The North Country National Scenic Trail leaves Alleghany State Park in New York and crosses the state line into the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania.  The trail winds along the scenic shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir and through Heart’s Content and Tionesta scenic areas.   The forest is dominated by tall, straight Cherry trees. Keep your packs off the ground if camping; this is bear country.  For 100 miles the NCNST travels through the Allegheny NF before entering into the hemlock canopy of Cooks Forest State Park area  leading the hiker to the Clarion River.  From the banks of the Clarion River the Trail continues out of state lands and into private lands of the Toby Creek watershed.

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Through PA State Game lands the Trail comes to a point where the hikers can choose their own adventure; the North Country Trail follows the scenic Clarion River corridor southwest, while the Allegheny Valley Rail Trail heads northwest for 40 miles before the two reconnect on the eastern bank of the great Allegheny River opposite the famously small city of Parker, PA.

From Parker, through hills and wetlands of State Game lands 95, the NCNST comes to the Old Stone House on SR 8, a popular starting point for the annual Cherry Pie Hike, which celebrates the George Washington’s expedition to the area.  The trail continues west through the Jennings Environmental Education Center, and Moraine State Park where hikers can get a view of Lake Arthur, as well as a good night’s rest at the historic Davis Hollow Cabin, which is operated as a hostel by the park and North Country Trail volunteers.

Leaving Moraine the NCNST guides hikers on to McConnell’s Mill State Park.  take a breather and grab a history lesson with a tour of the old gristmill built in the 1800s.  From Alpha Pass to Hell’s Run within the park the trail leads hikers through the natural Impressionist exhibit of Slippery Rock Gorge — a steep-walled ravine with a boulder-pocked bottom left behind by the draining of ancient glacial lakes.

The NCNST passes through corporate and private lands with evidence of the areas lime kiln industry into the Borough of Wampum, PA located on the banks of Beaver River.  Again, through private land partnerships and state game lands the trail makes its way to historic Darlington, PA and the North Fork of the Little Beaver Creek with an Adirondack shelter as the last chance for camping before crossing over into Ohio.

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denise seib January 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

Looking for more information on the Allegheny 100 backpacking challenge. How register, where begins and where ends and any other information about this challenge would be great.


Tony April 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am planning on doing part of the Allegheny nat forest to the south end of Cook forest state park and was wondering on how many covered shelters are along the trail in this area. There is no mention of any in the research I’ve been doing except for the shelter hut just outside Marienville. Could you please let me know if there are more and where they might be located?
Tony DiStefano

shane m July 27, 2012 at 3:42 am

did around 32 miles 2 days ago……went from rt 66 near marienville to kelletville and back. very well maintained trail. i am no stranger to the area but new to the trail. 9 am until 7 pm. not too shabby for a 6’2 330lb ex college wrestler. lol

Nate November 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I’m interested in meeting like-minde, experienced hikers and would be interested in more information on hiking the entire PA section. Are there books and other reading materials I can find to help me get started in planning?

Jon February 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Why isn’t there a A100 blog this year? It is unfortunate – I think a log of good information was traded there for this event.

mdavis February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I’ve forwarded your question onto the Allegheny NF Chapter. You should be hearing directly from them.

mdavis February 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Check out the Clarion Chapter, Butler Chapter / Butler Outdoor Club, Allegheny National Forest Chapter, and Wampum Chapters. There are also no doubt hiking Meetup groups in the Pittsburgh area (search at

Ed Scurry November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

Please call before you start your adventure. We have several modifications in the route over the years and the on line map is up to speed. We can also assist with shuttling.
Ed Scurry, Pres Clarion Chapter

Chuck K. December 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

My friend and I want to compete in the A100 challenge in 2014.
Is there a website, or any place to get more information about the trail and sign-up etc.

Thank you very much,


Dave Gantz January 11, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I’m looking for information on the A100 for this year (2014). I missed registration last year, and don’t want to miss it this year.


MacCherokee March 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Is there going to be an A-100 backpacking challenge this year?

andrea April 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

The Registration is up and running in case you haven’t seen it.

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