Explorers Guide 50 Hikes in Western Pennsylvania: Walks and Day Hikes from the Laurel Highlands to Lake Erie by Tom ThwaitesThe hiking trails of western Pennsylvania offer both novice and experienced hikers a tempting variety of natural terrain and human history. Now veteran trailblazer and outdoor activist Tom Thwaites has updated his bestselling guide to reflect the improvement and expansion of western Pennsylvania trails since the first edition was published in 1983. This third edition includes hikes for all tastes and abilities: introductory walks of 1-5 miles; intermediate day hikes of 5-10 miles; and bootbusters of 10 miles or more, some suitable for backpacking. Thirty-one hikes are based in the Laurel Highlands and Allegheny National Forest, with the remainder grouped around Pittsburgh and Lake Erie. Each hike description includes information on access, trail conditions and regulations, mileage and rise, detailed topographic maps, and highlights of human and natural history youll find along the way.
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail End-to-End
It follows Laurel Ridge through state game lands, forest and other parkland. Along the way, there are hemlock groves, mountain streams, hardwood forests and the sounds of wildlife. Once on the ridge above Ohiopyle, the terrain is moderate enough for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Best of all are the eight camping areas spaced along the ridge between Ohiopyle and the foot Conemaugh Gorge near Seward. Each area has shelters, a fire ring and wood, water and privies, and advance registration is required. The following, divided into five hikes, describes t ravel south to north, but direction is a matter of personal preference. Ohiopyle to Route Leaving the banks of the Youghiogheny River, the yellow-blazes of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail climb nine miles in stages from 1, feet to almost 2, feet.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is open year-round and is blazed approximately every feet with Trail Map. Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Map (PDF).
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Best hiking trails in western Pennsylvania
Keystone Trails Association. Newsletter Archive Advertising. In winter, the trail supports cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, both of which can be combined with winter backpacking. Some portions of the trail, especially near the southern end, are quite rugged, and provisions have been made to keep the trail as primitive as possible. Hikers are also encouraged to create in-and-out day hikes on the trail, given its diverse character and scenery.