Tracy Ridge Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Tracy Ridge Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 4.58 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: US Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Tracy Ridge Trail, located in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, holds a significant historical background. Originally, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Seneca and the Iroquois Confederacy. These tribes utilized the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering resources. Evidence of their presence can still be found in the form of arrowheads and other artifacts.

During the 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region. The area around Tracy Ridge became a hub for logging operations due to its abundant timber resources. Massive white pine and hemlock trees were harvested and transported down the Allegheny River to be used for construction and other purposes. The logging industry played a crucial role in the development of the local economy, attracting workers and creating new communities.

In the early 20th century, the United States government recognized the need to preserve and protect the natural resources of the region. In 1923, the Allegheny National Forest was established, encompassing the Tracy Ridge area. The forest was managed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression, which aimed to provide employment opportunities while conserving the land. The CCC constructed trails, bridges, and other infrastructure, including parts of the Tracy Ridge Trail, which still exist today.

Today, the Tracy Ridge Trail serves as a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the rich history of the region. The trail winds through the forest, passing remnants of old logging camps and providing access to scenic overlooks. It stands as a testament to the area’s past, reminding visitors of the significant role Tracy Ridge played in the development of the Allegheny National Forest and the surrounding communities.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Tracy Ridge Recreation Area Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Tracy Ridge Trail. It is located off of Forest Road 262 in the Allegheny National Forest.

2. Tracy Ridge Campground Trailhead: This trailhead is located within the Tracy Ridge Campground, providing easy access to the Tracy Ridge Trail.

3. Willow Bay Recreation Area Trailhead: Located near the Willow Bay Recreation Area, this trailhead offers access to the Tracy Ridge Trail from the southern end.

4. Minister Creek Trailhead: While not directly on the Tracy Ridge Trail, the Minister Creek Trailhead is nearby and can be used as an alternative access point to the Tracy Ridge Trail.

5. Rimrock Overlook Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Rimrock Overlook, providing access to the Tracy Ridge Trail from a different starting point.

6. Morrison Trailhead: Another alternative access point, the Morrison Trailhead is located near the Tracy Ridge Trail and can be used to access it.

7. Tracy Ridge Connector Trailhead: This trailhead is located at the intersection of the Tracy Ridge Connector Trail and the Tracy Ridge Trail, providing access to both trails.

8. Tracy Ridge North Trailhead: This trailhead is located at the northern end of the Tracy Ridge Trail, offering access to the trail from that direction.

9. Tracy Ridge South Trailhead: Similarly, the Tracy Ridge South Trailhead is located at the southern end of the Tracy Ridge Trail, providing access from that direction.

Transportation Available

1. Tracy Ridge Trailhead Parking Lot – Convenient parking area for hikers starting their journey on the Tracy Ridge Trail.
2. Tracy Ridge Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from the Tracy Ridge Trailhead for hikers.
3. Local Taxi Service – Taxi service providing transportation to and from the Tracy Ridge Trail area.
4. Rental Car Companies – Various rental car companies offering vehicles for travelers exploring the Tracy Ridge Trail and surrounding areas.
5. Public Bus Service – Local bus service with routes near the Tracy Ridge Trail, providing transportation options for hikers and visitors.


The amenities available at the Tracy Ridge Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities you may find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: There is usually designated parking available at the trailhead or nearby parking areas. This allows visitors to park their vehicles while they explore the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Tracy Ridge Trail may have designated camping sites along the trail or in nearby camping areas. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Some sections of the trail or nearby areas may have designated picnic areas with picnic tables, benches, and sometimes grills. These areas provide a place for visitors to relax and enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Hiking Trails: Tracy Ridge Trail itself is a hiking trail, offering scenic views and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The trail may have different loops or sections with varying difficulty levels.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you may find interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area. These signs can enhance the educational experience for visitors.

7. Wildlife Viewing Areas: Tracy Ridge Trail may have designated areas or viewpoints where visitors can observe wildlife in their natural habitat. These areas may have benches or platforms for better viewing.

8. Information Kiosks: At the trailhead or along the trail, you may find information kiosks that provide maps, brochures, safety information, and other relevant details about the trail and surrounding area.

It is always recommended to check with local authorities or park management for the most up-to-date information on amenities available at Tracy Ridge Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Tracy Ridge Campground – A campground located near the trail offering tent and RV sites.
2. Kane Manor Inn – A historic inn in Kane, PA, providing lodging and dining options.
3. Allegheny National Forest – Nearby forest with various camping options and outdoor activities.
4. The Lodge at Glendorn – A luxury resort in Bradford, PA, offering upscale accommodations and dining.
5. Kinzua Bridge State Park – A state park with camping facilities and a historic railroad bridge.
6. Kane Community Hospital – Local hospital providing emergency medical services.
7. Kane Police Department – Local police department offering emergency assistance.
8. Kane Volunteer Fire Department – Fire department providing emergency services in the area.
9. Kinzua Wolf Run Marina – Marina offering boat rentals and services on the Allegheny Reservoir.
10. Kinzua Country Tango – A restaurant in Kane, PA, serving American cuisine.

Tracy Ridge Trail Difficulty Notes

The Tracy Ridge Trail offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 10 miles and features a mix of flat sections, gradual inclines, and some steeper ascents. While the terrain can be challenging at times, especially during wet or muddy conditions, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, allowing hikers to navigate easily. With its scenic views, diverse vegetation, and occasional wildlife sightings, the Tracy Ridge Trail provides an enjoyable and rewarding hiking experience for those seeking a moderate challenge.

Features And Attractions

The Tracy Ridge Trail is located in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Tracy Ridge Trail:

1. Tracy Ridge Scenic Overlook: This viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the Allegheny Reservoir and the surrounding forested hills.

2. Tracy Ridge Campground: Located near the trailhead, this campground provides a convenient base for exploring the area. It offers facilities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms.

3. Tracy Ridge Historic District: This area was once home to a thriving logging community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can still find remnants of old logging camps, sawmills, and other historical structures along the trail.

4. Tracy Ridge Hiking Loop: The trail itself offers a scenic hike through the forested hills of the Allegheny National Forest. You’ll pass through beautiful stands of hardwood trees, cross streams, and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

5. Allegheny Reservoir: The trail runs along the eastern shore of the Allegheny Reservoir, providing occasional glimpses of the water. This man-made reservoir is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and other water activities.

6. Rock City: Located near the trail, Rock City is a unique geological formation consisting of large boulders and rock outcroppings. It’s a great spot to explore and take in the natural beauty of the area.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The Tracy Ridge Trail is known for its diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bears, and various bird species as you hike.

8. Fall Foliage: In the autumn, the trail becomes even more picturesque as the leaves change color. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create a stunning backdrop for your hike.

These are just a few of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Tracy Ridge Trail. Exploring this trail will provide you with a memorable outdoor experience in the Allegheny National Forest.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
4. No hunting or trapping is allowed on the trail.
5. Camping is only permitted in designated areas.
6. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or grills.
7. Do not damage or remove any natural or cultural resources.
8. Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
9. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
10. Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
11. Observe seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
12. Follow all posted signs and regulations.
13. Practice Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash.
14. Be aware of and follow any additional rules or guidelines posted by the trail management.

Seasonal Information

The Tracy Ridge Trail, located in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, offers a stunning outdoor experience for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit Tracy Ridge Trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque landscape. The temperatures are mild, ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for hiking and exploring the trail’s various loops and overlooks.

During the fall, Tracy Ridge Trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn colors. The surrounding forests burst into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a stunning backdrop for hikers. The temperatures are cool and comfortable, ranging from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a pleasant time to enjoy the trail’s scenic beauty.

It’s important to note that Tracy Ridge Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. The trail is typically closed from December to March due to heavy snowfall and icy conditions. These closures ensure the safety of visitors and protect the natural environment. However, if you’re an avid winter hiker or snowshoer, you may still be able to access the trail during this time, but be prepared for challenging conditions and limited facilities.

Overall, the best times to visit Tracy Ridge Trail are in the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the natural beauty of the area is at its peak. It’s advisable to check with the Allegheny National Forest or local authorities for any updates on trail conditions, closures, or restrictions before planning your visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Tracy Ridge Trail offers limited wheelchair accessibility, with some sections being paved or packed gravel, allowing for easier navigation.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located near the trailhead, ensuring that individuals with disabilities have suitable facilities.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface consists of a mix of packed gravel, dirt, and natural terrain, which may pose challenges for wheelchair users but can be navigated with assistance.
5. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout the trail, with some sections being wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, while others may be narrower and require caution.
6. Trail Grade: The trail features varying grades, including some steeper sections, which may require assistance or additional effort for wheelchair users.
7. Trail Obstacles: The trail may have occasional obstacles such as fallen trees or rocks, which may require assistance or alternative routes for wheelchair users.
8. Benches and Rest Areas: Benches and rest areas are available along the trail, providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
9. Trail Length: The Tracy Ridge Trail is a moderate to long-distance trail, so individuals with disabilities should plan accordingly and consider their stamina and accessibility needs.
10. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, providing support and assistance to individuals with disabilities.
11. Accessibility Information: Detailed accessibility information, including trail maps and specific accommodations, can be obtained from the trail management or park authorities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: Tracy Ridge Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, suitable for experienced hikers.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions as the trail is exposed and can be affected by sudden storms.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 17 miles long, so plan accordingly and ensure you have enough time and supplies.
4. Water Sources: Carry enough water as there are limited water sources along the trail, and treat any water you find before drinking.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Be cautious of encountering wildlife such as bears, snakes, and ticks, and take necessary precautions to avoid any conflicts.
6. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost, as some sections of the trail can be confusing.
7. Cell Phone Reception: Expect limited or no cell phone reception along the trail, so inform someone about your plans and expected return time.
8. Camping Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the camping regulations and designated campsites along the trail to ensure a safe and legal camping experience.
9. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting the natural environment.
10. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike in groups for safety, especially in remote areas, to have assistance in case of emergencies.
11. First Aid Kit: Carry a well-stocked first aid kit and know basic first aid skills to handle any minor injuries or emergencies on the trail.
12. Trail Conditions: Check for trail condition updates before your hike, as fallen trees or other obstacles may require detours or adjustments to your plans.
13. Inform Others: Let someone know your hiking plans, including your expected route and return time, for safety purposes.
14. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are physically fit and capable of hiking the trail’s length and difficulty level to avoid exhaustion or injuries.
15. Emergency Contacts: Carry emergency contact information and know the nearest emergency services in case of any accidents or emergencies.

Conservation Notes

The Tracy Ridge Trail, located in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, is currently designated as a conservation area. This trail is part of a larger effort to protect and preserve the natural resources and biodiversity of the region. The conservation status of the Tracy Ridge Trail ensures that it is managed and maintained in a way that minimizes human impact and promotes the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem.

As a conservation area, the Tracy Ridge Trail is subject to specific regulations and guidelines aimed at preserving its unique natural features. These regulations may include restrictions on activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, and off-road vehicle use to prevent disturbance to wildlife and their habitats. Additionally, the trail may have designated areas where visitors are required to stay on marked paths to prevent trampling of sensitive vegetation and soil erosion.

Conservation efforts for the Tracy Ridge Trail also focus on the protection of endangered or threatened species that may inhabit the area. This may involve habitat restoration projects, monitoring of wildlife populations, and the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of invasive species. By maintaining the conservation status of the Tracy Ridge Trail, authorities can ensure that the trail remains a haven for biodiversity and a place for visitors to appreciate and learn about the natural environment.

Leave a Comment