Wayside Memorial Picnic Area

0.1 Miles
Time to Hike: ~5 minutes
PA Wilds
April 20, 2022
April 26, 2022

The Wayside Memorial Picnic Area near Emporium, Pennsylvania is a roadside picnic area to honor the seven Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) youth and a Forest Service Leader who lost their lives in the Pepper Hill Fire of 1938. A memorial plaque and waterfall stone structure is viewable from the roadside parking along State Route 120 about 3 miles south of the town of Emporium in Cameron County, Pennsylvania. There are stone steps that lead to a picnic area, in the woods above the highway parking area.

Stone stairways are on either side of the memorial, and both pathways lead to the picnic area that is about 50 feet from the parking area. By way these steps, the visitor can complete a short loop by walking around the memorial to find the picnic area. The picnic area has two picnic tables located near the hill-side spring that flows to the waterfall structure.

Hike Description
The memorial is located just off of State Route 120, and can be seen from the public roadway. No real hiking is required to visit this picnic area. Visitors must climb one-flight of stone and walk about 200 feet  to get to the picnic area.

Visitors will find a parking turnout near by the coordinates provided. The turnout is enough for several vehicles.

The parking area is in close proximity to the state highway PA-120.

This memorial is located just off State Route 120 highway, and is not dog-friendly.

This would be a good rest spot for Biking. However, State Route 120 is not known as a "bike-friendly" route. No biking or hiking trails connect to the Wayside Memorial Picnic Area. This roadside rest stop is primarily meant for motorists.

Camping and Backpacking
Although camping is allowed along trails in the Elk State Forest, PA  where state forest rules permit backcountry / dispersed / primitive camping. This picnic area is not suitable for Camping and Backpacking. The Bucktail Path Trail is by far the best place to camp in this area; and it would be best for the camper to park at another designation parking area for any extended hikes or overnight camping trips. A good parking spot for extended hikes is the nearby Pepper Hill Trail trailhead located at: 41.39971, -78.115492 along Ridge Road.

The Pepper Hill Trail at Elk State Forest near Sinnemahoning, Pennsylvania is a hard 6.4-mile hike that includes a historical point of interest. The Pepper Hill Fire transpired here in 1938. Tragically, seven CCC teenaged youth and a Forest Service Leader lost their lives. A Survivor Rock where three CCC members took refuge lays high on the mountain, above the steep narrow hollow where the eight other CCC members perished.

Pepper Hill Trail trailhead is located at: 41.39971, -78.115492 along Ridge Road in Lumber Township, Pennsylvania.

The Pepper Hill Trail can also be accessed from a parking area on State Route 872 near the trailhead on where Pepperhill Run flows into the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek. For this hike start point, the hikers will need to walk northeast along the creek side of State Route 872 for about 0.3-miles to reach the Pepper Hill Trail trailhead. Hikers will note the Pennsylvania State Historical Marker for the Pepper Hill Fire of 1938 at the trailhead near the mouth of Peppermill Run. Before being able to access the trail, the hiker must cross of the highway, and climb over the guardrail on the west-side of the highway. At this point, the hiker must then scramble up a steep embankment for about 30 feet, to get to the level ground on top of the embankment, which was once the old highway grade, and now is called Pepper Hill Road (a private and gated road). From here, the Pepper Hill Trail starts up and over and through the small private land corridor that is blazed-yellow in the northwest direction. Within less than one-quarter of a mile, the trail continues on a firm and wide, easy-walking treadway to the northwest on state forest land.

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Surface Type



5 '

Total Change
5 '

5 '

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0.1 miles
Trail added
April 20, 2022
Updated on
April 26, 2022

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