Late summer and early fall are perfect times of year for hiking. The following blog was first published in 2015, but seemed perfect for now with just a few trail updates. Enjoy the read and go hiking and enjoy the trails even more.

With so much beautiful scenery all around and miles of trails to explore, hiking and bicycling are two of the most popular activities in the PA Great Outdoors Region.

Photo: Tom Dorsey

The Redbank Valley Trail was named Pennsylvania’s first ever Trail of the Year by DCNR. The 51-mile trail parallels scenic Redbank Creek through mostly natural areas from the confluence with the Allegheny River in East Brady via New Bethlehem to Brookville and offers visitors tunnels, bridges, and stone arches to enjoy along the way.

Hikers love the Clarion/Little Toby Trail which runs from Ridgway to Brockway. It follows the Wild & Scenic Clarion River and the Little Toby Creek past six ghost towns, goes over a swinging bridge, and past the remnants of a 1932 train wreck.

Photo: Kyle Yates.

The scenery along the Cook Forest Trail is outstanding. The trail leads to Seneca Point which offers a magnificent natural overlook with a commanding view of the Wild & Scenic Clarion River Valley. The Longfellow Trail in Cook Forest in the Forest Cathedral Natural Area  has been designated as a National Natural Landmark by The National Park Service.

Hikers can explore Beartown Rocks, the best kept secret in Clear Creek State Park. This impressive collection of house-sized boulders, created by glaciers, offers breathtaking views and excellent photographic opportunities. Both Cook Forest State Park and Clear Creek State Park have miles of well-maintained trails where abundant wildlife can be seen.

The Tobecco Trail is a newer path to the Great Outdoors area. It is 10-mile hiking trail along the Clarion River linking Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Parks with scenic overlooks and vistas.

Rail 66 Trail is also a newer place to enjoy. It is a four season non-motorized trail that currently stretches 13 paved miles through the scenic countryside of northern Clarion County from Leeper through Lucinda to Marianne.

You can take an elk viewing bicycle ride starting in the town in Benezette in Elk County. Nowhere else in the eastern U.S. will you find such a scenic, easy ride that offers the opportunity to see wild elk. The best times of the day for elk viewing are right after dawn and just before dusk.

The ½ million-acre Allegheny National Forest in Forest County has over 600 miles of hiking trails to explore. Two of the most popular trails are the Buzzard Swamp Trail near Marienville and the Minister Creek Trail near Tionesta.

These are just some of the amazing trails in the PA Great Outdoors Region. Get your free trail maps by calling the (814) 849-5197 or Trail maps are also available at state park and national forest offices.

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