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In 1909, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made the first purchase of state forest land in the Ohio River Watershed, from the Byers Allen Lumber Company. This purchase, in the present Laurel Mountain tracts of Forbes State Forest, contained an easement to the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland and Somerset (PW&S) Railroad.

Forbes State Forest today is heavily forested with high quality:

  • Oak
  • Cherry

As well as a variety of other species.

Because of its proximity to large population centers, there has been and will continue to be heavy recreational use of the Forbes State Forest. Many visitors to the Laurel Mountain tract unknowingly hike, bike, and drive on the old grade of the PW&S railroad, as well as many of its spurs.

Firsts for the Forbes

1909 – first purchase of land, from Byers-Allen Lumber Company

1909 – first District Forester, John R. Williams

1910 – first trees planted (white pine)

1911 – first Game Preserve established, near Grove Run

1921 – first known fire tower, Sugar Loaf, erected

1921 – first Public Camps (Adam Falls and Laurel Summit) designated

1927 – first Trout Nursery established in what is now Linn Run State Park

1933 – first CCC camp established

1955 – first Timber Management plan

Download a brochure detailing the 100 year history of Forbes State Forest.