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Hike Trails on Big Mountain, Weiser SF, Roaring Creek Tract East of Hwy 42

Click here for DCNR Map

Most folks who go over to Weiser State Forest, Roaring Creek Tract, walk or run the paths in the valley, and especially use the road between Highways 54 and 42. There are very pretty trails east of Hwy 42 and up on Big Mountain.

In this adventure we will walk most of the trails east of Hwy 42 on top of Big Mountain. There are several vistas, streams/bridges, ponds, etc., and some wildlife (maybe coyotes) to see.

The trails shown on the Tract's brochure are incomplete. I will provide tracks in a few days of our intended route. A walk of the marked trails will be very helpful towards understanding the connecting trails in the valley below.

The planned route is in two parts. We will first walk the Big Mountain Trail Loop and Overlook Trail (4.7 miles). This hike begins and ends at the Park Office where there is much parking space. For those ready for a longer hike, we will continue on an inner trail consisting of a 1.4 mile loop and a 0.6 mile spur, which will be in to and back from the "ponds." The overall route will then be about 7.3 miles. There are no significant climbs on this route (at most 250 ft of gradual elevation change). I planned the route this way, because we are coming off of Winter and trails may be slippery. I have walked these trails on snow, and suggest this route should be classified as easy to moderate. Good hiking shoes are recommended, as always.

If space fills, join the wait list and suggest an additional date for this adventure. I could easily walk it twice if two dates find group interest.

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  • Jill

    I had a terrific time! So good to meet you all...looking forward to more.

    March 23, 2014

  • Terrie Y.

    Great day exploring a new area. Loved the Mineshaft Restaurant too.

    March 22, 2014

  • Chuck

    The weather turned beautiful and the day was enjoyed with a group of wonderful people.

    March 22, 2014

  • Kandy W.

    What a beautiful day! It was nice sharing it with everyone!

    March 22, 2014

  • Sharlene S.

    Fun hike and so great to meet you all. Thanks for leading the way, Chuck!

    March 22, 2014

  • Chuck

    Directions, Part 2: When you get through Numidia (a very small town, but recognizable) you are about 2/3 of the way to the Weiser District Office. Driving further you will see what we call a mountain in PA. This is Little Mountain. Once you drive over this mountain, there will be a valley. On the right is a parking lot with the Job Johnny in the overflow lot. You may or may not stop there to catch your breath.

    Now, proceeding south on Hwy 42 you will be driving up Big Mountain. Near the top, on the left and near the eastern most part of the bend, is the District Office of Weiser SF. There is a sign at the entrance proclaiming its nature as a government complex. It's not overwhelming as an entrance, but is the only thing up there. As you drive in you should have no difficulty finding us.

    Enjoy the drive!

    1 · March 22, 2014

  • Chuck

    Directions, Part 1: Aristes is a very small town- about three blocks long - on Hwy 42. The new District Office of Weiser SF is a long half mile - maybe 3/4 mile north of Aristes on Hwy 42. There is no street address out there, but it is on Hwy 42.

    My suggestion for you is to drive over to Bloomsburg on Rte 80 and take the first exit (Buckhorn, Hwy 42,
    Exit 232) and drive south. After about 2 mi you will be on Hwy 11/42 for about 0.3 mi on the west side of Bloomsburg, and then back on Hwy 42 towards Catawissa.

    Follow Hwy 42 all the way to the Weiser SF District Office. It is a pretty drive and you will pass by the Numidia Airport (grass strip for ultralights and site of a beacon from the early early air mail service) and the Numidia Drag Strip. Both are on your left.

    1 · March 22, 2014

  • Jessica W.

    I am beyond terrible with traveling to places that I have never been... can someone tell me, the address here says aristes, PA, as does the DCNR map...but when I click on it for directions, or when I try to GPS Weiser SF, I get Pine Grove, PA. Is this the same place?

    March 21, 2014

  • Terrie Y.

    Thanks for posting the updates, I am really looking forward to the hike!

    March 21, 2014

  • Chuck

    The trails are in excellent condition. The snow is gone , except in a few isolated spots, which we can easily avoid or will be gone by tomorrow. The rain (if any) should be over by 8:00 am the temperature warmer than today. It was wonderful out on the trails and I took lots of pictures today.

    I stopped by the Mineshaft Cafe and told them we might come by - this way they can plan seating for others, such that they can adjust to get tables together for us if we show. We can decide tomorrow when we have had enough hiking and who if anyone wants to go the Mineshaft Cafe. The menu is posted a few notes below. Ha, don't worry about going in there after hiking. When I arrived three coal miners came out in good spirits after a day in the mines!

    1 · March 21, 2014

  • Chuck

    I am going to go out there this morning at 10:00 to hike the trails and will give everyone a report this afternoon. I expect the weather to be fine (45-55 F, cloudy/partly cloudy) by the time we hike tomorrow (www.weather.gov at Aristes, PA). Also, I will be sending you my private cell phone number by the e-mail.

    Have a great day and hope to see everyone tomorrow.

    March 21, 2014

  • Kandy W.

    Wondering if you could take 1 more? I am on the waiting list...

    March 21, 2014

  • Robert S.

    I'm looking forward to meeting all of you! The weather looks like a 50% chance of showers in the morning, so slushy, chilly hiking looks to be the case. I hope my boots still fit!

    March 20, 2014

  • Chuck

    The file system is working again. I commend to you the following: http://files.meetup.com/9085792/Group%20Hike%20-%20Conrad%20Weiser%20State%20Forest.pdf

    http://files.meetup.com/9085792/Weiser_Big_Mountain_E_Trails.pdf Please also see the DCNR Brochure as posted by Ed to see where the trails are in context with the rest of the park.

    March 20, 2014

  • Chuck

    I have spent a few hours this evening trying unsuccessfully to get the files loaded for our adventure on Saturday. Let's use the DNCR Brochure for orientation and then I'll reorient you as we walk. Hopefully Meet-up with get full services restored in the coming weeks. Thanks for your patience.

    March 16, 2014

  • Chuck

    Somehow all the information on location got deleted. I have just adjusted the coordinates - hopefully those now work for you. Are you able to download the trail map and photos from the route? The downloads are not working for me today. (I'll label the map further and re-post it or send it to Ed for posting. ) The DNCR Map has errors in several key places. The key to all this is we will meet in the parking area of the Weiser District Office. This is located at the top of Big Mountain, about 0.5 mi north of Aristes, PA, on Hwy 42. It is new and at best shown under construction on the satellite images. It is on the east side of Hwy 42. There is a picture of the District Office in the photos. It would be hard to miss the Office up there and it has a paved parking lot, I believe even with spaces with painted lines!

    2 · March 15, 2014

    • Ed H.

      The map coordinates look much better now, thanks. The only file link that is working for me is the latest one. I think there is trouble with the site. I am deleting all my file links, I can always repost them when we need them.

      March 16, 2014

    • Chuck

      Thanks for catching these problems! I wouldn't have found them, and that could have caused some pain. I will be hiking this afternoon, but will reload the files for this adventure this evening.

      March 16, 2014

  • Chuck

    Along Hwy 42 from Ashland to Catawissa there are no known comfort stations. The Weiser District Office, where we will park has very nice facilities, but they are closed on weekends. There is one, maintained, but sad, Job Johnney in the parking area in the valley (you may need to drive around there to find it - it's up in the overflow lot). I have an eye on the Mineshaft Cafe in Ashland for a bite to eat after the event if anyone is interested - http://mineshaftcafe.com/

    March 15, 2014

  • Ed H.

    Hi Chuck, I posted the DCNR Map in your description. I was having trouble figuring out exactly where the trail is, and found the map on DCNR's site. Are you meeting at the spot marked as Parking where Big Mountain Trail meets Rt. 42?

    1 · March 15, 2014

    • :Dee

      Yes, please be specific about meeting spot. I do not see a Park Office on the map???

      March 15, 2014

  • Chuck

    Update on conditions at Weiser State Forest: I have been hiking regularly over at Weiser SF in recent weeks. As of yesterday there was still about four inches of snow on the top of Big Mountain. I expect this snow will be gone by March 22, but just in case expect the trail to be snow covered and/or wet. This means leakproof, warm boots are essential. If we do run into snow the route will be shortened.

    I will be hiking in the valley on Sunday afternoon. It is listed as a separate event and there is lots of room for adventurers. As of Monday there was about 8 inches of snow in some of the eastern parts of the valley, so there should be some very nice snow pictures if anyone is interested. For the most part, we will avoid snow cover on group walks - hiking in wet snow can be very strenuous. I have uploaded one picture of the snow from Big Mountain as an example of how pretty it is out there. I will probably also be out there on Saturday if anyone is interested.

    March 12, 2014

    • Chuck

      Current work in the valley has been completed, so don't drive out there looking for me. I will probably be in the Mile Run area!

      March 15, 2014

  • Maureen A

    I was excited to plan to join you. Unfortunately it's a 4 hr. Drive. Another time. Chuck, this sounds great.

    March 10, 2014

  • Jenn U.

    Have to withdraw my rsvp. Broke my leg 3/1, so won't be hiking for 8 weeks or so. Hope to hike with y'all soon!

    March 7, 2014

    • Chuck

      Sorry to hear about your injury. The trails will, hopefully, be in much better condition by the time you recover. Please take care; we look forward to you joining us in a couple months.

      1 · March 7, 2014

  • Chuck

    Since four people have settled on March 22, let's set that date for the event.

    February 7, 2014

  • Tara

    I would love to hike this area. I can do march 22.

    February 7, 2014

  • Chuck

    Under the tab More/Files above there is an Adobe pdf file containing some pictures from the trails we will hike at Weiser SF, Roaring Springs Tract.

    February 5, 2014

  • Bob

    I would be interested in either date. I bike this area every year on the valley trail.

    February 4, 2014

  • Chuck

    Both are good for me.

    February 3, 2014

    • Sharlene S.

      Maybe we'll just see if anyone else will join and has a preference for the date. I've got them both marked in my calendar for now. Thanks!

      February 4, 2014

  • Sharlene S.

    I'm interested -- how is March 15 or 22nd?

    February 3, 2014

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