Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
476.00 ft (145.08 m)
Trail type
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
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.

Located in five Pennsylvania counties, Pinchot State Forest offers nearly 50,000 acres to explore. The Mocanaqua Tract of the Pinchot State Forest, with a fifteen mile interconnecting trail system, gives hikers a great place to start discovering this vast forestland.

Situated near the town of Shickshinny, in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Mocanaqua Tract includes ruins of a coal mining industry that once produced 800 tons of coal per day. Evidence of the mining can still be seen. Massive mounds of tailings from the coal operation loom beyond the trail, while pieces of shiny black coal still shimmer on the path. Ruins of a variety of buildings stand in easy view alongside the trail.

To reach the ruins, begin at the parking area alongside the Susquehanna River. Here, there are two picnic tables, a grill and a bench facing the river. There is also a map and information about wildlife in the area. No maps are available to take along, so be sure to have your OnX map available. Hikers then must cross railroad tracks, even though a sign states, “No trespassing.” Next, hikers will pass by the Shickshinny Borough’s wastewater plant. If the gate is closed, a pedestrian walk-around is available. A small sign with an arrow simply points, “To Trail.”

Once hikers reach the forest, there are painted trail markers with multiple colors indicating different trails. However, there are no color coded maps available. The trails do not seem to have any names associated with them, so I took the liberty to call this adventure, Mocanaqua Ruins Loop, named for the trail’s most notable sight, the coal mining ruins.

The trail is shaped like a lollipop, but, with additional paths veering off the ruins trail. Use the OnX map to guide you. Basically, at the first intersection, turn right. At the next Y, currently there is a large E painted on a tree, follow in that direction. The next noteworthy marking is a rock with red arrows. It’s placed in an intersection. Make a left and soon you will see the coal mining ruins marking a time in history when miners hiked these trails.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Coal mining ruins. Rock outcrops. Wide woodland trail.


Unmarked intersections. No maps available at the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

527.00 ft (160.63 m)

Highest point

782.00 ft (238.35 m)


Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Horseback riding
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Pennsylvania Wilds, Pennsylvania
Poconos + Endless Mountains, Pennsylvania


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