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Laurel Summit State Park

Park Guide Pictures

Park Guide

Source: Pennsylvania DCNR

Autumn Colors at the Spruce Flats Bog
Autumn Colors at the Spruce Flats Bog

A Symphony of Autumn Color in Forbes State Forest
A Symphony of Autumn Color in Forbes State Forest

Beam of Sunshine at Wolf Rocks Vista
Beam of Sunshine at Wolf Rocks Vista

This scenic picnic area is operated by the Bureau of State Parks. The 6-acre area offers picnic tables, a pavilion, water, and restroom. The area is 2,739 feet above sea level and several degrees cooler than surrounding towns. This area also provides trailhead parking for Spruce Flats Bog and Wolf Rocks Trail. Laurel Summit is a carry in/carry out area. Please take all of your trash with you.

Directions

Laurel Summit State Park is located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Laurel Summit State Park is in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Click here for door-to-door MapQuest driving directions.

History

Linn Run is in the heart of the Laurel Mountains. The mountainous land ranges from 1,300 feet to 2,800 feet above sea level. Most of the land was bought from the Byers and Allen Lumber Company for $42,662. When the Commonwealth acquired this land in 1909, it was the first major public purchase of denuded forest land in the Ohio River Basin. Today, it is difficult to visualize what this land looked like in 1909 or to imagine that some people questioned the wisdom of purchasing so much "wasteland."

About fifteen years prior to the acquisition of the Linn Run property, this entire area was clearcut. The old growth forest was transformed into an area devoid of timber and wildlife. Treetops littered the area. Saw logs were sold for lumber. Small logs were used for props in nearby coal mines. Hemlock bark, a source of tannin, was bundled and shipped to tanneries. The railroad that hauled timber and other products to market caused many severe wildfires.

In his first report (September 1909), Forester John R. Williams wrote, "I should say that fully three-fifths of the reserve has been burned over since lumbering was done. The fires did great damage to the young growth. Some places are covered with nothing but ferns and blackberry bushes." Occasional scars from those early fires can still be seen after years of forest rehabilitation.

In 1910, the newly formed Pennsylvania Game Commission cooperated with the former Department of Forestry to restock deer. White-tailed deer were imported from New York and Michigan for release throughout Pennsylvania.

Interesting traces remain of the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland and Somerset Railroad that serviced the area. The main line extended from Rector to Somerset. Because of heavy loads, the tracks switched back and forth across Linn Run several times. Along the Fish Run Trail in Forbes State Forest you will find traces of the old railroad bed.

The Laurel Mountain ski area, the first major ski resort in western Pennsylvania, was formerly owned and operated by General Richard K. Mellon. Started in 1939 as a private facility by Rolling Rock, it was opened to the public following World War II and became popularly known as the "Ski Capital of Pennsylvania."It served thousands of skiers from the Pittsburgh area. In September of 1963, General Mellon leased this tract of land and all its improvements to the Commonwealth. In the summer of 1964, he gave the property to the Commonwealth.

Nearby Attractions

For information or to make a reservation at any of these state parks, call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS.

Laurel Summit provides trailhead parking for Forbes State Forest's Wolf Rocks Trail, Spruce Flats Bog and access to many of the mountain biking and snowmobile trails in Forbes State Forest.

Wolf Rocks Vista is 2.7 miles from the Wolf Rocks Trailhead in Laurel Summit State Park. This trail is recommended for intermediate hikers because although it has a gentle grade, there is rough footing. Changing scenery and an intimate view of the mountains will reward the hiker. Excellent examples of frost cracks, frost wedging and slippage of Pocono Mountain Sandstone exist along the trail and at Wolf Rocks. Please use caution near the vista!

Spruce Flats Wildlife Management Area is a 305-acre tract including a bog. The area is being developed to provide cover, food and water for deer, turkey, grouse, waterfowl, songbirds, predatory birds and small mammals. Please stay on the boardwalk and out of the bog to protect pitcher plants, sundew and other unique plant species.

Forbes State Forest: The 50,000 acres of Forbes State Forest offers hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and other outdoor recreation in a nearly wilderness setting. Adjacent to Linn Run State Park are about 25 miles of marked andmaintained trials for cross-country skiing in winter or hiking in summer. Mountain Bike Trails are offered along some snowmobile trails during the summer season. Call Forbes State Forest or Linn Run State Park for a map. Mountain bikes are permitted only on designated trails.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Forbes State Forest
P. O. Box 519
Laughlintown, PA 15655
724-238-1200

Laurel Mountain State Park Ski Area: The 493-acre ski area is in Westmoreland County. To reach the park go eight miles east of Ligonier or five miles west of Jennerstown on U.S. Route 30, then turn south on Laurel Summit Road and travel for four miles.

Laurel Mt. Ski Area is run by a private concessionaire. Hours of operation vary. Please call before visiting the slopes.

Laurel Mountain Ski Resort
P.O. Box 657
Ligonier, PA 15658
724-238-9860

In an Emergency

Contact a park employee or dial 911.
For directions to the nearest hospital, look on bulletin boards or at the park office.

Nearest Hospital:
Latrobe Area Hospital
121 West 2 Avenue
Latrobe, PA 15650
724-537-1000

Pennsylvania State Parks Mission

The primary purpose of Pennsylvania State Parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Protect and Preserve Our Parks

Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park.

  • Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. You are responsible for you and your family's safety.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Please camp only in designated camping areas and try to minimize your impact on the campsite.
  • Your pets are welcome in many areas, but are not permitted in overnight or swimming areas. Uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors. Pets must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash not exceeding six feet in length.
  • Do your part to keep wildlife wild! Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance and do not feed or approach wild animals.
  • Prevent fires by properly disposing of hot coals and having a fire in proper facilities. Do not leave a fire unattended.
  • Please park only in designated areas and obey all traffic regulations.
  • Please recycle. Place trash accumulated during your stay in proper receptacles, or take it home with you.
  • Soliciting and posting signs is prohibited without approval from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

For a detailed listing of the formal rules and regulations of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks, please go to Summary of Regulations.

Access for People with Disabilities

Accessible picnic tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. Located in the Rustic Cabin Area, our modern washhouse with chairlift will accommodate a person with a disability.

If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks:
888-PA-PARKS (voice)
717-558-2710 (local or international voice)
888-537-7294 (TTY)
717-558-2711 (local or international TTY)
711 (AT&T Relay Services)

For More Information Contact

Linn Run/Laurel Mountain Complex
P.O. Box 50
Rector, PA 15677-0050
724-238-6623
e-mail: linnrunsp@state.pa.us

Park Guide Pictures
Westmoreland County, PA Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
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