SLB Photography
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Laurel Ridge State Park

It’s been some time since I’ve explored new territory in Pennsylvania. The destination Forbes State Forest. Well I did make it out there, well didn’t exactly make it to a trail head though. So much for GPS. But good fortune would see to it that I had an adventure anyway. I found Laurel Ridge State Park by accident. Happy accident as it turns out. I pulled into XC skiing parking lot, didn’t initially see signs for a hiking trail. As luck would have it, drove to the back of the parking lot and ah-ha! Sign for a trail. What I found was a 70 mile hike called Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT). I signed in at the trail head and made my way north, starting at the 19th mile marker. The first thing on the trail, right after crossing route 711 is an old grave yard from the 1800’s. It’s not big with only a dozen or so gravestones. Most are worn down from the elements, the head stones barely readable. There were little printed signed nailed to the top as a commemoration of the original writing. It seemed fitting on this foggy day. What a perfect way to start a hike. The fog was dense and never lifted. It was almost eerie in a way, but calming and a good way to clear the mind. The day was cloudy and rainy. The wind blew so hard sweeping through the tops of the trees. It was like the forest was talking with me, with the wind came the rain. Sporadic and heavy at times. Between the dense fog and the rain, I was soaked, but worth every second of this trip. The silence other then the birds chirping, you can’t buy! I only hiked 3 miles out and 3 back, but this is definitely a trail worth checking out again. On clear days you can see all the way to downtown Pittsburgh. But on days like the one I was there, you can almost think be taken back to a quieter time. There was just something in the atmosphere. Creepy for some, soothing for others. For me, on this day Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail was exactly what was needed.

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