This weekend I returned to Warren, PA to hike the North Country Trail.
Have you ever heard the Bob Dylan song, “Girl From the North Country?”
The song was stuck in my head the whole time I was on the trail… so I guess you could say Bob Dylan came too.
I had never even heard of this trail before last weekend when I passed it on my way to the Jake’s Rocks hike. It turns out, it is a pretty big deal.
As a native Virginian, I have a soft spot for the Appalachian Trail. I have always been amazed by the magnitude of it. After all, 2,200 miles is a long way!
At least, I thought it was a long way. I’m not so sure when I compare it to the North Country trail which will be the longest scenic trail in the country when it is complete — 4,600 miles! Check it out.
Here are the quick facts:
Distance: As long or as short as you want… unless you want to go more than 4,600 miles. I went for about 3.5/4. miles
Location: I hopped on the trail in Warren, Pennsylvania. It is visible from the road, marked with a large sign, but I am unable to find directions to the trail access online. If you follow directions to the Rimrock Loop trail head you can’t miss it. It is only a couple miles from there on PA-59.
Parking: There is room for about five or six cars at the trailhead. There is a bulletin with a
map focused on this portion of the trail.
Views: There aren’t any “feature” views on this portion of the trail — no waterfalls, summits, gorges, or caves. Don’t let that steer you away, though. It is an absolutely gorgeous stretch of the Allegheny National Forest.
Dogs: This trail is excellent for dogs.
Difficulty: This trail is easy. It is mostly flat and the paths are wide and clear.
Trail markers: The trail markers are excellent. I never questioned a blaze.
*Note: All of the above evaluations are based solely on the Warren, PA stretch of the North Country Trail.
This trail is what I’d like to call the “favorite grandpa” of the Allegheny National Forest. It is gentle, kind, steady and has lots of stories to tell.
It is not all strenuous, but it is long. If you are unable to do a tougher hike like Rimrock loop or Jake’s Rocks, which have frequent ups and downs, this is an awesome alternative. The flora and fauna does not disappoint.
So many hikes labeled “easy” are a mile or less in length… that’s no fun!
I can’t wait to visit another portion of this trail. It is officially a new goal of mine to visit as much of it as I can — you know, while I am in the North Country. I’d also like to volunteer to work on it!
I also really loved that there was a trail log. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen one on any of my hikes so far!
- Do you know the Bob Dylan song?
- Have you been to the Allegheny National Forest or have you hiked any part of the North Country Trail?