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Hiking at Little Buffalo State Park

8 miles of trails

Sturdy footwear is recommended because of rocky footing on some trails.

Little Buffalo State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles.
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface.
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.

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route.
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.
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead.

Blue Ball Trail

0.25 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, benches

This ADA accessible, paved path connects the historic Blue Ball Tavern to the Covered Bridge Trail and East Day Use Area. Follow the trail  over a bridge, along the stream, and through a patch old ash trees that are beloved by the park's woodpeckers.

 This activity or structure is ADA accessible.

Buffalo Ridge Trail

1.5 miles  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  White blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, picnic tables

Traveling along a ridge that was once logged to fuel the nearby Juniata Furnace, this trail winds up to the top of Buffalo Ridge through a beautiful stand of Eastern hemlock. Look closely when hiking for flat, rounded areas with no trees -- these are charcoal hearths.

Campground Spur

0.5 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Green blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

Starting at the campground, the Spur Trail passes by a pond inhabited by panfish, bass, and pickerel frogs. Enjoy lots of spring wildflowers as the trail gently climbs down toward the bottom of the ridge and connects with Middle Ridge Trail.

Covered Bridge Trail

0.25 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, benches

The Covered Bridge Trail is a gravel trail that connects the historic Clays Covered Bridge and Blue Ball Trail to Way Car #2, our historic railway car, and passes directly though the East Day Use Area where you can find a playground, entertainment pavilion, and picnic tables. Additionally, the trail goes along and over Little Buffalo Creek and provides access to many areas to see aquatic wildlife.

Exercise Trail

1.2 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, benches

Throughout this trail there are 18 stations featuring exercise equipment and instructional signage. Additionally, the trail includes a section that runs along a trout creek and travels through an area of open habitat home to Eastern bluebirds.

Fisherman’s Trail

1.0 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, benches

The Fisherman's Trail is a gravel trail that travels along the lake and connects the West Day Use Area to the East Day Use area via the Dam Breast or Mill Race Trail. Situated in a dense stand of hemlocks, the shaded trail is usually cooler than surrounding areas and great for observing wildlife or finding a fishing spot.

Little Buffalo Creek Trail

1.0 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Blue blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, cross-country skiing recommended
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables

Little Buffalo Creek Trail runs from the Pavilion 1 and 2 to the far west end of the park, traveling along the creek where there are plenty of great fishing spots. It passes through habitats that include forest, wetland, shrubland, and meadows.

In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing on the flat trail. In the spring, the trail can be wet and muddy, but it is a good area to see warblers calling from the trees that line the creek.

Middle Ridge Trail

2.5 miles  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Red blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This trail runs from the Exercise Trail in the east end of the park to the Creek Trail in the west, crossing over Little Buffalo Road at both ends. Throughout the trail you will experience both change in elevation and the various habitats that accompany it, including some open field environments that offer scenic views of Holman Lake.

Mill Race Trail

0.5 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Red blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This trail follows Mill Race from Shoaff's Mill to Mill Dam where water is directed from Juniata Furnace Run down to the waterwheel. After crossing the Mill Dam, look for amphibians and other wildlife in the wet areas surrounding the stream as it meets with Little Buffalo Creek.