West Rim Trail is a 38.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Morris, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
A beautiful hike with some great views of the PA Grand Canyon that most people take three days to complete.
30.2 miles. Point to point. Pine Creek Outfitters has a shuttle service. Solo hike in later Oct 2016. Well marked. Terrific views from the vistas.
It was definitely *NOT* "moderately trafficked" when we were there. We hiked South to North and saw a couple of day hikers few miles in at the first viewpoint along with two unprepared backpackers whom we never saw again. We only ran into one group hiking SOBO - A father with 2 daughters. We did see a few people while walking through 2 parks in the Northern section, but they were there with their cars / not on the trail. Much of the Southern section of the trail was overgrown (summer 2015), but there are some amazing views with great campsites and some older growth forest. We did the entire trail in 2 1/2 days. We could have pushed it to 2, but were in no hurry/ When we came out, we turned around and did a SOBO 2 day bikepack of the Pine Creek Rail Trail. The combined trip was a fantastic experience - I'd do it again in a minute!
A great overnight on the West Rim Trail along the Grand Canyon of PA.
Check the full trip report here :
Only did half but it was really beautiful. Want to come back and backpack the rest soon.
Backpacked this trail over a stormy weekend 10-2 thru 10-4, 2015. We set up camp 2.7 miles in on Friday night at the Northern Terminus. The first 16 - 17 miles had many vistas and well-maintained. But after the park, the brushes were overgrown - lots of tripping hazards! After Bohen Run the trail was more of a goat pass, you would be hiking on the precipice of a ridge with your foot flexed most of the time. At the top of this you will find your last vista. We bailed out due to an injury i sustained 1/2 mile before West Rim Rd. At this point we have already done 30 miles ( we missed a blaze that added 2 miles to our trip, where there is a fenced area of land to protect new forest growth from deer). If the trail was anything like the last 13 miles, we decided it was not worth it.
The West Rim Trail is actually a 30.5 mile point-to-point trail from the southern trailhead on PA route 414 at Rattlesnake Rock access just south of Blackwell to the northern terminus on Colton Point Road, Ansonia, PA. My new friend Dan and I hustled up this moderate path on May 4, 2014, a perfect day for hiking. We parked my vehicle at Ansonia and, in Dan's car, took the scenic ride on West Rim Road to our starting point on Route 414. This ride on the gravel no-winter-maintenance road through the hardwood forests of Tioga State Forest is well worth the extra time, compared to the hard road route that goes through Wellsboro, Morris, and thence to Blackwell. Dan and I got a relatively late start, beginning our hike at 9:00 a.m. with light packs consisting mostly of water and energy bars. It was a warm day for early May, requiring lots of water to keep hydrated. However, you'll find there is no shortage of water (you'll want to filter it) on this well maintained and blazed trail. Dan is a much faster hiker than I am. He hustled ahead several times and waited for me to catch up. Consequently he burned off more water than I did, going through seven liters of H²O. At the beginning of the West Rim Trail we experienced he steepest and longest ascent up Lloyd Run Hollow. However, it's a modest climb of about 1000 feet over a course of 1.77 miles topping out at 1875 feet elevation near the intersection of Long Run Trail. The pathway stayed relatively level for the rest of our journey, treating us to several vistas overlooking the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania along the way. A free map from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) pinpoints sixteen vistas that begged us to stop for photo taking. I did not take any pictures for two reasons. Firstly, we had to cover over thirty miles before dark and secondly, I forgot my camera. Be inspired by the many photos on the link below. Phone coverage is very spotty in this remote area so I'd advise that you stick with your hiking companions. Most hikers respectfully treat the West Rim Trail as a backpacking adventure, completing the 30+ miles in about two-and-a-half days. There are many desirable primitive camping spots along the way that do not require a special permit if you camp for only one night. Dan and I completed our ambitious hike within our goal of less than twelve hours. I arrived at the northern terminus at 8:50 p.m., catching up with Dan who had been there for almost an hour. I was not disappointed that my 79 year old legs carried me the distance.
Hiked this trail with my son over a 3 day period in late may. The vistas of Pine Creek Gorge are splended. The trail is well marked. Water and camping sites are abundant, especially on the northern half. We started on a tuesday afternoon and finished on friday afternoon. We encountered noone else until late Friday morning. This is a great trail as you get a sence of isolation and great views from one end to the other. I would recomend it to anyone.
My family and I backpacked this over 3 days. We hiked it southbound and view is best in the northern part of the trail. Southern portion was less pretty and the brush really encroached on the trail at places near the southern end. Camping sites were not as easy to find as we went past the halfway point.
I just finished the hike from South to North this past weekend by myself. Being from Pittsburgh, for the past year, I drove to State College the night before to minimize the drive out the next morning. I arrived Friday morning at Pine Creek Outfitters to take their shuttle service to the South Terminus. Both I and another gentleman had them follow us to the North Terminus to leave our vehicles there so we didn't have to walk back to the shop. After some good conversation with the shuttle driver, we had arrived at Rattlesnake Rock where the Southern Terminus is located. I quickly shed my jacket and tossed the pack on then proceeded to start the first climb. I should say that I have spent the past nine years in Oklahoma so I wasn't used to such terrain as what abounds out here. However, I have been training myself on my bike for a trek like this. As soon as you enter the wooded area, you immediately get the feeling that this journey will be quite enjoyable. From the small stream that travels down on your left to the birds watching your ascent, the sounds are enticing. The one thing that struck me most on this first day were the amount of tiny brown frogs everywhere. No bigger than a nickel, they were scattered across the trail for miles. I had previously read Chuck Dillons guide for this trail so I had a good idea on what to expect but I was quite surprised at the diversity of the forest. Starting off the first day's climb through thick pines, one quickly passes through rhododendron that this time of the year is quite thick. Trail width can go from 4 feet across to wading through the brush. After a couple hours of admiring my surroundings, I came upon the first vista. I had seen others' pictures of the area but to experience it myself was a completely different emotion. It is hard to truly gauge the scale of beauty unless you can see it for yourself. Being the second weekend in September, the leaves were not in full color, but the subtle changes in their hues had begun to emerge. For the next several miles the trail was like a gentle roller coaster up and down, skating to the edge of the gorge then back into a hollow. I pressed on ahead to where I planned on camping that evening. Arriving about 4:30 pm at the vista approx 10 miles from the South Terminus. After dropping my pack to rest my legs and admire my view, the hammock was hung. I established a small fire and ate my dinner while perched on a log overlooking the expanse below. With darkness approaching soon, I had hung my food sack then extinguished flames and got a good night's sleep while listening to distant owls.
Some light rain came in early morning but soon subsided. I struck camp then was back on the move to cover some good ground this second day. I stopped about a 1/4 mile down the trail to top off my water supply for the morning. Hiking out of this hollow was a good way to get the heart pumping early in the morning. Some of the ascents have a decent incline to them, if only for a short distance. The trail breaks west here to bypass a bog area then puts you on a gravel road for a bit. It was interesting to feel the welcome of the forest as I entered it again. Hiking along the road just was not as comfortable. Heading back towards the rim is a small climb to the Bradley Wales picnic area. After a lengthy look at some more beautiful vistas, it was back to a gentle up and down scenario for another few miles. Filling up my water reserves again at Little Slate Run, I tried to keep my pace up as my planned distance was half done. Back and forth, next to the rim and down into hollows was the lay of the land for the next couple hours. At this point in the day, the sun had arrived from behind the cloud cover for the first time. Watch the light filter through the canopy to the forest floor was enlightening. This is where I came across Allan, descending the hill going down to Painter Leetonia Road. I had wished him a good afternoon and we stopped to discuss how magnificent the area was. He was from the area and maintains much of the Northern sections by volunteer work. After listening to some of his stories I kept on moving to where I planned my second night on the trail. The trail once again follows a road for some time before crossing back uphill. After another mile, and passing Painter Leetonia Rd again, I saw the campsites I had planned on. The first one I came across didn't appeal due to its proximity to the road. I had decided to press on another mile or two on until I saw the perfect little hideaway just in front of me. It only take a slight walk down the side of the road to put you on a private wooded paradise. Four Mile Run bubbles right next to the campsite and it was tucked away just off the road to provide a sense of seclusion from even a fellow hiker. After hanging the hammock and eating dinner, I sat at the fire letting my thoughts dwell on the sights and sounds of the day.
I awoke next morning to a chilly start. A cup of coffee and a q
This is a favorite weekender for some friends and I. I have done the trip several times, including my first backpacking trip when I was 7 years old. In my opinion, October is the best time to make the trip especially if you time the leaves changing color. The overlooks are very nice for Pennsylvania, and it's an all around fun experience. I recommend doing the trail in 2.5 days.
Nice trail, very pretty. There were not as many vistas as I expected, plus it rained the whole time so the views were quite misty. Still had a great time. Finished the whole stretch in 2 days. I was also visited by a very nonchalant porcupine at my first camp.
Great trail, great views. One of the best in PA.
Great trail.. very doable in 2.5 to 3.5 days. The southern half has quite a bit of descending and ascending.. the views are amazing
Beautiful trail that follows the west rim of the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon". Fairly easy trail, although it could have been the hardest trail in the state and you would be too preoccupied with the incredible views of pine creek to even notice. This trail should be done in the fall when possible as the fall foliage adds an extra bit of beauty to the trail
Hiked out and back making it a 4 nite 61 mile hike. superb vistas. encountered the rear end of a bear in the trail. took off immediately, he not me. was about 30 ft away. Great pix of the gorge. awesome mountain pix. AAA rated by me. tioga st forest.