Route: Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (PA)

Pennsylvania, US

trailturkey reported:

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70 mile linear (point to point) trail in Southwestern Pennsylvania that connects the towns of Ohiopyle at the southern terminus to Seward at the northern terminus. The trail is maintained by the state DCNR. It is completely single track trail except for a 1 mile section that follows a gas well access road near mile mark 61. Speaking of mile marks, one of the unique feature of the trail is that each mile of the trail is marked by a concrete obelisk.

There is a 70 mile race held each year on the trail in June. This year will be the 34th consecutive year for the Laurel Highlands Ultra. [please see the race website for info on one-way, supported FKTs].

I’ve have done a lot of research into double crossing attempts via the internet and email correspondence with the race management of the LHU who have extensive knowledge of the trail. I have only been able to find one person who has reported a double crossing. On Memorial Day weekend in 1986 Art Moore completed an out-and-back double crossing of the trail starting and finishing in Ohiopyle. Art’s family provided support for the effort by crewing aid stations at road crossings and pacing him through some of the sections. Art completed the distance in a blazing 35:58:30. The effort was cataloged in the September issue of Ultrarunner Magazine. I have obtained a copy of the article and it is a very good read.

I have not been able to uncover an account of a unsupported or self-supported double-crossing. Given the trail’s popularity with backpackers I suspect that someone has done this. Does anyone have any additional information on double-crossing efforts they could share?

I completed an unsupported double crossing of the LHHT. I started on Wednesday night and finished on Friday night [May 1-4, 2013]. My overall time was 50h52m.

I've posted a full report of the effort here:

I wasn’t the first person to take on this challenge. The original double direction LHHT traverse was completed by Art Moore on Memorial Day weekend in 1986. Art started and finished in Ohiopyle and his family provided aid at the road crossings and paced him through the night sections to a smoking fast 35:58:30 finish. Art’s monumental accomplishment was chronicled in an article in the September edition of Ultrarunning Magazine that year. I surmise that a thru-hiker or two have done a double traverse in a traditional backpacking format, but I have not found any documented accounts other than Art’s.


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Hi I will be attempting to break the unsupported double crossing (Out and back) FKT for the Laurel Highlands Trail of 50:52 starting July 18th at 5:00PM from Ohiopyle. I will upload a Spot tracking link a couple of days before the attempt.