The 42 mile long Black Forest Trail is located in the northwest corner of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and 27 miles north of Jersey Shore. First open in the early 1970's, the trail was named for the dense, coniferous forest that once covered the area and deemed by hikers as a "must do" despite the "moderate to strenuous" level of difficulty. The rugged trail showcases several of the vistas that define the beauty of the Pennsylvania Wilds while overlooking Slate Run, Pine Creek and other prominent features of the Tiadaghton State Forest.
This popular trail annually attracts thousands of hikers but, since 1996, has been missing a vital link making a 7.5-mile segment inaccessible to hikers not wishing to ford a swollen stream.
"This span affords hikers safe passage and the opportunity to hike the Black Forest Trail as it was meant to be traveled," stated Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Secretary Ellen Ferretti. "Circling almost 42 miles through deep hollows of the Allegheny Plateau, the Black Forest Trail is meant to be hiked as a loop. When that loop could not be completed, quality was diminished."
As a solution, a 120'-6" x 5'-7" Connector®-style, Continental® truss bridge was installed to provide hikers with a safe alternative. The pedestrian crossing replaces former crossings in the area that either were washed out by Slate Run flood waters or dismantled.
"While it's going to complement the experience for thousands of hikers, their safety has been the driving force behind this state forest improvement," continued Ferretti. "We know Tiadaghton State Forest is experiencing a steady increase in recreational users, especially hikers, and the new span helps meet their needs."
At a dedication ceremony in October 2014, Ferretti concluded, "For all of you who patiently awaited this new, beautiful structure, today is indeed a day for celebration. Once again the Black Forest Trail invites you to strike out in long, uninterrupted forays through some of the most scenic and wild sections of our bountiful state."