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This is a 54.52 kilometer (33.69 mile) trail system of interconnecting loops. This trail offers a wonderful all-day hike beginning on the flat ridgetop at Tracy Ridge Recreation Area at the 2245 foot elevation and dropping to 1328 foot elevation, which is the normal summer pool of the Allegheny Reservoir. This trail is located within the Allegheny National Recreation Area (NRA), which is one of the few roadless areas of the Forest. The Allegheny NRA was established by Congress in 1984 as part of the Pennsylvania Wilderness Act. The primary purposes of the NRA is to preserve and protect natural scenic, cultural, scientific, and wildlife values and to provide for enhanced dispersed recreation opportunities. Only limited vegetative management activities are permitted, and then, only to meet recreation or wildlife needs.
Slopes along the reservoir and along the small streams which drain the area are steep. Rock ledges and large boulders can be found on the steeper hillsides. Most of the area is heavily forested in second growth timber; primarily oak, scattered with beech, black cherry, and hickory. Hemlock is found in small groves along the streams, and some magnificent old white pines can be found in scattered locations. Opportunities to view wildlife are plentiful.
The trail is marked with off-white markers. The North Cuntry Trail portion of this trail system is marked with blue markers. Dispersed camping is permitted along the trail. Campfires are permitted as long as they are maintained in a fire ring and are fully extinguished upon departing. The developed Tracy Ridge Campground and primitive areas of Handsome Lake and Hopewell are along the trail. If you chose to camp along the trail and are not in one of the above mentioned locations, a Forest Order requires that camps be set up 1500 feet from the treeline of the reservoir.
The skill level of these hiking trails are more difficult and you should be in good health to enjoy them. We encourage you to hike with at least one other person and to leave your itinerary with friends so they''ll know where to look if you don''t return on time or need assistance.
These trails are open for winter hiking. Remember to dress in layers appropriate for the weather conditions. Be aware that these trails are popular in the late fall and spring by hunters. It is a good idea to wear bright fluorescent colored clothing if hiking during these time periods.
We do ask that you practice no trace ethics - pack it in, pack it out while at a dispersed site. For sanitary disposal of wastes, dig a pit on flat ground at least 6 inches deep and at least 200 feet from water.