Elevation Gain
251.00 ft (76.50 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you’re seeking a peaceful adventure in the beauty of Pennsylvania’s woods, this is a delightful trail with a special history. As you enjoy a quiet time snowshoeing along Gould Trail, you’re likely to hear little more than the gentle rustling of leaves, the crunching of snow under your feet and the soothing sound of a small stream.

Surrounded by this serenity, it’s difficult to believe the area was once filled with the sounds of loggers cutting down trees and several hundred men operating noisy sawmills. After the completion of the nearby Lehigh Canal in 1829, there was a convenient way to get the local old-growth white pine and eastern hemlock trees to market. Brothers Stephen and Isaac Gould acquired acres of virgin forest and built homes and sawmills around the boom town of Hickory Run. Each sawmill required a dam for water power. In October 1849, constant rains swelled the streams and a dam collapsed, causing a fatal tragedy and flooding Hickory Run. The Gould family was devastated. But logging continued, and forests were clearcut with no replanting. Underbrush grew, and the ground dried easily. Forest fires became a recurring problem.

Today all that remains of the town of Hickory Run are three buildings located in Hickory Run State Park: the manor house, the chapel and the park office. The sawmills are long gone, but the forest has returned. The history of this transformation allows visitors to appreciate the special peacefullness and solitude of “Penn’s Woods.”

Parking is available just west of the Youth Forestry Camp entrance on PA 534. There are two trailheads from two separate parking areas. The smaller lot may not be plowed. The trailheads meet within a short distance in a Y shape, but there is no sign. The trail has several well-marked turns, including one where you can deduce the direction or look at the other side of the sign. Be prepared to cross the small creek known as Gould’s Run.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Quiet. No crowds. Forest trail with an interesting variety of vegetation.

Cons

Must traverse a small stream. Needs two additional signs. Some markers are faded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

1,277.00 ft (389.23 m)

Highest point

1,295.00 ft (394.72 m)

Net Elevation Gain

182.00 ft (55.47 m)

Features

Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Snowmobiles allowed

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.