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Old 04-22-2021, 09:39 AM   #1
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,468
Quehanna Trail Questions

I've got a couple of weeks off coming up and I'm toying with the idea of spending one of them hiking the 75 mile Quehanna Trail in PA's Moshannon State Forest. My tentative plan is to give myself 7 full days and change to hike this trail- Sunday through Saturday, with a late arrival on the Saturday evening prior. This would allow a moderately relaxed pace averaging 10-11 miles per day- which gives some extra time each day for poking around, enjoying the scenery, relaxing in camp, etc.

A few questions:

What is the best way to hike the trail? Right now I'm considering the traditional start at Parker Dam State Park, and going CCW around the loop. This leaves most of the bigger climbs for the second half of my trip, when my pack will be a bit lighter with less food. Are there any other considerations that might lend themselves to picking a different start/end point? Or going the other way around the loop?

Where are good campsites located on this trail? I'll almost certainly be solo so even small sites will work. Also, are there any campsites in either direction close to the traditional trailhead at Parker Dam? It looks like the trail follows streams on either side immediately where it leaves the state park and camping becomes legal- Little Laurel Run when headed CCW, and small unnamed tributary of Laurel Run when headed CW. I'm hopeful that I'd be able to find sites not far from Parker Dam my first night since I'm planning to start late in the day.

What are some "must see" spots along the way? I know that some of the "best" spots of the Quehanna Wild Area aren't actually on the Quehanna Trail, but since this is my first visit to the area I'd prefer to follow the QT over any alternate routes that skip portions of the QT. That being said, short side trips would certainly be of interest, especially if I can pair them with a campsite- I.e., drop pack, quickly set up camp for the night, and then hike a mile or two with a day pack to see something off trail if it's worth the added effort.

(And I'm sure I'll be back again in the future with friends for shorter weekend trips to hike some of the smaller "nested loops" formed by the QT and the connector trails across the middle.)

Any other considerations to be aware of? I understand that the Mosquito Creek bridge is out so this is a wet (and potentially challenging) crossing. Anything else that should be taken into consideration?


As usual, thanks in advance!
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