Hiking Project Logo

Tracy Ridge Trail - Outer Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (5)

Enjoy a beautiful forest trail that immerses hikers deep in the Allegheny Forest.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

13.3

Miles

21.4

KM

Point to Point

2,201' 671 m

High

1,346' 410 m

Low

1,431' 436 m

Up

1,564' 477 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildlife

Family Friendly Dense forest trails and interconnecting loops provide access to beautiful camps around the Allegheny Reservoir. This is a wonderful location to connect with nature.

Do not bring in firewood from outside of the Allegheny National Forest.

Need to Know

Camping
Camping is permitted along the trails with some restrictions. No camping is permitted within 1500 feet of the Reservoir.

There are fee-collected campsites at the Tracy Ridge Campground and Hopewell and Handsome Lake sites near the reservoir. Fees are collected on the honor system and are first-come-first-served locations.

Leave No Trace ethics are required.

Winter hiking is permitted here, but Tracy Ridge Campground closed in the winter. There is alternate parking about a mile north of the campground entrance with an alternate trail to the trailhead.

Fires
Campfires are permitted so long as they are in a fire ring and properly extinguished when departing.

Hunting
Hunting is permitted in the forest. Be sure to dress in bright colors, especially during deer and turkey seasons.

Description

Tracy Ridge offers a multitude of different, interconnected trails and loops deep in the Allegheny National Forest. All of the loops add up to about 35 miles of trails. The outer loop is approximately 14 miles, starting and ending at the Tracy Ridge Campground. Ten miles of this trail joins the North Country National Scenic Trail along the Allegheny Reservoir. This forest is dense, so there are only a few vista points.

The trail system is marked primarily with gray markers, except where it joins the NCNST, which uses blue markers. Most of the joined trail is double marked. The outer loop is a challenging trail. Slopes along the reservoir and the streams are steep. There are rock ledges and large boulders on the steeper hillsides. The interconnecting loops offer varying degrees of difficulty from easy to difficult. The trails start out mostly flat from Tracy Ridge Campground and many hikes can be done without much terrain change. Getting to the reservoir, however, requires traversing the slopes, which can be very steep.

The areas around Johnny Cake Run and the Reservoir are beautiful. Dense copses of oak and pine give way to the relaxing trickle of the streams. It is easy to feel far removed from urban life. Depending on the time of year you go and the loop you choose, you may not encounter another person on the trail. Summertime on the trail is, of course, more popular. Hopewell and Handsome Lake Campgrounds can be accessed by boat.

Flora & Fauna

Most of the area is heavily forested, primarily with oak, and scattered with beech, black cherry, and hickory. Hemlock is found in small groves along the streams, and some magnificent old white pines can be found in scattered locations. At least three vistas have been established that offer magnificent views of the reservoir, and opportunities to view wildlife—deer, squirrel, grouse, and turkey are plentiful.

Bears and Coyotes
There are black bears in this forest. Practice good bear safety and keep your food out of your camp and properly suspended. Bears don't always hibernate all winter. Even if they do, the coyotes don't. Coyotes are also very plentiful. Tracks are common on the trails. A pack of coyotes took down a deer less than a mile from my camp in mid-January.

Contacts

Shared By:

Aaron Campbell

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#6271

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#117

in Pennsylvania

#6,271

Overall
43 Views Last Month
1,937 Since Apr 28, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
40%
0%
60%
0%

Photos

Johnny Cake Run as it enters the reservoir
Apr 28, 2018 near Russell, PA
Whiskey Run at Tracy Ridge
Apr 2, 2019 near Russell, PA
The trails are well marked and sign maps are at each loop.
Apr 28, 2018 near Bradford, PA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 27, 2019
Jake Baden
13.3mi
May 25, 2019
Jake Baden
Jul 8, 2018
Dale Tompkins