The Sustainable Forestry Trail at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum near Sweden Township, Pennsylvania is an easy 1.8-mile one-way hike that features opportunities along the way to learn about the on-going efforts to maintain "Penn's Woods". This Sustainable Forestry Trail steps through a northern hardwood forest with streams, wetlands and rocky areas that transverse along on maintained pathways that are easy to follow. Along the way, the hiker is presented with several educational exhibits and Interpretive displays about the working forests and sustainable forest management.
This walk also treks out-and-back on easy 0.3-mile one-way Nature Trail that branches off of the Sustainable Forestry Trail that leads the hiker to an open bluff on the hillside above Lumber Museum's visitor center,
This walk also encompasses some of the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum exhibits. The route passes through the western edge of the recreated late nineteenth century lumber camp exhibits; by the log pond and steam-powered sawmill; and by the birch still exhibit for the last 0.2 miles from eastern terminus of the Sustainable Forestry Trail to wind the hiker back to the lower parking lot at the PA Lumber Museum.Trails
The lot is large enough to hold a half-dozen vehicles or so. However, the PA Lumber Museum is a popular attraction visited by many a tourists throughout the year especially in the summer. So at certain times, parking in the main parking lot and this smaller lot adjacent to PA Lumber Museum's entrance may be limited or even restricted particularly when special programs and events are being held. It might be best to check ahead of your arrival and visit the PA Lumber Museum's Event Page.
The only restrooms on-site are located inside of the Lumber Museum's visitor center, which isn't always open to the public. The visitors center was closed on the day of this hike.
Generally, your pet can enjoy the grounds and outdoor exhibits with you if leashed and their waste is disposed of properly. Only service dogs are allowed inside the buildings.
This hike includes the lower section of the Commissioner Trail (red and blue blazes) that is open to biking and cross-county skiing. Cautionary note to hikers is that this trail sees some "non-pedestrian" recreational use at times.
However, the remaining sections of the Sustainable Forestry and the other Nature Trails within the park boundaries of the PA Lumber Museum are foot paths only.
Additionally, horses are not allowed along the foot paths within the PA Lumber Museum.
Camping and Backpacking
Since these trails are technically on the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum grounds, there's no camping allowed. The Susquehannock Trail System aka STS is by far the best place to backpack in this area; but it would be best for the camper to park at another defined parking area for any extended hikes or overnight camping trips.
Hikers can find overnight parking for extended hiking trips at the Bureau of Forestry headquarters on US Route 6 on top of Denton Hill. The lot is large enough to hold dozens of vehicles with some amenities including maps and informational kiosks, and restrooms, and serves as the "Northern Gateway" which provides access to the northern portion of the STS loop. See Duck Ponds Short Loop for extended trip parking coordinates and details to find the route to the STS.
Nearby Cherry Spring State Park offers rustic campsites within the park on a first come, first serve bases, and reservations are needed and can be made at www.visitPAparks.com.
Other Points of Interest
The Sustainable Forestry Trail is located within the park boundaries of the PA Lumber Museum.
The PA Lumber Museum is one of Potter County's most visited attractions and is an educational experience visited by many a tourists motoring along US Route 6 throughout the year. Luckily, for outdoor enthusiasts, this destination has both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
CCC Camps were active in the area in 1930s, and staged several ambitious projects - building roads, bridges, planting trees, and building recreation areas for the local residents to enjoy and use. The observant hiker with an insightful eye for detail can still see signs of these CCC camp projects. Some of the CCC- built roads are now being used as hiking trails since these old roadways offered ready-to-use graded treadway for the making the trails such as the Commissioner Trail, for example. One telltale construction module on these CCC-built roadways in the area is the flagstone rock headwall used for the drainage culverts. One such culvert can be seen on the 0.2 mile mark on the Sustainable Forestry Trail walk. Follow link for more information about the Civilian Conservation Corps which operated during the Great Depression.
The Lumberman's Loop is a moderate 6.5-mile loop hike that features a beautiful forest walk that encompasses the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and follows several named trails. This longer hike originates from the same parking area.
Timber Rattlesnakes: There may be rattlesnakes out roaming the woods in this area, between the months of April and October. This trail does pass through woods on the sunny side of the mountain, though, the probability of seeing a rattlesnake on this hike are likely to be slim but maybe not completely unheard of.
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