Named the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" by Backpacker Magazine, and "The Dolly Sods of Pennsylvania" by Mid-Atlantic Hikes, the Black Forest Trail is considered by many to be the best hike in Pennsylvania. Named for the forests cloaked in darkness by the huge hemlock trees that used to comprise the countryside, the Black Forest Trail offers a variety of hiking environments that I have always wanted to explore.
Although the entire Black Forest Trail is a 42-mile loop with ~8500' elevation gain, we are only hiking a portion of the loop so that we can have a more leisurely hike and spend more time taking in the views.
I haven't firmed up the exact route just yet, as a few parts of the trail can be difficult to ford in high water. Here are two options from Mid-Atlantic Hikes, giving you an idea of the topography; the BFT North and the BFT South. I will post the exact trailhead and route in the next week or so, but leaning towards the northern route, which is slightly longer than the southern, with about 3000' elevation gain. The trailhead for the northern route is here.
Regardless of the final route, we will hike about 6 miles Friday, ~11miles Saturday, and ~8 Sunday; so a moderate trip for most backpackers.
Expect a lot of water crossings , unreliable streams (may have to load up on water a couple of miles before a campsite), and low temps in the 20's. Other possibilities include bear or rattlesnake encounters, depending on the weather.
Backpackers attending this meetup need to have experience carrying a loaded pack up a hill with 1000' elevation gain over one mile, and be able to easily hike 6-10 miles in a day. This is not a beginner's trip, so please don't RSVP if you do not meet these physical requirements or do not have gear (i.e. a backpack, sleeping bag and pad, tent, stove).
*Sleeping system and shelter
*Food for 3 days, and stove to cook with
*Water filtration with a room for 4 liters
*Clothing comfortable to 20*
*Topography maps of trails
*Water shoes for possible knee-high ford
*Lastly, Please bring a postive attitude and a decent sense of humor, since I am happy to organize and lead this trip, but this will be my first time on this trail, too!
By RSVP'ing you agree to the terms of the liability waiver of DCB.
**Update 3/18: We will do the Southern Route as described above, with the trailhead here .