“A 13-mile loop around Black Moshannon State Park and the Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area.”
— Kristin McLane
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife
If kids can handle the distance, the terrain is easy.
This fairly level loop doesn't offer much in the way of physical challenge, but it does provide a nice hike through multiple types of environment and a variety of wildlife to watch depending on the habitat. The trails selected cover most of Black Moshannon State Park and go right around Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area and Black Moshannon Lake.
Need to Know
The trail can be somewhat soggy in in the bog areas, but boardwalks are frequently provided. The park recommends waterproof shoes.
From the Black Moshannon State Park Campground, near campsite 22 and the playground, head down the Tent Hill Trail
to the lake. Go left on the Lake Loop Trail
around the dam and down to Route 504. Cross the bridge and the street to follow West Side Road left for a short distance. An unnamed trail will appear on your right, leading uphill to the cabin area.
From the cabins, hop on the Seneca Trail
and follow it until it intersects the Hay Road Trail
. Make a left and follow this trail to its terminus at West Side Road. Go right to get on the Bog Trail
and follow the boardwalks around to its terminus and the beginning of the Moss-Hanne Trail
Follow the Moss-Hanne Trail
all the way around the Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area to where it ends at Beaver Road. Turn left and follow the road a short distance until you can duck back into the woods on the Star Mill Trail
on the left. When it forks, stay left again and follow the shoreline back around to Beaver Road. Go left on Beaver Road and follow it to Route 504, where you can again cross the bridge and the street, getting back on the Lake Loop Trail
to finish its loop at the Tent Hill Trail
junction, and take that trail back to the beginning at the campground.
Flora & Fauna
This loop provides many types of environment to explore: forest, lake, bog, marsh, and swamp. The woodlands are dominated by oak, cherry, and pine, while the wetlands feature sphagnum moss, sedges, and rushes.
This is an Important Bird Area, as designated by the National Audubon Society, so birdwatching is plentiful: songbirds, swallows, ducks, geese, herons, loons, swans, woodpeckers, turkeys, grouse, and hawks.
Mammals include chipmunks, squirrels, beavers, deer, black bears, raccoons, porcupines, bobcats, foxes, weasels, and coyotes.
History & Background
Originally used by the Seneca Indians for hunting and fishing, this area was later logged by timber companies until it was denuded. The state then bought the land and began reforestation.