Tuscarora Trail - Cowans Gap to Tower Rd

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Cowans Gap State Park

Tuscarora Trail - Cowans Gap to Tower Rd is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Mc Connellsburg, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.3 miElevation gain1,420 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowers
Description
Waypoints (3)

Directions are pretty straightforward as to how to follow this trail. As long as you follow the blue blazes of the Tuscarora Trail here you will not get lost on a side trail. There are many side trails that lead back to Cowans Gap State Park but just keep following the blazes.

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Reviews (61)
Photos (355)
Activities (54)
Completed (95)
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spacetrukin fpv
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Hiking

amazing views and relatively easy terrain starting from the south. more difficult on the north side.

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Donna Ellis-Atkinson
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WalkingGreat!

I was there in October 2020. There is a trail around the lake with beautiful views , especially in the fall.

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Bill Plummer
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Hiking

the down hills on this hike was just as tough as the the up hills. a great workout.

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Cristi Sullivan
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Hiking

Nice marked trails. Wide enough with beautiful scenery all around. Trails are well taken care of and also the State Park is super clean. Take a picnic and enjoy the day at this beautiful park!

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Taylor Wagner
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HikingGreat!

Love this trail! We go hiking here every year. Beautiful scenery!

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Chris Styer
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Hiking

good but it was not easy

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Missy Pressman
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Hiking

We did this as an out and back instead of a point to point and it was by no means am easy hike. Uphill the first mile and lots of rocks. Ended up being almost 9 miles as an out and back.

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Daniel Rudy
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Hiking
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Shawn Weaver
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Hiking
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howard feldman
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HikingRocky

Agree with the reviews that say this was NOT easy. A moderate forest uphill with numerous switchbacks, then over a lot of rocks. About halfway during the you end up in a clearing on a grassy "road", wide and no shade. Really pretty boring in this part and we had a lot of sunshine when we were there -- more than we wanted. When we cut back onto the trail, it was overgrown. A bit disappointing.

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Renée Lani
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Hiking

http://midatlantichikes.com/cowansgap.htm Great directions on the website. We added a 3 mile roundtrip trek to Hogback Mountain but not needed unless you want the mileage, elevation, are trying to hit all map-worthy peaks in PA, or are just generally masochistic (as there are no viewpoints due to trees). The views are pretty (not the best I've ever seen) but the hike is so dynamic and an amazing work out.

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shawn Marie
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Walking

Very easy walk! Pet friendly! A few places to stop along the lake to enjoy the few. It rained while we were here and it’s not to many trees to hide you. Once the rain stopped it was so hot! Overall it was great to take a dip in the lake after. Crowd was heavy but distant at the lake.

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Brook Aldridge
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Hiking

This was a great hike but by no means “easy”. The first mile and the last were the hardest. Very steep. We decided to take Geyers trail down and then walked back on the road because our ankles were killing us from the rocky terrain. Definitely a moderate to moderate hard hike. Dogs did a fabulous job with it.

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Helena X
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No shadeOver grown
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Michaela Rohrbaugh
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Hiking

I

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Victoria Fortney
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HikingRocky

I didn’t realize this was a point to point trail, so it ended up being a 9 mile round trip. Uphill switchbacks in the beginning and Rocky parts through the forest, definitely wouldn’t convince to consider this an “easy” trail. It does have a long, flat, grassy stretch though, before another short incline. Views at the end are incredible! Also looks like you can drive up to see this view as well. Nice hike overall, and no other people on the trail at all made for a quiet day!

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Michael Manoni
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Hiking

Started at Cowans gap state headed south on the Tuscarora Trail to Big Mountain where there one of pa best vista. Then looped back using Richmond trail down the mountain. Then you have to hike the road about 1/2 mile or so to Peffer trail. When you get to the old logging road/forest road. Take that back towards Cowans Gap SP. you hit Camern trail. That goes down the hill. Follow couple hundred yards and make a left on Passenger Trail. That will take you back to the park. When i got back to the park. I looped around the lake and back to the car. Enjoy

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Jim Papa
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HikingRocky

This was a good trail but a challenging hike. It is rocky but we had our 7 year old and he enjoyed it. We also had our dog with us. She did well but it was a bit challenging for her in spots as well. Really nice views at the top.

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Michelle Elizabeth
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Hiking

This was a wonderful trail- however we saw “easy” as description- part of it is, yes, but the map it gives you here is a the start of Geyer Trail which is labeled as most difficult due to its steep uphill walk up Tuscarora Mountain to get to Tuscarora Trail. I had my kids and they were troopers, but we had to stop before we made it to the top and head back down. If you start Tuscarora Trail around the lake however it is an easy hike with beautiful views. Will be trying out the Geyer to Tuscarora trail again when kids aren’t with us to see what that view looks like at the top.

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wy9dc1l 2grzq3m
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
HikingRocky

5 stars is mostly because of the overlook at the end which is fantastic. Tuscarora trail is always a very rocky trail in general from parts I have done before, but this segment actually has a nice segment in between which is wide grassy path (exposed to sun). This part starts right where Geyer trail intersects and continues up to about a mile before it descends further up to the overlook. You get a nice combination of steep switchbacks, large rocks, easy open path and the view at the end which makes it a pretty darn good hike.

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Quentin Whiteree
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HikingOver grownRocky

Relentlessly up and then along the ridge. Rocky. We took the geyer trail down which was steep.

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Theunis van Niekerk
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Hiking

The Vista overlook on the gravel road at the end of the hike was a very pleasant surprise! There is a stone bench overlooking a cliff. A great spot to stop for lunch. It was definitely worth hiking and clearly marked. The parking at the bottom at the state park is clean with well maintained bathrooms. We did the hike in just over 4 hours. The steep sections require a slow pace, going up and down. The bottom incline does not require hands and knees climbing since it zigzags up the climb with rocky areas needing some extra navigating.

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Jane Dobrzanski
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Hiking

Hiked from lake- beginning was a good climb- then relatively flat- wide open grassy trail- definitely worth going to top for view. Return hike basically all downhill. Had the trail to myself on a Holiday weekend!

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Drew Cantor
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Hiking

charcoal trail to hogback mountain trail. Top of hogback mountain has an opening with a nice view of the Cumberland valley. You can also take Hogback mountain trail to the top of Big Mountain, which is one of the biggest elevation gains in Pennsylvania.

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Bethany Cabrera
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Hiking

2 mile is extremely rocky for those thinking they want to trail run. After 2 mile smooths our to a soft green pad. Relieving the feet from the bumpy 2nd. Fun and exciting trail!

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James Pavlock
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Check out amazing vistas at the small loop at the end of Tower Road off Aughwick Road and behind the Mountain House restaurant at Route 30. Best in Pa. A third vista is nearby about 15 miles away (not on this trail) at the summit on Broad Mountain Road east of Fannettsburg. Circling hawks seen.

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Bryan Kluth
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Running

Great for the area! Moderate rating is accurate. I unknowingly wished for this trail to lead to a nice grassy road walk after the initial climb from the parking area, and that's exactly what I got after hiking the prior five days. The wide grassy old ridge foresting road makes for a nice running path instead of having to be focused on traversing rocks. Not a soul in sight on a Friday afternoon. Several viewpoints along the way instead of just one. Nice little hike :)

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Susan Sleighter
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Hiking
First to Review

Great hike on a beautiful day! We parked up at the tower, on Tower Rd and immediately came to the most beautiful vista. Parking there made the hike mostly level then a steep decent at the end, at the lake. Be prepared for a steep incline if you park at the lake and walk up to the tower. Also worth going 2/10ths mike to the bunker. Very nice camp for hikers.

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