Square Timber Vista via Bucktail Path

1.7 Miles
Time to Hike:
~51 minutes
PA Wilds
Surface Type:
Elk State Forest
Lumber Township, Pennsylvania
41.39971, -78.115492
April 12, 2022
April 12, 2022

The Square Timber Vista via Bucktail Path at Elk State Forest within the Square Timber Wild Area in Lumber Township, Pennsylvania is an easy 1.7-mile one-way hike that leads to the only on-trail vista that peers into the Square Timber Wild Area, as of 2022.

Hike Description
This trailhead begins at the eastern terminus for the Square Timber Trail, but anyone doing this for a day hike may want to start on the opposite end (at the parking lot) instead. This GPS track, and starting at the Square Timber Trail, was our one-way route back to parking after exploring that trail on the same day.

The hike follows the orange blazes of the Bucktail Path - heading south - as it runs along the mountain top ridges of the Square Timber Wild Area.

Mountain Top Surface Mining View - Mile 0.85
At mile 0.85, the trail has a clear opening with large piles of what appear to be shale rocks. Here, the state appears to be surface mining some bedrock below, but there's a view of the distant mountain tops (rolling hills) that faces eastward toward Sinnemahoning State Park.

Mixed Evergreen Forest - Mile 0.9
After the surface mining view, hikers will be lead through a mixed evergreen forest which include white pine and different varieties of spruce. There appears to be at least one old-growth white pine along this section (see the photos). We assumed this area may have been a private tree farm before it was acquired by the state; however, that's just speculation.

Square Timber Wild Area Vista - Mile 1.06
Finally, around mile 1.06, hikers will reach the only on-trail vista that the Square Timber Wild Area has to offer to hikers. This open view peers into Right Fork Big Run Hollow and also includes some mountain ridges within the Bucktail Natural Area as well. Again, other than the on-road vistas located on Ridge Road (see the map and uploaded photos for reference), this is the only on-trail vista within the entire Square Timber Wild Area.

Reaching Parking
After visiting the "Square Timber Vista" area, hikers will probably want to head back or to parking at Pepper Hill. Simply follow the orange blazes of the Bucktail Path as it winds its way away from the Square Timber Wild Area and back toward the road. Eventually the trail begins to follow a natural gas pipeline. Follow the pipeline all the way back to parking.

Hikers will likely want to park at Pepper Hill at the coordinates provided. There's enough room for a half-dozen vehicles or so. Do not block the gate.

Dogs are allowed if leashed and their waste should be carried out by the hiker.

Camping and Backpacking
Backpacking is permitted along this trail, but we did not find any campsites during this hike in April 2022. There are plenty of spaces to setup a tent or hammock since the mountain top ridge is mostly flat and open in many places. Please follow all state forest rules and regulations when primitive / dispersed / backcountry camping.

Explore 82 trails near Lumber Township, PA


Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)
Poison Ivy/Oak



Blaze Color

202 '

Total Change
262 '

289 '

Square Timber Vista via Bucktail Path default picture

Photo Albums

2 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Trail added
April 12, 2022
Updated on
April 12, 2022
1.7 miles
April 12, 2022
As noted in the hike write up given here, in addition to this area having the advantage of viewing mountain vistas, here too is a likely good wildlife viewing place, especially for the elk. The strategy is to know the best times and where to look and find the elk in thier seasonal migrations. In the spring as the weather warms and food becomes more plentiful, elk do move to the meadows to feed on the grasses at the edges of the woods. In the winter, they are more likely to be in the more wooded areas of the forest and down in the sheltered hollows. So that crashing sound could be elk. To be successful, the best times are early in the morning or at dusk in the evening. Find a comfortable viewing spot and to sit quietly, to hopefully make that elk sighting and this probably a great place to do that. Due to my trail map Geo Tracking Glitch that caused this hiker's smart phone device to shutdown probably due to going into a battery saving mode: no trail map to share on this hike. Lesson learned: Carry an extra battery pack. This hiker on this day left one behind in the vehicle.

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