Laurel Highlands Area State Forests

State forests in the Laurel Highlands (southwestern and central) area of Pennsylvania await your visit when you vacation in Pennsylvania.

Enjoy hiking, nature trails, picnic areas, wildlife watching and scenic overlooks.

Buchanan State Forest
440 Buchanan Trail
McConnellsburg PA 17233

In Fulton and Bedford County PA

Bear Valley Picnic Area – between Broad Mountain and Kittatinny Mountain in the Laurel Highlands. Go N on Bear Valley Road off old Rte 30 13 miles or S from Fannettsburg/Upper Strasburg Road 3 miles

  • Sideling Hill Picnic Area – on Rte 30 top of Sideling Hill mountain. Has tables, fireplaces, horseshoe pits, ball field
  • Sweet Root Picnic Area – on Rte 326, 1 mile N of Chaneysville, southern Bedford County
  • Blankley Picnic Area – southern Bedford County. Take Blankley Road (PA 326) S of Rainsburg
  • Cowans Gap State Park – off Rte 75 N of Fort Loudon. Cowans Gap Lake offers swimming, boating and fishing
  • Redbud Valley – on Rte 928 in Fulton County. Birdwatching (song birds) and variety of wildflowers
PA in the winter with white snow and trees underneath a blue sky
  • Sweet Root Natural Area – in Chaneysville, Bedford County accessible from Blankley and Martin Hill Roads in the Laurel Highlands. Special protection area for amphibians and reptiles. Also in this area: revolutionary war saltpeter cave, Civilian Conservation Corps camp, early sawmill, and a trading post.
  • Pine Ridge Natural Area – 1 mile SE of Chaneysville in southern Bedford County. Has hiking and horseback riding trails.
  • Martin Hill Wild Area – in southern Bedford County. Has Big Pond and Little Pond where various wildlife drink. Has an active rattlesnake population.
  • ATV trails open from Memorial Day – last September weekend. 1. Martin Hill in Bedford County. Accessible from parking lot on Rte 326, 2 miles S of Rainsburg. 2. Sideling Hill in Fulton County accessible from Ray’s Cove Road or Childers Ridge Road.
  • Snowmobile trails – 1. forest area in Bedford County – Martin Hill Trail 2. Forest area in Franklin County – Broad Mountain Trail 3. Also in Fulton County – Sideling Hill Trail

Forbes State Forest
PO Box 519
Laughlintown PA 15655

In Fayette and Somerset County PA, and Westmoreland County PA along Laurel Ridge in the Laurel Highlands.

  • Blue Hole Division – on Blue Hole Creek near Gary Run. Cole Run Falls is W of Cole Run Road or can hike 1 mile on Cole Run from Blue Hole Road
  • Braddock Division – Observation point, Pine Knob along Pine Knob Road.
    Cabin Hollow Rocks is a rock formation in Cabin Hollow 1 mile SE of Hopwood.
    Wharton Furnace is N of Elloittsville on Wharton Furnace Road.
    Old Water Powered Grist Mill is at the intersection of Mill Run and Quebec Run accessible by hiking a trail starting at north parking lot on Quebec Road.
    Ponderfield Fire Tower is on Seaton Road by Foreman Headquarters
forest in snow with a blue sky
  • Linn Run Division – has P.W. & S Grade on Linn Run.
    Grove Run Spring is located along Linn Run Road.
    Adams Falls – water fall near Adams Falls Picnic Area.
    Wolf Rocks offers a scenic view of the valley, accessible by hiking 2 miles on Wolf Rock Trail starting at Laurel Summit Picnic Area.
    Beam Rocks is on Beam Rocks Trail 1/2 mile from Laurel Summit Road.
    Bluestone Quarry is 2 miles S of Adams Falls on Linn Run Road
  • Kooser Division – Beck Springs is along Jones Mill Run Road.
    Old Sawmill Site is near intersection of Jones Mill Run Road and Beltz Road.
    Neiderheiser Cemetery is on Beltz Road.
    Kooser Fire Tower is S of rte 31 along fire Tower road
  • Negro Mountain Division – Vought Rock is along Vought Rock Road.
    Wolf Rocks are between Forest Foremen Headquarters and Mt. Davis Tower.
    Shelter Rocks are 1/2 mile S of Mt. Davis Tower along Shelter Rock Trail.
    Baughman Rocks are near intersection of LR 55008 and South Wolf Rock Road.
    Tarkiln (a kiln) is along South Wolf Rock Road.
  • Roaring Run Natural Area – in southeastern Westmoreland County, S of Rte 31, E of Rte 711 and 381, N of LR 64070. Has Painter Rock Hill and Birch Rock Hill. Can hike, cross country ski, hunt and fish
  • Mt. Davis Natural Area – in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County. Has a picnic area along LR 55008 and hiking trails
  • Spruce Flats Wildlife Management Area – behind Laurel Summit Picnic area. Has Spruce Flats Bog.
  • State parks near Forbes – Laurel Ridge State Park, Kooser State Park, Laurel Hill State Park, Linn Run State Park, Laurel Mountain State Park, Ohiopyle State Park
  • numerous trails for hiking

Gallitzin State Forest
PO Box 506
Ebensburg PA 15931

In northern Bedford, Indiana, Somerset and Cambria County PA in the Laurel Highlands.

  • Babcock State Forest Picnic Area – on Rte 56, 4 miles E of Windber. Offers stunning views
  • Clear Shade Wild Area
  • John P. Saylor Trail
  • Lost Turkey Trail
  • hunting
  • fishing
  • Charles F. Lewis Natural Area – near Cramer, Indiana County. Has a 2 mile walking trail, Clark Run Trail, with waterfalls
  • 2 forest fire observation towers
  • state parks near Gallitzin Forest – Laurel Ridge State Park and Blue Knob State Park
  • snowmobile trails – in northeast Somerset County – Babcock Trail
  • Hotels near Gallitzin

Rothrock State Forest

Rothrock State Forest sign

181 Rothrock Lane
Huntingdon PA 16652
Huntingdon PA Hotels

  • Raystown Lake – has hiking, fishing, camping, boating, hunting, picnicking in the Laurel Highlands.
  • Little Juniata River – trout fishing
  • wildlife watching – deer, bear, turkey, small game
  • leased campsites
  • has an overlook top of Tussey Mountain on Rte 26 at Centre-Huntingdon County line
  • Mid State Trail, Link Trail on top of Stone Mountain and Jacks Mountain, Indian Overlook by Colerain Picnic Area, and Penn Valley View, (near Detweiler Trail and Thickhead Road), and hiking on Terrace Mountain offer scenic views.
  • Overlooks for automobiles – Colerain, Pennsylvania Furnace, Bear Gap, Wampler, North Meadows, Kettle, Beidleheimer, Allenville, and Turkey Hill roads
  • Alan Seeger Natural Area – Huntingdon County, N of Greenwood Furnace State Park in the Laurel Highlands
  • Bear Meadows Natural Area – Centre County, 4 miles S of Boalsburg is a National Natural Landmark. Hiking trails, observation platform for wildlife and songbird watching
  • Big Flat Laurel Natural Area – Huntingdon and Centre Counties, 4 miles S of Boalsburg, lots of our state flower, the Mountain Laurel.
  • Detweiler Run Natural Area – Huntingdon County, SE of Boalsburg
  • Little Juniata Natural Area – Huntingdon County, W of Barree
  • Rocky Ridge Natural Area – Huntingdon County, S of Martin Gap
  • Thickhead Mountain Wild Area – Centre and Huntingdon counties
  • Trough Creek Wild Area – Huntingdon County. Located on the slopes of Terrace Mountain – by Raystown Lake. Hiking and wildlife viewing
  • snowmobile trails – in Huntingdon County, Seven Mountains Trail and Trough Creek Trail
  • State parks near the forest – Greenwood Furnace State Park, Penn Roosevelt State Park, Trough Creek State Park and Whipple Dam State Park

Enjoy your visit to Laurel Highlands area state forests.

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