Hiking Southwest Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Dec. 26-28, 2022

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
I am in Philadelphia caring for my sister through her knee replacement surgery and recovery. I am mostly relegated to hourly care right now so what the heck, a boring but unusual Trip Report to author while I spend most of these hours indoors.

We have a running tradition of spending the week between Christmas and New Years in a rented cabin in Linn Run State Park, one hour east of Pittsburgh and 5.25 hours west of Philly. Linn Run SP is surrounded by the Forbes State Forest. Trails leave the Park and form various loops in and out of the Forest.

The Cabin:

Linn Run State Park, PA Cabin 9 by John Morrow, on Flickr

Cabin morning by John Morrow, on Flickr

On the 26th I did a short hike on a portion of the Grove Run Trail. Weather was in the single digits and breezy, a wonderful winter feeling as we kept the cabin cozy.

Linn Run State Park winter scene by John Morrow, on Flickr

Grove Run, Linn Run State Park by John Morrow, on Flickr

Pileated by John Morrow, on Flickr

The couple inches of snow were perfect for animal tracking and I spent much time enjoying that.

lots of coyote tracks, Grove Run Trail by John Morrow, on Flickr

coyote by John Morrow, on Flickr

On the 27th I hiked a different direction on the Grove Run Trail. Connected to the Fish Run Trail. Took the Fish Run Trail to the Linn Run Road (now a snowmobile trail) back to the cabins area.

Grove Run Trail over Linn Run by John Morrow, on Flickr

lovely snowy scene by John Morrow, on Flickr

snowshoers and me by John Morrow, on Flickr

Fish Run by John Morrow, on Flickr

Another type of public land dsignation seems to be unique to PA: PA State Game Lands. On the 28th I started with a short hike in a small Game Land near New Florence, PA. A chance to bag a cheap 300 foot prominence summit.

Squirrel Hill State Game Land by John Morrow, on Flickr

Deer obviously find refuge here.

deer beds at Squirrel Hill by John Morrow, on Flickr

West ridge Squirrel Hill by John Morrow, on Flickr

State Game Lands 42 to Shannon Run by John Morrow, on Flickr

The highlight was bobcat tracks along a creek.

Shannon Run by John Morrow, on Flickr

Bobcat! by John Morrow, on Flickr

the cat by John Morrow, on Flickr

Then I drove a short distance to the northern trailhead for the terminus of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, a 70 mile point to point on one of PA's long linear ridges. Three miles uphill in deepening snow and I had had enough.

More bobcat!

Cat tracks on Laurel Highlands Trail Mile 69 by John Morrow, on Flickr

rhododendron Laurel Highlands Trail Mile 68 by John Morrow, on Flickr

Rhodo Tunnel by John Morrow, on Flickr

LHHT Mi. 67 passes for a view in PA by John Morrow, on Flickr
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