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Old 07-05-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
jmitch
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Backpacking the Allegheny Front Trail

https://endlessmountains.wordpress.c...y-front-trail/


https://www.flickr.com/photos/492395...57682760116764


Last month I backpacked the 42 mile Allegheny Front Trail, a loop in the Moshannon State Forest west of State College.* The AFT is a beautiful and diverse loop with views from the Allegheny Front, and many forest types, from hardwoods, meadows, wetlands, pine and spruce forests, and jungles of laurel and rhododendron.* I also saw countless wildflowers, including hundreds of pink lady slippers.* The trail is known for its extensive streamside hiking.* The streams are beautiful with great campsites, hemlocks, and more rhododendron.* The trail is moderate in difficulty with hilly terrain, is fairly well blazed and established, but some sections can get brushy.* Only had one tick on me.* This is a beautiful loop that any backpacker should check out.


Day 1 photos


























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Old 07-05-2017, 05:43 PM   #2
jmitch
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Day 2

The AFT continued its beautiful ways with pristine streams cloaked with hemlocks and rhododendrons. Sixmile and Benner Run were simply gorgeous. I hiked through stunning forests of spruce, pine, and moss. I loved the thick jungles of rhododendrons and laurel that was on the cusp of blooming. I had to keep moving due to the threat of rain. I traversed vast blueberry meadows and glades of ferns. I reached my car in the twilight.


















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Old 07-11-2017, 01:53 AM   #3
DSettahr
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Nice photos.

I'd agree that the AFT is "moderate" in difficulty overall, but there's definitely a couple of climbs along the way that don't hold back.

I certainly wouldn't mind going back to revisit Sixmile Run, Benner Creek, or Rock Run. IMO, those were the best stretches of the trail. The bit along the Allegheny Front itself was OK- I thought the views were kind of lackluster. "Red" Moshannon Creek would be one of PA's premier stretches of hiking trail if it wasn't for all of the acid mine runoff...
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:25 AM   #4
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Beautiful, definitely adding to the list. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:03 AM   #5
DSettahr
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Originally Posted by real3175 View Post
Beautiful, definitely adding to the list. Thank you for sharing!
It's a decent 2-5 day trek. I did it in 3 days, with a late afternoon start on day 1 and a late morning finish on day 3. You can also use the Moss-Hanne Trail to split the larger main loop into a 32 mile west loop and a 30 mile east loop if the full 40 miles is more than you want to attempt in one go (due to time limitations, etc). There is also a guide book and map set for the trail that you can purchase.

The AFT has some nice hiking through hollows with cascading streams, some OK views from the edges of the plateau, and the infamous rocks of PA are (relatively) not too bad, for the most part (there's a few stretches where they do show up, though).

Rock Run has some nice campsites, Benner Run has 1 nice site and 1 or 2 OK sites. "Red" Moshannon Creek has some nice (but mostly small) sites, although the acid mine runoff has pretty much killed off all life in the creek. (The guidebook says it's safe to drink with filtering, but that it has a "unique" taste. You can get unpolluted water from a number of small side streams that feed into the "Red" Moshannon along this stretch of the trail.)

Six Mile Creek is probably the nicest and most scenic stretch of the trail overall with also the nicest campsites, but this area also gets a decent amount of use from groups that are essentially car camping (there is easy road access through most of the Six Mile Creek drainage). There's 1 really nice campsite at the headwaters of Black Moshannon Creek, but the other sites in the vicinity aren't too great (muddy), if that site is already occupied. Smays run also has a nice campsite. And lastly, there's 2 or 3 nice sites along the Allegheny Front itself, but these are all dry sites without any nearby water sources.

Last edited by DSettahr; 07-14-2017 at 10:01 AM..
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