8 hours ago

Don’t either bother with this trail. Trail just dies after a .25 mile or so. And doesn’t even connect to bear pond trail like it shows on the state forest map.

Although the access roads are a little boring, take advantage of them to warm up and rest. The uphill from 2.4-3.4 miles is a challenge, but fun, and at the top is a beautiful section to hike thru until again another access road to take you back to the park. Saw my first Lady slipper which was exciting! The left turn onto Tuscarora trail was hard to find due to a truck being parked on the access road, but we back tracked and went the right way to cross the bridge built by Boy Scouts. There are a few muddy sections because of people horseback riding. We ended up with 8.7 miles, but started and ended at a different point.

Hemlock trail was tough with a 24lb pack and all those rocks, but we really enjoyed the different scenery.

over grown
1 month ago

VERY VERY WRONG!!!! It seems as though the reviews and rating of this trail are not completely accurate. There is two different starting points for the trail. The one starts in the Tuscarora forest where it’s broken off of the Barnhart trail. The other is a parking area at the top of the mountain, tucked into the sharp curve off of Route 274. If you start at the top and only hike back to the McCaskey graves, then it is quite simple and good for all skill sets. That part out and back to the same parking area is about 1.5 miles with 0.75 miles one way. The other part of the trail however starts at the bottom off of hemlock rd and splits off of the barnhardt trail where it very quickly begins a sharp incline. It take you about .7 miles straight up the side of the mountain to meet up with the other side of the trail at the graves. However, this part is NOT AT ALL easy or appropriate for all skip sets. It’s definitely classified as hard and very difficult. Bring plenty of water and good, sturdy hiking shoes because there’s plenty of spaces for your feet to slide with how steep it is. The beginning of the trail is very muddy and wet, that only lasts about 20 ft, then you meet a tiny spring, then the road continues straight but there is a red flame on the right to tell you to cut off and go onto the trail there. Soon after you will come to a sign where you can either continue on barnhardt or go up Big Mountain. That’s the start of the trail from the bottom which entails well over 1000 ft elevation gain and if quite thick in many spots with some thorn covered vines scattered about. If you take the treck the whole way up, past the graves, out to the road, and all the way back down, then you will total about 3.2 miles all together. So this whole listing is wrong. If you were to start at route 274 and make it to the graves, there are no clear markings to continue on the trail but if you come the graves on your right, the trail cuts to the left and soon you will see a red marker. This would probably be difficult though. I would definitely suggest starting at the bottom and getting the climb over with and then you’ll also know which direction to head back down. Anyways... the trail is tough but really neat and tucked away. We happened upon a porcupine which was neat. He scurried quickly away into some rocks. Climbing up was very difficult but feels awesome when you make it to the top!

Nice hike along Patterson run . Rocky! We only hiked the hemlock trail

1 month ago

This trail is very terribly marked. You don’t get very far before you can’t even find the trail anymore. It’s also very overgrown with spikes weeds the whole way.

2 months ago

Nice short, steep hike up for workout along some thick Mt Laurel bordering much of the trail. Trail was decently clear, but it looked as if the Mt Laurel was ready to move in again soon. There is small parking area off Laurel Run Rd right around the bend where North Branch Trail begins (enough for 2-3 cars maybe).

The bridge is broken-sitting in the creek and missy so hard to cross. There were probably about 15 trees down on trail that you have to go over or under and sections where there were multiple trees down and hard to traverse.

8 months ago

no look out, but beautiful hike

Sat Apr 06 2019

I did a loop. First. This trail is steep. Good old pa straight up after the little switchback teaser at the beginning. Second. If you follow my trail. There is a non mark/ kinda blazed a part to make a loop but kinda made a trail as u went to mark un parts. And try to find my golf ball on that part

The south side of this trail is extremely poorly marked. Red markings, blue markings, black and various other shapes. Lots of trail flooding as well.

I park at the bottom and hiked up the Rim trail to the top. Which will be the road again. Don’t worry it’s peaceful. Mt road. Dirt. Then followed the road just for a little and you will hit the Tuscarora Trail on your right. It will look like a dirt road. Follow that out for a little and then the trail cuts off to the left. Here you can follow the road for shorter hike. I went out the T. Trail to the Bear Pond Trail. There will be a sign. Followed that back down to. Hemlock Trail. You will cross over that dirt road at some point on the bear pond trail that you can tske as a short cut you which you can take a short cut. Followed the Hemlock trail back to the road. Then. Took the road back. But you can take the the Rim trail back down if you want there is little trail cut from the hemlock to the Rim trail. Enjoy

We chose this hike since we were staying at the campground. It is a square and 3/4 of the sides are dirt access roads. Boring. The other side is a hike up a hill, straight up with no switchbacks. The marked trail went up the hill in what felt like a rock filled stream bed. I wish I had my poles for this portion. Lots of hunting in this area, wear orange in the fall.

Fri Jun 29 2018

I just hiked both sections south and north of PA274, The southern section is wet and muddy with water on the trail; it will take weeks of dry, sunny weather to dry the trail and make it reasonable. i dont recommend hiking on it. If dry it would be a nice trail. The northern section from Byrne Rd to Big Spring State Park parking is much more manageable but is somewhat overgrown in spots. This section primary follows an old rail-bed that at times is more elevated above the existing terrain. The short trail to the tunnel is not an issue--easily handled.

Very disappointed. At least half of this loop trail was on access roads. The mountain ascent with snow and ice was strenuous but I made it. Was expecting more of a challenge.

Tue Apr 11 2017

Not much in the way of things to see. Quiet hike but a bit boring.

Sun Nov 08 2015

The Iron Horse Trail is a 10 mile loop trail that is marked using red blazes. The best place to start the trail is at the Big Spring State Forest Picnic Area on route PA 274. The trail is fairly well marked but there were a couple of times I had to pull out my map to figure out where the trail was supposed to be. It is called the Iron Horse Trail since it uses the same routes used by the lumber company railroad lines. I gave it three stars since there wasn't a whole lot to see on this trail.

beautiful trails along the stream absolutly love it here

Sun Nov 04 2012

This is an easy and enjoyable little hike with a an unfinished railroad tunnel as the focal point. Big Springs Park is a lovely place to picnic and spend the day.

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