Stay the Night at Laurel Ridge State Park
Make a reservation for Laurel Ridge State Park.
The 70-mile long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a backpacking trail that permits overnight trips to one or more shelter areas.
The trail is open year round and is blazed approximately every 100 feet with two-inch by five-inch yellow blazes. Connector trails lead to and from trailheads and shelter areas and are marked with blue blazes.
Mileage monuments are every mile. Yellow bands around trees mark the trail at every major road crossing.
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.
For overnight use of the trail, see the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail reservations section.
Summary of Trailheads and Shelter Areas
Eight shelter areas are located approximately every six to 12 miles along the trail.
Each area contains:
|Ohiopyle Shelter Area||6.3|
|Maple Summit Road Daily Parking||11.2|
|PA Rt. 653 Shelter Area||18.5|
|PA Rt. 653 Trailhead||18.8|
|Grindle Ridge Shelter Area||24|
|PA Rt. 31 Trailhead||30.6|
|PA Rt. 31 Shelter Area||32.5|
|PA Turnpike Shelter Area||38.2|
|U.S. Rt. 30 Trailhead||45.8|
|U.S. Rt. 30 Shelter Area||46.5|
|PA Rt. 271 Trailhead||56.9|
|PA Rt. 271 Shelter Area||56.9|
|PA Rt. 56 Decker Ave. Shelter Area||64.9|
|PA Rt. 56 Seward Trailhead||70|
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Reservations
Reservations for overnight stays are mandatory and can be made up to 11 months in advance. Reservations can be made
online or by phone by calling 724-455-3744.
Instructions for Making a Backpacking Reservation (PDF)
Please be prepared to provide the following information when making a reservation:
- Group leader name
- Group leader address
- Emergency phone number and cell phone number (if one is being carried during the trip)
- Date(s) of overnight stay(s)
- Name of shelter area(s) the group will be using
- Name of entry point to the trail
- Description of vehicle(s) left at designated trailhead(s). Please do not leave valuables in vehicles.
- Number of people in the hiking party
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Rules
overnight camping fee is charged per-night, per-individual in the backpacking party.
Payment is required at the time of the reservation and may be made by credit card or Pennsylvania state park gift card. The reservation process is not complete without the issuance of a confirmation/reservation number.
Camping is only permitted in the shelter areas and overnight stays are limited to one night at each shelter area.
Backpacking groups are limited to the use of three shelters at each overnight stop. A shelter can accommodate up to five campers. Areas adjacent to the shelter are available for setting up campsites for additional backpacking party members. All excavations for wet weather tent drainage must be filled in to the original grade before departure.
Campers must clean and remove litter daily at toilets, parking areas, campsites, pump platforms, and surrounding areas. Dispose of dishwater in latrines and do not use sinks for personal hygiene. In no instance can dishwater be disposed of on a campsite or in an adjacent area. This causes unsanitary conditions for the camper and the next user of the site. Unsanitary conditions attract skunks, raccoons, mosquitoes, flies, and ants.
Fires are only permitted in camp stoves, fireplaces, or in designated locations. Fires must be extinguished when unattended. Leave all ashes in the fireplaces and do not rake them onto the ground which prevents ashes from entering the shelters during wet weather.
Climbing onto the roofs of buildings is prohibited. These activities not only damage park resources and facilities, but also can lead to serious or fatal accidents. When backpacking, hikers can be many hours from medical attention.
One responsible adult (18 years of age or older) is required to accompany each 10 campers. The responsible adult for each backpacking party must make reservations prior to starting an overnight trail hike to register the backpacking party.
Shuttling services for hikers on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail are available from
Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle and Coal Tubin’ in Johnstown.