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Hiking at Parker Dam State Park

16 miles of trails

Many hiking trails begin or pass through Parker Dam State Park and continue into the surrounding Moshannon State Forest. Some trails travel through the tornado blowdown, while others follow along streams or through hardwood forests. Hike the Trail of New Giants and then Souder Trail to compare a young forest to a mature forest.

Abbot Hollow Trail

1.7 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

Explore a wilderness valley devastated by a tornado in 1985, then salvage-logged in 1986. The varying habitats caused by the blowdown, the logging roads, gas well sites, and beaver dams give the hiker many opportunities to view diverse wildlife.

Beaver Dam Trail

2.3 miles, blue blazes, easiest hiking

This trail along Mud Run traverses good beaver habitat. Be on the lookout for signs of this amazing creature, like cuttings, tracks, lodges, and dams.

CCC Trail

1.6 miles, blue blazes, easiest hiking

This trail is a walk down memory lane to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This was the road used daily for travel between the residential CCC camp (now the Organized Group Tenting Area) and the work site at the dam.

Now the road serves as a trail, making its way through pleasant pine plantations, traversing from Tyler Road to a point on Mud Run Road. A connector trail leads to Laurel Run Trail.

Laurel Run Trail

1 mile, yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

Long used by fishermen and more recently by loggers, this trail starts near the campground bridge, follows Laurel Run, and winds through the tornado blowdown area.

Logslide Trail

0.5 mile, orange blazes, easiest hiking

By the trailhead is an authentic reproduction of a log slide, used in the 1870s to haul logs out of the forest. A display shows other logging tools. Look along the trail for places where the Civilian Conservation Corps cut stone in the 1930s to build Parker Dam. The trail connects with Stumpfield Trail via a pipeline and is part of the Quehanna Trail, which is blazed in orange.

Skunk Trail

1.4 miles, blue blazes, easiest hiking

This trail winds through hardwood trees. It connects Souders Trail with Mud Run Road.

Snow Trail

1.6 miles, blue blazes and orange diamonds, easiest hiking

The trail starts on Beaver Dam Trail and connects with Moose Grade Road. Popular with snowmobilers, hunters, and cross-country skiers, Snow Trail offers a pleasant hike in the wilderness.

Souders Trail

0.75 mile, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

This scenic loop trail features Laurel Run, lush meadows, and large hardwood and evergreen trees.

Spurline Trail

3.5 miles, orange or yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

Start on Fairview Road and follow the old railroad spur that had been used from 1910 to 1913 to log the area.

Stumpfield Trail

0.5 mile, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

Begin at the campground amphitheater and traverse a meadow that was once a forest of pine and hemlock. Look for large stumps left from logging at the turn of the 20th century. Stunted trees and thick shrubs are evidence of repeated wildfires that destroyed topsoil and slowed forest regrowth. This trail connects with Logslide Trail via a pipeline.

Sullivan Ridge Trail

1.4 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

This trail follows logging roads along the top of Sullivan Mountain, offering scenic overlooks of Moose Run Valley. Sullivan Ridge Trail connects Snow Trail with Abbot Hollow Trail. This trail is not suitable for cross-country skiing.

Tornado Alley Trail

0.5 mile, blue blazes, easiest hiking

This logging road connects Sullivan Ridge Trail with the cabin area. It offers a panoramic view of the tornado damage in Abbot Hollow.

Trail of New Giants

1 mile, yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

On May 31, 1985, one of Pennsylvania’s largest and strongest tornadoes roared through the park and destroyed the towering forest of ash, oak, beech, and sugar maple trees. The Trail of New Giants cuts through the blowdown and the 250-acre Windstorm Preserve. Walk the trail and see the forest regenerating.

A spur trail leads to a beautiful vista of the park and surrounding forest.

Quehanna Trail

73 miles, orange blazes, most difficult hiking

This trail travels from the park through the Quehanna Wild Area. The backpack trail loops range from one to seven days. Only experienced hikers should use these wilderness trails. The main trail is blazed in orange. Connector trails are blazed in yellow.

The Quehanna Area Trails Club maintians the trail and has additional information.