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Backpack the Black Forest Trail

  • Aug 13, 2014 · 7:30 PM

The Black Forest Trail is a 42-mile backpacking loop in PA's Tiadaghton State Forest. It is widely considered to be one of the most scenic and challenging trails in the state. There are several steep climbs (think 1000' in less than a mile), and the possibility for wet stream crossings.  This hike is NOT for beginners. 

We'll  start Wednesday evening and hike 5-6 miles to a decent camp site. We'll play the exact mileage splits by ear, but there's pretty much no avoiding 20+ miles on Thursday and mileage in the mid to high teens on  Friday.  Please be confident in your fitness and skill level before signing up for this hike. I am planning to get early starts on Thursday and Friday mornings (hike out absolutely no later than 8AM).

Pertinent information about the trail can be found HERE. 

No beginners will be allowed on this hike. 


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  • Dan

    Thanks for coming everybody!

    August 17, 2014

  • JerryT

    Great trip - thanks Dan for organizing the trip. Looking foward to another one.
    Bob and Amy - wonderful company. Pickles - your our inspiration.

    August 17, 2014

  • Bob

    Thanks Dan for a challenging but good hike!

    August 16, 2014

  • Amy K

    Hey All, So that we don't have to double on gear . . . I'm bringing a bear rope and biners if you want to leave yours at home (or carry mine, is even better).

    August 12, 2014

    • Dan

      It's rated like ~200lbs, should be fine.

      August 13, 2014

    • Bob

      Sounds good.

      August 13, 2014

  • Bob

    Amy, Jerry, and I will be leaving my house at 11 on Wed. We hope to be at the trail between 3:30 - 4:00. Amy's car is a Subaru Imprezza hatchback in black cherry. Most likely it will be at the road crossing with moth balls under it.
    We are planning on camping at about 6.5 miles along Little Slate Run after the BFT drops down to the stream and before it climbs back up.
    Bob

    August 10, 2014

    • Bob

      Correct...starting at mile 42 and counting down. see you tonight.

      August 13, 2014

    • Dan

      Thanks, Bob!

      August 13, 2014

  • Mark (.

    I need to drop out.. I injured myself hiking the Colorado trail a couple Weeks ago.... I did some hikes the last few days, and it's still giving me problems..... I hope that you all have a great hike....

    August 12, 2014

    • Amy K

      Hey mark, hope it heals quickly! Dan- what does this do to your feelings about the three of us hiking in earlier and you meeting us at the campsite? Are you still comfortable with that?

      August 12, 2014

    • Dan

      Things are still fine on my end. I have no problem with hiking in on my own.

      August 12, 2014

  • Bob

    Mark,
    Last year did you park at the trail head at the road crossing or at the rail trail lot?
    Thanks.
    Bob

    August 10, 2014

    • Mark (.

      we parked on the road and took that side trail....... I'm pretty sure the directions are in the guidebook... I'll look when I get to my parents house... there was plenty of parking along the road

      August 10, 2014

    • Dan

      My guide book just says something like "Parking at trailhead along slate run rd." I can see the general area on the map. I assume I can find it without any issues.

      1 · August 10, 2014

  • Dan

    Bob made the suggestion that some of you might want to start earlier to avoid the night hike. You're all welcome to do that. We just need to communicate who is leaving when. We also need to discuss where we will regroup. Bob suggested hiking clockwise and camping at a site between 6.5 and 7 miles. I'm ok with that plan. Comments? Questions?

    August 9, 2014

    • Mark (.

      I.can get there whenever you all want to start... VA plates... White bonneville

      August 9, 2014

    • Dan

      I can get there at 7 at the earliest (if there's no traffic). I'm cool with catching up in camp, though.

      August 9, 2014

  • Dan

    JerryT- since you're a first timer with this group, you need to send me a brief overview of your backpacking experience and your gear. I do this in an attempt to weed out the ill-prepared. You won't have to do this for subsequent hikes. Thanks!

    August 9, 2014

    • Dan

      Good enough for me. Thanks!

      August 9, 2014

    • Dan

      And 3.5 is an overstimate for a hike like this. I'm sure I can do that at times, but my average hiking pace will be closer to 3mph. Maybe 2.5mph average til breaks are factored in. I was just fondly remembering the first 10 or so miles of a 30-mile day. I did 15-17 minute miles for quite a ways, but ended up closer to 20-22 minute miles. Til the breaks were factored in, I was around 2.75. Just remembering it a little too fondly.

      August 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Other that the elevation gains how is the terrain for anyone who has done this before- Super rocky like the AT or decent trails? I'd love to join you on this though not nearly a beginner, it's a quick pace for me depending on the terrain...scenery should be gorgeous though

    August 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds good...I should find out within a few days if I am stuck working and if not, I'm in for this one. I'll wait to RSVP until I know for sure. These seem like great hikes in this group so if this one doesn't work out, definitely count me in for others. Thanks for the quick responses and I look foreword to meeting you.

      August 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      @other dan- I won't be able to make this one but I'm looking forward to a multiday with this group. Have fun as I look on jealously

      August 8, 2014

  • Mark (.

    when we did this hike last year... we did it in reverse of the guide.... that saved the fording of the stream for the very end of the hike.. if we do it like the guidebook, we will hit the stream Wednesday night

    August 8, 2014

    • Amy K

      Also, I vote for the crossing in the light on Friday instead of the dark wed!

      August 8, 2014

    • Dan

      Mark - did you park in the Rail Trail lot on the other side of Pine Creek? I think that's the parking area marked on my map. Or is there somewhere better?

      August 8, 2014

  • Mark (.

    also you may want to bring moth balls from underneath your car.. there are porcupines in this area

    August 8, 2014

    • Dan

      Chewed brake lines wouldn't be fun.

      August 8, 2014

  • Dan

    Well that escalated quickly! I thought I was gonna be by myself there for a minute!

    August 8, 2014

  • Bob

    Dan,
    Is the 7:30 start time because of work? This would mean night hiking correct?
    Thanks.
    Bob

    August 8, 2014

    • Dan

      Yes, it is. It may require a bit of headlamp hiking, but I'm hoping an hour or less. I'm gonna ask that everyone be completely ready to hike out at 7:30 sharp to buy us as much daylight as possible.

      August 8, 2014

    • Dan

      Actually, I'm hoping to be there by 7. I just wasn't sure what the traffic would be like on the highway. Didn't want to be the host that shows up late.

      August 8, 2014

  • Amy K

    Dan how do I contact you directly about this one?

    August 6, 2014

    • Dan

      [masked]... Or text [masked]

      August 6, 2014

    • Amy K

      Thanks.

      August 6, 2014

  • ruth c.

    hi, i am interested. i also have weekdays off and prefer to get out then vs the weekend! I am from pittsburgh so will have a little driving to meet up, but would love to do this....the 20 mile day will be a little tough, but i don't have any worries to get thru it/have done before.....if i go slower than you, i do not mind at all if you scoot ahead and get to the camp spot at your usual pace.

    July 25, 2014

    • Dan

      The RSVP stats you see are for this group only, not for your meetup history as a whole. That's probably the discrepancy

      July 25, 2014

    • ruth c.

      i will be in touch in email. thanks.

      July 28, 2014

  • Andy M

    I'm actually planning to do this same hike over a weekend in September. I'd join you Dan but 20+ miles a day would be pushing my knee coming off my injury plus I have to work those days. I think I'm going to spread this out a bit more over three full days. I look forward to any trail notes you have when you get back.

    July 16, 2014

    • Dan

      Yeah... Thursday and Friday are my days off that week, and I don't want to take vacation for this. I'll definitely give you notes if you want. I'm probably going to do the Allegheny Front Trail in September, the West Rim Trail in October, the Loyalsock Trail in November, and the Laurel Highlands Trail in December. Loyalsock will be a weekend, but it's a 60-mile trail. Probably do 5 miles Thursday night, then mileage in the high teens Fri-Sun.

      July 16, 2014

    • Andy M

      Looks like a great fall hiking line up!

      July 17, 2014

4 went

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