Allegheny National Forest
TACF member, Mike Aucott offered a guided tour of Allegheny National Forest featuring American chestnuts in the wild last year, as part as the Walk in Penn’s Woods event. With COVID 19, the Walk in Penn’s Wood’s partnership has declared the entire month of October a time to get out and explore with a Walk in Penn’s Woods!
So, Mike has provided the coordinates and maps below so you can plan your own American chestnut hike in Allegheny National Forest. Please be sure to take photos of your experience and share them with us and on social media #mywalkinpennswoods. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to share as well.
Walk Address: Tracy Ridge Campground parking lot; GPS coordinates: 41.945, -78.876
Start out at Tracy Ridge Campground parking lot and proceed to trailhead of trail #1 which is about 50 yards west of the parking lot. The walk will continue along marked trail for about 0.8 miles, at which point we’ll take a detour uphill and to the east to intersect the “E loop” of campsites. In this area there are several large surviving American chestnut trees whose crowns reach the canopy as well as many smaller chestnut trees.
Now you can head back to the parking lot along the campground roads from this point. Or continue back downhill to rejoin the marked trail, and proceed along this trail down along Johnnycake Run. About a mile further along the way there is another area with numerous American chestnut trees, at least one of which is about 70 feet tall. At this point the guided walk will turn back and return to the parking lot along the same route. Terrain is moderately sloping. Trail is well-marked but rocky in places; level of difficulty is considered “moderate.” Overall walk is about 1.5 to 2 miles out and same distance back.
Sponsored by the PA/NJ Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation.
Note: Campsites have picnic tables and most are usually not occupied at this time of year. People-friendly leashed pets are allowed; owner must clean up after their pets. This is not a wheelchair and stroller friendly walk. People-friendly leashed pets are allowed; the owner must clean up after their pets.
Walk in Penn’s Woods is a collaboration of of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State and its partners. It was envisioned as a day for people across Pennsylvania to visit and learn about the forests that enhance our well-being. Forests are always working for us, providing recreation, wildlife habitat, beauty, improved water quality, clean air, wood products, carbon storage, and more.
As you hike, walk and enjoy this trail, we ask you to please maintain social distancing, step off-trail to let others pass and continue to follow leave-no-trace principles.
Click here to learn more about the Walk in Penn’s Woods and other hikes around the state.