Hiking

Hiking

Running through Buchanan State Forest, and just 3/4 miles from River Mountain, is Pennsylvania’s Trail of the Year -- The Mid-State Trail. The trail stretches 327 miles from Maryland to the New York border, crossing through the heart of Pennsylvania with some of the most scenic views overlooking Black Valley.

The Mid-State Trail is known as Pennsylvania’s wildest trail. Wild means that the trail is less maintained than what you might expect. There are areas where the trail can be overgrown, down trees, and creek crossings. While the trail is marked, it can be confusing and you need to have a map or have downloaded the Alltrails app. There is no cell service. Please read our checklist below before starting your hike.

Hike Smart Checklist:
• Hikes range from moderate to difficult due to elevation change and distance.
• We highly recommend doing an out and back so you do not get lost and can turn back if you need to.• Check-in with us before you leave and when you return from your hike.
• It is best to hike with another person or group.
• Bring plenty of water and a snack.
• Wear and bring bugspray.
• There are ticks. Check for ticks as you hike and upon return.
• There is little to no cell service on the hiking trails.
• Take a map, photo of the map, and download the Alltrails map on your phone.
• FYI! The Mid-State Trail is also labeled as “Garlic Trail” on trail signs and maps.
• Buchanan State Forest has many trails but very few are well-marked or well-maintained. You can easily get lost if you choose a different trail. We recommend you stick to these trails.
• There are timber rattlesnakes in Buchanan State Forest. Be listening and watching as you hike. If you encounter one, distance yourself and wait for it to pass.
• Stay on the trails.
• Leave no trace.

 

HIKE #1

TRAIL: Garlic Trail, AKA Mid-State Trail
HIGHLIGHTS: Closest + Easiest to Get To
DISTANCE: Out and Back, Up to You
OVERVIEW: Begins with a gradual, long uphill along the creek. Scenic as you hike along the creek up into Buchanan State Forest. Out and back means you'll enjoy a gradual downhill on your way back to the car. Since this hike is along the creek, it can be very buggy on hot and humid summer days.
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Take a right out of the River Mountain driveway. When the road splits, stay left, to head toward Rainsburg on Hwy 326. Drive 1.12 miles and the small parking area will be on your left. There is a small trailhead sign for Garlic Trail. Trail is marked with orange/reddish blazes.
Google Maps Link to Trailhead Parking
Apple Maps Link to Trailhead Parking

TRAIL MAP: Please view the Alltrails map below. Download the Alltrails app and the trail map using the link below. There is no cell service, download the Alltrails app AND map before you leave.

LINK TO VIEW + DOWNLOAD TRAIL MAP >>

HIKE #2

TRAIL: Mid-State Trail
HIGHLIGHTS: Large Parking Lot for Groups - Higher Elevation, Less Humid + Buggy in Hot Summer Months
DISTANCE: Out and Back, Up to You
OVERVIEW: Access to the Mid-State Trail from this parking lot follows two, short grassy forest roads for about .25 miles. Once on the Mid-State Trail this route has a gradual uphill on your way out. On your way back, you'll enjoy the very slight downhill. Higher in elevation and with no creek along this section of the trail, meaning there are fewer mosquitos, particularly during the hot, humid summer months. 
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Take a right out of the River Mountain driveway. When the road splits, stay left, to head toward Rainsburg on Hwy 326. Drive 2 miles up to the top of the mountain. The large, gravel parking lot will be on your right. From the Northeast side of the parking lot, follow the dirt/grass forest road for 200 yards. Go under the yellow gate on your right and follow the grassy path for 400 yards. At this point, the grass path intersects with the Mid-State Trail. Take a left to go uphill and follow the Mid-State Trail north for as long as you'd like. The Mid-State Trail is marked with orange/reddish blazes.
Google Maps Link to Trailhead Parking
Apple Maps Link to Trailhead Parking

TRAIL MAP: Please view the Alltrails map below. Download the Alltrails app and the trail map using the link below. There is no cell service, download the Alltrails app AND map before you leave.

LINK TO VIEW + DOWNLOAD TRAIL MAP >>

Hawk Watch

By Meghan | July 30, 2021

Located at 2850 feet above sea level, the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch is the highest birder hawk watch in Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Front offers a stunning panorama for bird watching, with visibility up to 20 miles on clear days. The Allegheny Front is renowned for its Golden Eagles.

Read More

Deep Rooted Co. Foraged and Floral Workshops

By Meghan | April 13, 2021

Deep Rooted Co. specializes in stunning organic floral and plant arrangements. Her workshops at River Mountain are a modern, organic way to get creative with friends.

Read More

Shopping + Downtown Bedford

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Take a ride to historic, downtown Bedford, PA – about 25 minutes north of River Mountain. This quaint downtown features boutique shops, restaurants, and Olde Bedford Brewing Company.

Read More

Restaurants in Downtown Bedford

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Check out some of our favorite restaurants in nearby Bedford, PA – about 25 minutes north of River Mountain.

Read More

Canoe + Kayaking

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Get out on the water with kayak and canoe rentals at these gorgeous mountain lakes near River Mountain.

Read More

Fly Fishing

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

River Mountain is the perfect home-base for a fly fishing trip. Explore nearby Yellow Creek and Little Juniata River.

Read More

Mountain Biking

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Ride the IMBA single-track mountain biking of the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake.

Read More

Covered Bridge Tour

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Explore the covered bridges of Bedford County, Pennsylvania on this scenic driving tour just miles from River Mountain glamping cabins.

Read More

Raystown Lake

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Raystown Lake is the largest lake entirely in Pennsylvania and a popular summer spot for explorers and day-trippers. The lake region offers mountain biking, boat rentals, and swim access.

Read More

Maryland Tap + Pour Tour

By Meghan | March 29, 2021

Mountain Maryland’s Tap and Pour Tour was recently named “Best Beer/Wine/Spirits Trail” by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s 2021 ‘Best Of’ awards.

Read More