Detweiler Run Loop

A quiet backcountry run in Rothrock that originates at a large campsite on Bear Meadows Road.

Trail Running Difficult

15 km
546 m
546 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
317 m
High Point
711 m
Detweiler Run Loop Map

This run tours the Detweiler Run Natural Area, which is part of the greater Rothrock State Forest. Typical of central PA, you'll enjoy a hefty serving of rocks and guaranteed solitude since it is further into the forest than other local classics. Measuring nine miles total, you'll begin on the Mid-State Trail alongside a creek, with options to cut the run short once you reach Shingle Path. Those willing to push all nine miles will be rewarded with solitude, dense stands of pine and hemlock, and even some partial views in the wintertime.


Noted by both Rothrock and this photographer, Detweiler Run Natural Area hosts stands of old-growth pine, hemlock, and birch, plus other hardwood species. The understory is shrouded by rhododendron, and the dense canopy offers cooler temperatures even into the summer. In fact, mature hemlock trees have been known to filter nearly 99% of light before it reaches the forest floor, making for a unique selection of stunning wildflowers and unique fungi found nearby.

One of the many things that makes this run great is a large campsite managed by Rothrock near the trailhead. One of only eight designated sites in the forest, you can contact the ranger station here to inquire about reserving the site for free. Parking is also available at the junction of Detweiler Road and Bear Meadows road, just be sure not to block any gates. Cell reception is limited, too, so be sure to download the route and directions prior to heading into the forest.




Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between March and November

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area