Route: Quehanna Trail (PA)

Pennsylvania, US
73.8 mi

The Quehanna Trail is a long-distance loop trail near Pennfield Pennsylvania that passes through the Moshannon and Elk State Forests which offer some of the most wild and beautiful country in Pennsylvania. The trail is marked with orange blazes and the most current maps have it at 70.3 miles. Its western end and primary start/end point is located in Parker Dam State Park.
The southern part of the Quehanna Plateau is a mostly oak-laurel ecosystem; the northern part is characterized by northern hardwoods mixed with hemlock and pine. Several of the QT connecting trails pass through State Game Land 34, featuring ponds that attract waterfowl. Feed plots and viewing platforms have been constructed throughout the whole Quehanna Plateau area, in order to satisfy public interest in viewing elk that have wandered south from their traditional stomping grounds north of Sinnemahoning Creek. The elk now can be found throughout the Quehanna area, but at such a low density that you are only occasionally rewarded with a sighting. The elk move easily through the forest, and a rare sighting is certainly a thrilling experience.

Part of the Quehanna Trail passes through the 50,000-acre Quehanna Wild Area. This is the largest wild area in the state, though it is traversed by two paved and several unpaved roads. The wild area is known for its beautiful streams and unusual open savannas with occasional black cherry trees that were apparently left when the area’s vast hemlock forest was logged in the nineteenth century. Two natural areas feature stands of paper birch, near the southernmost limit of that tree’s range.
Ben Cramer has written a Guide to the Quehanna Trail in the PAHikes Trail Guide Series, published 2015. It is available in KTA's Bookstore.

For maps of the Quehanna Trail, also featuring the two Cross Connector trails and many blue-blazed spur trails, and for the required camping permits, contact:
Moshannon State Forest
3372 State Park Rd.
Penfield, PA 15849
(814) 765-0821

GPS Track


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Congratulations Gary, you crushed it! I was definitely a little out of shape and slept too long on my attempt :)

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Thanks Jason! Looks like you also had an awesome adventure! Great job on the route and with the video!!



Trying this out in April, hoping it is somewhat dry!  I will send in the results April 11.

Starting at 4:30 AM Saturday morning, April 10.  This will be a supported attempt.  

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Best of luck on your run, Greg! It will be an awesome adventure!

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Thinking about attempting this unsupported in the Fall.  Are there adequate water stops along the way or did you stash your own?

I remember there being plenty of water everywhere, no need to stash water.  

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On Sunday, September 4th I’m going to attempt an unsupported FKT of the Quehanna Trail (weather permitting).  If it rains that day, I may push it forward a day or two.  My plan is to start at 2:30am’ish at the Parker Dam State Park trailhead and head clockwise.  My wife and two daughters will be staying at a rustic cabin in Parker Dam state park and I hope to be back in time to put my 3 year old to bed on Sunday night.  Looking forward to my first substantial night hiking since my Mid State FKT a year ago!  I'll be sending location pings every 30 minutes or so via my Inreach.  If you'd like to follow along, let me know and I'll send my Garmin map link.