New starting in May 2019 Confluence gets is first official hiking trail! And it’s next to the Riverhouse. The trailhead starts in the bike trail parking lot between Riversport and the Riverhouse. The trail traverse the hillside behind the Riverhouse and across from the Treehouse.
We originally purchased the land the trail is on (50 acres) when we acquired the Riverhouse. We had no plans to develop the land–we actually wanted it to remain wild. Through a series of fortunate events and hope and dreams, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy purchased the land from to do just that–conserve it. It’s fantastic for us, of course, but also for the town of Confluence and the area. My family and I had been hiking there (locally known as Klondike Ridge) forever and it’s a really special place to us. It’s so amazing to be able to share it!
The trail is a bit steep but their are steps in the beginning and it does mellow out. It’s an out and back, well marked trail. Good hiking shoes recommended- especially when it’s wet.
It’s short but takes you to a nice overlook of the confluence of the 3 rivers, or the “turkeyfoot”.
Go check it out and let me know what you think! ~Kara
Strewn throughout Big Bear Lake Camplands, Big Bear Lake Trail Center is quickly becoming known as the hot spot for classic east coast single track mountain biking. Years of trail development, by experienced mountain bikers, have created a trail system that will have you grinning ear to ear. The terrain has everything to offer; gradual climbs, large embedded rocks, tight slaloms, challenging rock gardens, and off the saddle downhills. Almost 50 miles of trail wind through knee deep ferns, soft needle pine plantations, and groves of mountain laurel. Riders of all ages and abilities will find trails to fit their individual riding skills and need for adrenaline.
Trail maps are provided at the main entrance. Trail fee is $10/day or $30 for a season pass. Season passes can be purchased at the main entrance or online HERE.
All trails may be used for hiking, trail running and x-c skiing. Trails are closed from November 1 to December 31.
The Mount Davis overlook tower offers a spectacular 360-degree view. The trails are pretty, especially in spring and fall. You can make this hike shorter or longer, as you wish. Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet, is the highest point in Pennsylvania. It is not a pinnacle but a broad flat plateau, and it’s surrounded by 5,685 acres of state forest land. Although not high by many standards, wind in the area keeps some of the trees stunted and frost can be present any month of the year. The mountain is named after John Nelson Davis (1835–1913), an early settler who was an active community leader, teacher, and ordained minister, among his many occupations. He was also one of the oldest Civil War veterans of his time, and an avid naturalist fascinated with the environment of Mount Davis. The overlook is about 20 min drive from Confluence.
Ferncliff Natural Area is a 100- acre peninsula in the 20,000 acre plus Ohiopyle State Park. Hemlock, tulip poplar, oak, and black birch are some the tree species, with the oldest about 200 years. The peninsula is created by a meander in the Youghiogheny River which flows north into Pennsylvania from West Virginia and Maryland carrying seeds from that region. The warmer microclimate inside the river gorge allows these plants to survive. It is a good example of a late successional forest in the Allegheny Mountains, and forever protected. Views of the river and the falls can be seen from the relatively easy trail. This is a very popular ecotourism area.
Located on the southern reaches of the Laurel Ridge, Ohiopyle State Park encompasses approximately 20,500 acres of rugged natural beauty and serves as the gateway to the Laurel Highlands. Close to major metropolitan areas and offering vast choices of activities, Ohiopyle State Park attracts millions of visitors annually. Confluence is 5 miles from the park. It’s a 15 minute drive to the Falls.
Passing through the heart of the park, the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny [yawki-gay-nee] River Gorge are the centerpiece for Ohiopyle. The “Yough” [yawk] provides some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States, as well as spectacular scenery.
Ohiopyle is the southern gateway into the Laurel Highlands and represents the beautiful natural resources and unique sense of community that visitors can find throughout the region.
Bear Run Nature Reserve (BRNR), the largest property owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, is located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania.
BRNR is managed to protect, conserve and restore land and water for the diversity of the region’s native plants, animals, and their ecosystems. Streams and watersheds, forests, and common and rare native species are the focus of management. BRNR is integral to biodiversity conservation in the Laurel Highlands and the mid-Appalachian region.
Second-growth hardwood and hemlock forests, characteristic of this region, are the primary land cover in the reserve. Four high-gradient clear water streams flow through BRNR land. The reserve protects almost all of the Bear Run and Laurel Run drainages, as well as portions of seven other drainages, including the Youghiogheny River. The Bear Run and upper Lick Run drainages in BRNR are designated Biological Diversity Areas (BDA) due to the presence of species of state and federal concern.