Located in the heart of Pennsylvania, Moshannon State Forest offers breathtaking scenery and an abundance of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. With its vast expanse of forested land spanning over 190,000 acres, the state forest boasts an extensive network of trails perfect for horseback riding. If you're a horse lover looking for the best equine trails in Moshannon, look no further. Here are some of the top trails that will leave you awe-inspired.
1. Quehanna Trail: As one of Pennsylvania's longest hiking trails, the Quehanna Trail is a 73-mile loop within Moshannon State Forest. While primarily designed for hikers, this trail is also open for horseback riding. It offers a moderate-to-challenging experience that takes riders through diverse terrains, from dense forests to open meadows and beautiful vistas. Never too far from water sources, you'll ride alongside picturesque streams and encounter numerous wildlife species along the way.
2. Greenlee Tract Trail: If you're seeking an easier ride with incredible views, the Greenlee Tract Trail is perfect for you. Spanning approximately 5 miles, this loop trail winds through the scenic landscape of Moshannon State Forest. Riders will cross babbling brooks and traverse dense woodlands, showcasing the area's natural beauty. Don't forget to take in the panoramic vistas of the surrounding hills and mountains of Bald Knob.
3. Elk Trail: True to its name, the Elk Trail offers a chance to witness Pennsylvania's majestic elk population up close. Covering around 13 miles, this horse trail begins near the village of Benezette, notorious for its elk-viewing opportunities. As you venture deeper into the forest, you may spot elk, deer, wild turkey, and a variety of bird species. The picturesque trail takes you through serene forests and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding rolling hills.
4. Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area Trail: Nestled within the Black Moshannon State Park, this horse trail is a must-visit for riders looking for a unique experience. The trail wraps around the Black Moshannon Bog, a unique peatland ecosystem. You'll witness an array of fascinating plant life, including the rare and carnivorous sundew. The trail takes you through a serene forest, with opportunities to observe wildlife, birds, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the resident beavers.
5. Snowshoe Rail Trail: Stretching approximately 20 miles, the Snowshoe Rail Trail offers a well-maintained track ideal for horseback riding. This former rail line passes through the rugged landscape of Moshannon and offers riders stunning views of nature's splendor. As you traverse the trail, you may encounter remnants of the railroad, such as old trestles and charming, historic railroad towns.
Before embarking on your horseback riding adventure in Moshannon State Forest, it's essential to check the regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Always respect the trail etiquette, leave no trace, and ensure your horse is well-prepared for the journey.
With its diverse and picturesque trails, Moshannon State Forest provides an unforgettable experience for horseback riders. Whether you're seeking a challenging trek or a leisurely ride surrounded by natural beauty, there's a trail for every equestrian adventurer at Moshannon. So, saddle up, explore the forest, and create memories that will last a lifetime.