Hiking at Laurel Ridge State Park
70 miles of trails
Laurel Ridge State Park Trail Map (PDF)
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe.
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle.
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
70 miles | Most difficult hiking | Point-to-point trail | Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, backpacking
Trailhead amenities: none
This major 70-mile hiking and backpacking trail from
Ohiopyle State Park to near Johnstown is the main feature of the park.
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a major segment of the
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, a network of trails between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail traverses state parks, state forests, state game lands, other public lands, and private lands.
Connector trails lead to and from parking and shelter areas and are marked with blue blazes.
Mileage monuments are every mile. Pets are permitted.
Six trailheads provide parking for 30 cars each, as well as trash receptacles. Voluntary day use registration mailboxes are at each of the trailheads.
Day hikers should fill out information cards for vital park attendance data and for use in an emergency.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is popular with trail runners due to the diverse terrain and unmatched beauty. Visitors run portions of the trail for a workout, or run the whole trail in one day.
Some of the most challenging trail runs in the eastern United States are the
Laurel Highlands Ultra races, which are held the second Saturday in June.
Hiking Tips and Regulations
Every hiker’s pace varies, but a suggested pace of 1.5 miles per hour is average.
- In general, Laurel Ridge is cooler and receives more precipitation than the surrounding valleys. Dress appropriately.
- Know the climate and weather conditions on the trail.
- Dress appropriately and layer clothing. Bring extra clothing, rain gear, water, insect repellent, sunglasses, sunscreen, and poison ivy block.
- Supervise children in your care. This is particularly important when hiking.
- Leave a copy of your plans with friends or relatives. Include contact phone numbers and other important information. Day hikers are encouraged to register at the trailhead kiosks for safety reasons.
- Wear fluorescent orange during hunting seasons when hiking in hunting areas.
- Familiarize yourself with the natural hazards of the trail.
- Bring emergency equipment like a first aid kit, whistle, compass, matches, and a blanket. Please be aware that you may be hours away from medical attention.
- Don’t forget the camera.
- Water -- Non-potable is available at most trailheads and shelter areas. Be prepared to treat or filter water.
- Please stay on the trail for your safety and to protect the resource.
- Horses, bicycles, and motorized vehicles are prohibited on the hiking trail and in the shelter area.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- All garbage must be placed in provided refuse containers. Refuse containers shall not be removed from designated “pick-up” stations. Burying garbage is prohibited.
- Please no frivolous 911 calls. Responding emergency personnel and equipment may be at your expense.
Shuttling services for hikers on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail are available from
Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle.