Tussey Mountain -> Bear Meadows Loop

A spin on the classic Tussey Mountain Loop that includes John Wert Path and Bear Meadows, one of the largest freshwater bogs in the east coast.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
23 km
Ascent
611 m
Descent
611 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
420 m
High Point
732 m
Gradient
13˚
Tussey Mountain -> Bear Meadows Loop Map

This long run through Rothrock is one of the best ways to explore the Tussey Mountain, Bear Meadows, and part of the Mid-State Trail in one standing. You'll enjoy beautiful views, plenty of wildflowers and fungi, and a large bog with a diverse selection of wildlife. The distance and elevation alone would rank it moderately challenging, but the rocky singletrack makes running more difficult - so it's rated as such. After all, Pennsylvania has earned the nickname Rocksylvania by those hiking the 2,200-mile long Appalachian Trail.

Description

Best run counter-clockwise, you'll begin with a steady climb up Dylan's Path to Tussey Mountain Trail. Devastated by a wildfire in 2006, the ridge now offers several long views, making it one of the more visited trails in the forest. After a steady descent and climb along Shingle Path, you'll run along the infamously rocky John Wert Trail as it leads into one of the largest freshwater bogs in the east coast, Bear Meadows. The final leg of the run returns along the Mid-State Trail, known for its epic mountaintop views and notoriously rocky paths along the ridge.

This loop begins at the Galbraith Gap near the Tussey Mountain Ski Area. A large trailhead can host upwards of 20 cars, and vault toilets are available. Overnight camping is also available to further into the forest if you're looking for somewhere to stay. Water is available several times through the run if you have a filter or treatment system, and spring or fall offer the most favorable weather.

Difficulty

Difficult

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area