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Hiking at Raccoon Creek State Park

44 miles

The park offers a wide variety of hiking options to meet the needs of the casual day hiker, as well as the overnight backpacker looking for a challenge within a wilderness setting, and also offers biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

All visitors using the park trail system should read the trail rules and usage information before hiking.

Multi-Use Trails

11 miles, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking permitted

Appaloosa Trail

3 miles, yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

This main equestrian trail can be accessed via the equestrian parking lot off of PA 168 and the connecting Appaloosa Spur Trail. The trail winds along rolling forested hills of maples, oaks, hickory, and cherry. The trail passes an old homestead and spring house. Connector Trail 4 (hiking only) leads to the Pioneer backpacking campsites. Connector Trail 5 (multi-use) leads to the Pioneer Group Tenting areas and Pioneer Camp Road.

Appaloosa Spur

0.7 mile, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

This trail connects the Equestrian Trailhead parking lot on PA 168 to the Appaloosa Trail.

Buckskin Trail

1 mile, yellow blazes, more difficult hiking

​Beginning and ending on Nichol Road, Buckskin Trail loops through a mixed forest with deciduous and evergreen trees.

Nichol Road

3.5 miles, more difficult hiking

This trail serves as the gateway to most of the trails in the western section of the park. From Doak Field to Pioneer Road, Nichol Road is considered a trail since it is rougher than the road sections. Several loops of varying lengths can be created using Nichol Road and connecting trails.

Palomino Trail

1.1 miles, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

Palomino Trail follows an old roadbed for most of its length. It begins and ends on Nichol Road.

Pinto Loop

1.7 miles, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

Pinto Loop Trail has very little elevation change. The wide path passes through a mix of forest meadows. These features make it an excellent cross-country skiing trail.

Pioneer Camp Road

0.7 mile, easiest hiking

Pioneer Camp Road connects Nichol Road to the Pioneer Group Tenting Sites. Rider’s Ridge picnic area is near the intersection of Pioneer Camp and Nichol roads.

Hiking-Only Trails

27 miles

Beach Trail

0.3-mile, orange blazes, most difficult hiking

This trail connects the D loop in the campground with the swimming area on Raccoon Lake. A spur trail from Beach Trail connects to the F loop in the campground.

Camp Trail

1.4 miles, white blazes, more difficult hiking

A favorite area for wildlife and waterfowl viewing, this trail provides access to the south shore of Upper Lake. Modern cabin users can access Camp Trail via Connector Trail 1 (blue blazes), located behind Cabins 5 and 6.

Cross-Country Ski Trail

2.1 miles, white blazes, easiest hiking

 Accessed from the pavilion area" and change to Accessed from a small parking area along Raccoon Park Road on the hill west of the Beach Road entrance, then follows Heritage Trail through pine forest and small meadows. The trail loops away from Heritage along a hilltop and crosses over Heritage Trail into a pine plantation. The trail crosses the main park road to return to the trailhead.

Forest Trail

6.2 miles, white blazes, more difficult hiking

Forest Trail transects several stream valleys that feed Raccoon Lake. After the leaves drop, the high ridges offer scenic views of the lake. Spring wildflowers are spectacular along many sections of the trail.

The trail passes through an old stone quarry site, crosses PA 18 near the park office, and continues through forested stream valleys to Nichol Road. Connector Trail 6 leads to the overnight backpacking campsites.

Heritage Trail

9.5 miles, blue blazes, most difficult hiking

The longest trail in the park passes through land once inhabited by Beaver County’s first European settlers and follows some of the first wagon roads from the early 1800s.

In addition to the main trailhead, Heritage Trail can be accessed by connector trails at the boat trailer parking lot, campground, Camp Trail trailhead parking, Camp Trail, and at two points along Raccoon Park Road near the roadside picnic areas.

Heron Trail

0.5 mile, orange blazes, more difficult hiking

This short trail connects Wetlands Trail to Nichol Road and Palomino Trail near the Sioux Rustic Campground.

Lake Trail

1.9 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

The trail follows an old road along Traverse Creek, leading to the northwest shore of Raccoon Lake. In the 1800s, several pioneer homesteads and gristmills were located in the Traverse Valley.

The remains of an 1846, two-story, stone springhouse exists near the western end of the trail. Biking is permitted from the park office to the lake only.

Mineral Springs Loop Trail

1.2 miles, white blazes, easiest hiking

This trail passes through one of the park’s historic areas, once known for the “healing qualities of the mineral water.” The remnants of the 1800s Frankfort Mineral Springs Resort are located above the springs.

Upland Trail

0.6 mile, red blazes, more difficult hiking

This short trail begins across from the park office and connects to Mineral Springs Loop Trail.

Valley Trail

1.1 miles, red blazes, more difficult hiking

Cut in along a steep section of Traverse Valley, the trail passes through an open hardwood forest joining with Beach Trail above the swimming area.

Wetlands Trail

1.2 miles, green blazes, more difficult hiking

Wetlands Trail follows the north shore of the Upper Lake and continues up Traverse Valley to Nichol Road. A section of this trail cuts up the ridge and parallels the wetland valley. This wetland habitat is one of the best areas in the park to observe wildlife like beaver, muskrat, turtle, waterfowl, songbirds, and deer.

Wildflower Reserve Trails

4.45 miles, hiking only

Art Witt Trail

0.26 mile, yellow blazes, easiest hiking

This short, fern-lined trail meanders through a pine forest at the entrance of the Wildflower Reserve. This trail is dedicated to Art Witt, the first person to complete 10,000 volunteer hours in Pennsylvania state parks.

Audubon Trail

0.44 mile, white blazes, more difficult hiking

Audubon Trail is elevated high above the flowing waters of Raccoon Creek, with many spots to stop and admire the valley below. During spring, this is a good trail for birding and in autumn it is great for fall foliage. One end of the trail intersects Henrici, Jennings, and Old Field trails.

Beaver Trail

0.22 mile, purple blazes, easiest hiking

Beaver Trail passes through an American sycamore forest along the banks of Raccoon Creek. There are several nice spots to view wildlife.

Esther Allen Trail

0.12 mile, green blazes, easiest hiking

This short trail connects Old Wagon Road with Jennings Trail. It honors Esther Allen for her volunteer work in educating park visitors about the botanical treasures of the Wildflower Reserve.

Hickory Trail

0.16 mile, pink blazes, easiest hiking

Much of this trail follows along the bank of Raccoon Creek. There is a very short trail spur that leads to a scenic spot along the creek. This trail honors the Hickory Club, an outdoor association, which preserved a large section of the present-day Wildflower Reserve.

Jennings Trail

1.54 miles, blue blazes, more difficult hiking

This is the longest trail in the reserve. It offers a little bit of everything, traveling past the historic Hungerford Cabin, scenic views by vernal pools, the forested banks of Raccoon Creek, spectacular wildflowers, excellent fall foliage, and many great locations for wildlife observation and birding.

The trail allows access to many of the shorter trails within the reserve. It honors botanist, O. E. Jennings, for his many contributions to the Wildflower Reserve.

Max Henrici Trail

0.51 mile, red blazes, more difficult hiking

This trail allows hikers to explore a forested valley of the reserve featuring an abundance of ferns. The eastern section is covered by wildflowers in the spring. This trail honors Max Henrici, who strongly advocated the preservation of the reserve and played a leading role in the development of the trail system in the Wildflower Reserve.

Meadow Trail

0.36 mile, light green blazes, easiest hiking

This trail begins and ends in a hardwood forest with a large meadow in the middle. In August and September, the meadow is filled with late summer wildflowers. It is also a great location for watching butterflies and hummingbird moths.

Old Field Trail

0.65 mile, orange blazes, easiest hiking

This trail traverses an old field going through forest succession and has several sections that follow the banks of Raccoon Creek. Old Field Trail connects with Max Henrici Trail on both ends.

Old Wagon Road

0.19 mile, light blue blazes, more difficult hiking

This short, elevated trail descends to the floodplain along Raccoon Creek from the interpretive center. It connects to Esther Allen Trail and ends at Jennings Trail. It features lovely fall foliage and spring wildflowers.