Forbes State Forest Laurel Summit Loop Trail

Somerset, Pennsylvania

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Laurel Summit State Park is part of the Forbes State Forest system. It is a spectacular place and has something for every level hiker. Mountain laurel, Pennsylvania’s state flower, is abundant, as are large boulders. Hiking in western Pennsylvania doesn’t get much prettier than this. To begin this hike, walk approximately 1,000 feet past the warming hut and turn right on Ben Albert’s Trail. The hike begins on flat terrain that soon turns into a gradual incline, passing through hardwoods and mountain laurel. The incline continues as you reach the Towhee Trail at 0.3 miles; turn left at the sign that marks this trail. Meander along the now more level route, as the mountain laurel recedes and hardwoods encompass the view. At 0.75 miles you’ll see a sign for Lippo’s Loop to the right; continue straight on Towhee. After the sign, a small stream trickles along the right-hand side of the trail for a while. Begin to descend slightly with the trail as it curves to the left. When the trail veers sharply right, find yourself enjoying about 100 feet of mountain laurel. The short stature of some of the laurel is likely due to wind on the summit; the tallest thus far has been about six or seven feet high along this somewhat rocky trail.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Pittsburgh

DESCRIPTION FROM:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Pittsburgh

by Donna L. Ruff (Menasha Ridge Press)

Laurel Summit State Park is part of the Forbes State Forest system. It is a spectacular place and has something for every level hiker. Mountain laurel, Pennsylvania’s state flower, is abundant, as are large boulders. Hiking in western Pennsylvania doesn’t get much prettier than this. To begin this hike, walk approximately 1,000 feet past the warming hut and turn right on Ben Albert’s Trail. The hike begins on flat terrain that soon turns into a gradual incline, passing through hardwoods and mountain laurel. The incline continues as you reach the Towhee Trail at 0.3 miles; turn left at the sign that marks this trail.

Meander along the now more level route, as the mountain laurel recedes and hardwoods encompass the view. At 0.75 miles you’ll see a sign for Lippo’s Loop to the right; continue straight on Towhee. After the sign, a small stream trickles along the right-hand side of the trail for a while. Begin to descend slightly with the trail as it curves to the left. When the trail veers sharply right, find yourself enjoying about 100 feet of mountain laurel. The short stature of some of the laurel is likely due to wind on the summit; the tallest thus far has been about six or seven feet high along this somewhat rocky trail.

©  Donna L. Ruff/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Somerset
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 150 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 2,700 feet
Top Elevation: 2,850 feet
Local Contacts: Forbes State Forest
Local Maps: USGS Ligonier
Driving Directions: Directions to Forbes State Forest: Laurel Summit Loop Trail

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May 2018