone rather than taking the easier route around them.When the trail is hot, these rocky corridors can be significantly cooler although they also harbor colonies of mosquitos. The cross trail's marked with orange disks are for cross-country skiing. The consession at the 653 parking area is open during the weekends during the winter.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

Followed Hannah Allen’s review. Great trail. Outlooks were beautiful. You do pass a cemetery at the beginning that dates back to the 1800s. It was pretty cool. Trail was rocky but well taken care of. Would definitely do this again.

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

Great trail! Big parking area off of 653. When you get to the north/south sign on the trail go north. The whole thing is mostly flat, though rocky, so watch the ankles. The 6.7 mapped in All Trails will take you from mile markers 19-22, during which there are 2 nice overlook rocks. If you continue on to just before mile marker 23 you get to walk through the awesome rocks. We turned around there for a round trip total of 8.3 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a fairly easy hike with two slight hills...my dog loved this trail and we were able to sit on one of the overlook rocks and enjoy snacks and water before hiking back to our car....this trail is very well marked although you have to watch your step with the roots and rocks that are frequent on the trail....still a great trail for all ages.

Four miles out and back on North part of trail. Miles 19-23. Two lovely outlooks between 21-22 and lovely rock passage just before mile 23.

4 months ago

great hike and well marked. we did the 6.7 out and back and did not find the rock maze -- must be further along. one nice rock outcropping provided an excellent overlook! mostly flat hike -- we did it with a 10, 8, and 5 yo, in about 30 degree temps and some snow covering the trail - 4 hours.

hiking
7 months ago

Great section. My 15 yo and I blew thru fairly quick. Was a beautiful day today with clear skies. Didn’t know prior to today but you could see some of the buildings in Pittsburgh. Anyone have any info on the cemetery there?

Great views at 3.0 miles in.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
10 months ago

Cool, shaded throughout the vast majority of the hike. There are two beautiful overlooks about 3 miles in.

hiking
10 months ago

this one here is to the grindle ridge camp site. the previous one did not make it all the way there

hiking
muddy
rocky
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

We had a very nice one-way day hike from RT653 to RT31. There is a variety of trail sections from deep forests, to small rock cities, to nice high vistas. Lots of good photo ops. The little valley were Blue Hole creek runs is very pretty as well. This is a slightly rolling section of trail that runs across the ridge tops. There are only a few places were the trail is steep and its only for just a few yards. The frequent stones and roots though make a trekking pole a nice to have item. Found water plentiful at streams and at pumps (may require treatment). The trail is well maintained and thoughtfully marked and the section through Seven Springs is interesting even though it is a mostly open area. The local clay shooting club was very active this day. Otherwise, the trail provides a decent feeling of remoteness. A full LTE Verizon cell signal was maintained through most of the distance which made it easy to arrange for our shuttle back home. We liked it enough to want to try the whole length of the LHHT this fall.

backpacking
Sat Aug 18 2018

Very nice section of the LHHT. Mild variations in elevation and the shelter area is well laid out.

hiking
Thu Nov 16 2017

There is plenty of parking at trailhead. Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There are a lot of rocks on this trail. You will be stepping over/on them the entire hike. We started the hike at 8:30am and got to the shelter area around lunchtime. We ate our packed lunches in the shelter area and then headed back. It was a great day hike for November.

Sat Jul 08 2017

Great views from lookout

hiking
5 days ago

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