1.8 Miles / 2.9 km
Time to Hike:
~54 minutes
PA Wilds
Surface Type:
Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Sweden Township, Pennsylvania
41.778618, -77.828907
November 24, 2022
December 11, 2022
98 '

Total Change
240 '

256 '


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.

This loop includes trails in a clockwise order: Sustainable Forestry Trail (signs with name of the trail), Nature Trail (Nature Trail signs and pink ribbons), and an unnamed pathway through the recreated late nineteenth century lumber camp (signs with name of the exhibits).

Hike Description
This hike begins at the lower parking lot at the PA Lumber Museum and first follows the Sustainable Forestry Trail heading northwest. There is a large wooden sign engraved with "Sustainable Forestry Trail" which is pretty obvious to indicate where the trail starts here at it's western terminus just beyond the northern edge of the parking area. This is also where the Commissioner Trail follows with blue blazes, which indicates a skiing trail for the winter.

Sustainable Forestry Trail
This trail tracks northwest on the western side of Commissioner Run for about one-half mile and then turns right to cross over Commissioner Run on a well-crafted footbridge overpass to the eastern side of the stream. A small wooden sign engraved with "Sustainable Forestry Trail" and arrow that stands where the Sustainable Forestry Trail" branches from the Commissioner Trail and at other points along the way with directions. Once of the eastern side of the stream, the Sustainable Forestry Trail tracks southwest back toward the PA Lumber Museum and continues to the lower end of the log pond by the sawmill. Interpretive displays about the working forests and sustainable forest management can be viewed along the way.

Log Birling
An open-sided storage shed at the upper end of Log Pond stows the equipment used during special events held at the PA Lumber Museum to introduce the public to lost skill of log birling.

Nature Trail
On this hike at about the 1.0 mile on Sustainable Forestry Trail, a Nature Trail branches off of the Sustainable Forestry Trail bearing to the left. This easy 0.3-mile one-way nature walk treks through the woods and leads the hiker to an open bluff on the hillside above PA Lumber Museum's Visitor Center.

The Webber Cabin
Around mile 1, hikers can see the historic Webber Cabin during the walk on this Nature Trail. The Weber Cabin can also be hiked to by way of the Webber Cabin Trail. This structure was originally located on a remote ridge top in the Pine Creek Valley, near the community of Slate Run and was relocated to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in 2018.

Seasonal Vista - Mile 1.05
Noteworthy point of interest at the eastern end of the Nature Trail is an open bluff with beautiful vantage point from the sunny side of the hill of the neighboring mountains and the PA Lumber Museum's Visitor Center.

Pond View - Mile 1.45
Around mile 1.45, this hike passes a small pond with a view of the Saw Mill, Logging Camp and surrounding mountains.

The parking area for the Sustainable Forestry Trail is located just off of the US Route 6, and just a hatchet toss from the entrance to the PA Lumber Museum and nearby the coordinates provided. This parking is also know as "the lower parking lot at the PA Lumber Museum".

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.

Explore 223 trails near Sweden Township, PA
  1. Parking

    41.778618, -77.828907
  2. Main Trailhead

    41.778805, -77.829047
  3. CCC-Era Flag-stone Headwall

    41.780884, -77.831501
    CCC-Era Flag-stone Headwall
  4. Trailside Educational Display

    41.781929, -77.83285
     Trailside Educational Display
  5. Foot Bridge across Commissioner Run

    41.783427, -77.833235
    Foot Bridge across Commissioner Run
  6. Trailside Educational Display

    41.783046, -77.83325
    Trailside Educational Display
  7. Vista of Log Pond and Saw Mil

    41.780756, -77.828782
    Vista of Log Pond and Saw Mil
  8. Webber Cabin

    41.780609, -77.82789
    Webber Cabin
  9. Vista of Lumber Museum Visitor Center

    41.779807, -77.826969
    Vista of Lumber Museum Visitor Center
  10. Nature Trail Trailhead

    41.780319, -77.827709
    Nature Trail Trailhead
  11. Log Birling Shed

    41.780519, -77.82987
    Log Birling Shed
  12. Log Pond and Saw Mill

    41.780519, -77.82987
    Log Pond and Saw Mill
  13. Birch Sill Exhibit

    41.779447, -77.828952
    Birch Sill Exhibit
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


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Write-up by:
OliverPhineas user profile picture
1.8 miles / 2.9 km
Trail added
November 24, 2022
Hiked on
November 24, 2022
Updated on
December 11, 2022

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In Sweden Township, PA

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