The Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Crawford County

When you hear the word hiking, it can be easy to imagine places like Yellowstone, the Lewis and Clark National Trail, or even more locally, the Great Allegheny Passage. However, hiking doesn’t have to be an enormous voyage.

By taking advantage of local trails, hiking can be a great, inexpensive, way to discover the beauty of your “local wilderness.” It’s also a wonderful way to introduce the kids to nature and the great outdoors, or even mix-up your dog walking routine.

Here in Crawford county, several trails fit the needs of hikers of all experience levels. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite local trails for you to enjoy:

  • Pymatuning State Park

    Featuring 7 trails of various difficulty levels, Pymatuning State Park is a real hiking gem. The Spillway Trail specifically is great for a casual walk or bike. Photography enthusiasts will find that the sunsets on this path are breathtaking. Bird watchers can see numerous duck species, swans, grebes, and even the occasional eagle. The Spillway trail is 2.5 miles long. Those looking for a more challenging hike can try the Log Cabin Trail which begins at the Tamarack trailhead and proceeds to the right, running behind the Jamestown cabins and ending at the Jamestown campground. This trail is about a mile long.

  • French Creek Recreational Trails (Ernst Trail)

    This trail, located in the lush French Creek valley, is one of the most geographically interesting in the area. Originally built in the 1880s and 90s to gain access to the Meadville-Linesville Railroad, the trail is dotted with meadows, marshes, and hemlock thickets. The paved trail is five miles long and great for biking, walking, and running. Photographers can also find beautiful outgrowths of wildflowers. Several bird species also nest along these trails making, them great for bird watchers.

Both of these trails are somewhat secluded, so plan to be safely off the paths by dusk. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to bring along a bottle of water to keep from getting dehydrated.

Enjoy these paths and form a connection with the flora and fauna of Crawford county.