FKT: Aaron Keckley - Bear Run Nature Reserve Black Loop (PA) - 2021-01-03

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 49m 4s

We had been getting a lot of snow in the Laurel Highlands, so I wasn't sure if this attempt was going to be possible. I went out to some trails near my house the night before. Where I was, the trails were covered in too much snow and slush.  Went to bed unsure of whether I was going to try it anyway. Alarm went off at 6am and I was like, "what the heck, why not!"  Worst case scenario, I would recon it and see how technical it was.......It was technical.  Typically when the public trail guide says that a trail is difficult, I take it with a grain of salt. Taking into account we are not the typical public.  But it was accurate.  Had a rough first 5 miles as my heart rate wouldn't settle down and some cramps showed up.  By Mile 6ish though, there is a big decent and I felt a lot better after taking in some water and calories. From there on out I felt good.  Had to watch my step however, as I fell three times. ( not something that normally happens with me).  Oh yeah, and I took a wrong turn onto blue loop that cost me about 2 minutes.  Noticed right away and corrected it. Trail conditions were wet, but there were no snow or slush issues due to different elevation and weather patterns in the Ohiopyle region.  At a different time of year, I'm sure this loop is very beautiful. Even in the dormant season, the uniqueness of this trail puts it on my list of favorite loops in the Laurel Highlands.