Elevation Gain
154.00 ft (46.94 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.07 mi (1.72 km)
Warming hut
No
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With a name like Raymond B. Winter State Park, you’ll want to be sure to journey here during winter when the snow adorns this Pennsylvania park. Located within Bald Eagle State Forest, the park is beautiful in all seasons, particularly when the snow decorates the branches of the towering trees, and provides a perfect base for snowshoeing through the dense woodland. It’s hard to believe that at one time, much of this land was barren.

Raymond B. Winter, a forester, wrote about the logging industry in the area, saying, “By the turn of the 19th century, in about one hundred years, the timber which nature had built over the centuries was gone… during the drought of 1909 thousands of acres were burned completing the destruction. In many places nothing was left but bare rocks and mineral soil…”

Fortunately, the land was replanted, and today, when you venture onto the Rapid Run Nature Trail, you’ll find an old-growth hemlock and white pine forest. The trail winds through part of the Rapid Run Natural Area. One of the first State Park Natural Areas, it includes 39 acres of forest with bogs, wetlands, springs, and vernal pools. In the summer, these pools are usually dry, but in the winter and spring they contain water with plants and animals adapted to this special habitat. Along the trail, there are wooden bridges that lead the adventurer over streams and portions of the wetlands, making easy snowshoeing while protecting the natural environment. As you pass by an ice-covered pool, peer inside and wonder how the animals survive the harsh conditions. One unique creature, fairy shrimp, live only in these temporary, frozen worlds.

The Rapid Run Nature Trail is an easy, mile-long loop with gentle hills. There is a large picnic pavilion along the trail. Except for occasional traffic noise from the nearby road, the trail is peaceful as it leads the adventurer through a heavily wooded region filled with rhododendron lining the stream known as Rapid Run. Park in the lot between the office and the beach. Walk across the service-road bridge to the trailhead. The trail is well-marked with signs and yellow blazes.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Old-growth hemlocks. Beautiful woodlands and stream. Easy, mostly level trail.

Cons

Parking area needs sign to trail.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

1,510.00 ft (460.25 m)

Highest point

1,554.00 ft (473.66 m)

Net Elevation Gain

44.00 ft (13.41 m)

Features

Family friendly
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Covered picnic areas
Old-growth forest
Wildlife
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Snowmobiles allowed

No

Location

Field Guide

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