What to do in Forbes State Forest

The Forbes State Forest was named in honor of General John Forbes who, in 1757, ordered the construction of a road from Bedford to Fort Pitt for the movement of an expeditionary Army. The Forbes State Forest contains over 20 separate tracts of State Forest Land in Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties. The total acreage is over 50,000 acres and hosts outdoor recreation for millions of visitors. The State Forest does offer a number of undeveloped points of interest which appeal to those with an adventurous spirit.

The Forbes State Forest was named in honor of General John Forbes who, in 1757, ordered the construction of a road from Bedford to Fort Pitt for the movement of an expeditionary Army. The Forbes State Forest contains over 20 separate tracts of State Forest Land in Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties. The total acreage is over 50,000 acres.

The developed state forest and state park areas in the Laurel Ridge region is visited each year by millions of Pittsburg residents. However, there are a number of undeveloped points of interest which appeal to those with an adventurous spirit.

Recreation
Forbes State Forest hosts outdoor recreation for millions of visitors. This busy area encompasses six State Parks and three State Forest Picnic Areas. The State Forest has been divided into manageable divisions:

BLUE HOLE DIVISION:
Blue Hole is a deep hole with water appearing blue, located on Blue Hole Creek near the mouth of the Gary Run.
Cole Run Falls is located a few yards west of the Cole Run Road. It can also be reached by hiking one mile up Cole Run from the Blue Hole Road.

BRADDOCK DIVISION:
Pine Knob is an observation point overlooking Uniontown. It is located along the Pine Knob Road. Mile trail leads from Lick Hollow Picnic Area.
Cabin Hollow Rocks is an interesting rock formation located in Cabin Hollow approximately one mile southeast of Hopwood.
Wharton Furnace is located north of Elliottsville on Wharton Furnace Road. This was one of the last active iron furnaces in Fayette County.
Old Water-Powered Grist Mill is located at the intersection of Mill Run and Quebec Run. It can be reached by a hiking trail beginning at the north parking lot on Quebec Road.
Pondfield Fire Tower is located along the Seaton Road adjacent to the Forest Foreman Headquarters.

LINN RUN DIVISION:
P.W. & S Grade is the remains of the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland and Somerset grade and bridges of an old logging railroad which is located along the Linn Run on Fish Run Trail.
Grove Run Spring is a walled, much used, spring located along the Linn Run Road.
Adams Falls is a miniature water fall located near the Adams Falls Picnic Area.
Wolf Rocks provides a view of Linn Run Valley. It can be reached by hiking two miles on the Wolf Rock Trail, which begins at the Laurel Summit Picnic Area.
Beam Rocks are located along the Beam Rocks Trail 1/2 mile from the Laurel Summit Road.
Bluestone Quarry is located two miles south of Adams Falls along the Linn Run Road. Stone from this quarry was used to pave the streets of Pittsburgh.

KOOSER DIVISION:
Beck Springs is located along the Jones Mill Run Road. It supplies water for Laurel Hill State Park.
Old Sawmill Site is located near the intersection of the Jones Mill Run Road and the Beltz Road.
Neiderheiser Cemetery is located along the Beltz Road and dates from the period 1860-1900.
Kooser Fire Tower is south of Route 31 along the Fire Tower Road.
Old Logging Railroad Grades & Bridges remain throughout the area.

NEGRO MOUNTAIN DIVISION:
Vought Rock is located along the Vought Rock Road with a view of the original Vought Farm.
Wolf Rocks are located between the Forest Foremen Headquarters and Mt. Davis Tower.
Shelter Rocks are located approximately 1/2 mile south of the Mt. Davis Tower along the Shelter Rock Trail.
Baughman Rocks are located near the intersection of L.R. 55008 and the South Wolf Rock Road.
Tarkiln is a kiln used to extract tar from the knots of pitch pine, located along the South Wolf Rock Road.

Also within Forbes State Forest lies Roaring Run Natural Area, Mt. Davis Natural Area and Spruce Flats Wildlife Management Area.

Location
The Forbes State Forest contains over 20 separate tracts of State Forest Land in Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland Counties which lie in Pennsylvania's southwest region.

Climate
Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Forbes State Forest area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Address
District Forester
P.O. Box 519 (Del. Rt. 30E)
Laughlintown, PA 15655

Phone: 724-238-9533

Fax: 724-238-9827

  • Forbes State Forest Travel Q&A

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