Route: Black Forest Trail (PA)

Pennsylvania, US
43.3 mi
Vertical Gain
9,440 ft
Description :

Located in the Tiadaghton State Forest, the Black Forest Trail and it's many side trails reside in Lycoming and Potter counties. The Black Forest Trail is a loop of a little over 43 miles with the trailhead proper being just north of Slate Run, PA. The Black Forest Trail gets its name from the dense hemlocks that once grew here, keeping the forest floor in an everlasting darkness. The trail is challenging with many steep ascents and descents. However, the vistas make it worth the effort.

The highest point on the trail is 2,145 feet which is reached twice: once on Chestnut Ridge and second at the top of Callahan Run. The lowest elevation is at the crossing of Slate Run at 760 feet. Starting at the trailhead and hiking in a clockwise fashion, there are 8 ascents of over 500 feet, with the longest ascent being the initial climb away from Slate Run. The steepest section of the trail is the descent from Hemlock Mountain to Naval Run. The eastern half of the trail is much more rugged than the western half. This trail should not be your first backpacking trip.

The Black Forest Trail is routed in a way that you don't have to hike the entire trail. There are many places where the trail crosses forest roads so that a shuttle hike can be arranged. You can also hike numerous loops using some of the side trails as well as road hiking. On this backpacking trail you will find the views breath taking, numerous camping sites, plenty of water, and beautiful woods full of wildlife.


GPS Track


I'm going to attempt this FKT this Saturday (10-13-18).  My intention is to do it unsupported, but a friend might meet me for the last 5 to 10 miles and if he does, I'll announce it as a "supported."  Koltin's time is great, especially considering he went off course a few miles and I don't know if I can beat it!  Will be a nice run regardless.  I'm also curious about how fast people ran the BFT last weekend in the inaugural Black Forest Ultra. 

Admin note:  Drew completed the route but missed the FKT by about 7 minutes.  Good effort!

User Picture
Profile picture for user patheine

I will be attempting an unsupported FKT this Sunday, 10-28-18. 

I'm going to try and unsupported FKT this Sunday, 4/5/20.

I did the Black Forest TRail ++, 47 miles and change. Took me 11h 35 min. Things were great until ~mile 20, when I could not locate the trail due to blowdowns and spend >1h and 3-4 miles running in all directions trying to find an orange blaze. I have a score to settle with this trail, and so am going back to try it again. I hope to do it 4/18 or 4/19, weather and travel permitting. I will start at the northern 44 road crossing and go in the clockwise direction as I did last time.

4 inches of snow on the trail made it a no-go. i'm hoping for this saturday,  4/25/20. please PA, no snow or sleet!

User Picture
Profile picture for user cjbligan

I will be attempting to run this trail on Friday September 11, 2020, starting at the trailhead outside of Slate Run and running in the counterclockwise direction, with support from my dad. I have no intentions of making it an FKT-chasing mission, but if my body tells me that it's a good day, I'll be tracking using my watch and Strava as verification. 

Hi Y'all, I'm running the BFT this weekend (I guess it's an annual tradition now).  Shooting for 8 hours which is tough (great job Eric!), but with all the races cancelled this became my main goal.  Looking forward to a good day out tomorrow no matter what!  I'll be starting around 6 AM tomorrow morning.