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North Country Trail in Pennsylvania
Allegheny National Forest
to PA 321
Willow Bay to Sugar Bay
This 10.9 mile section of the North Country Trail travels from Willow Bay near the NY State border to Sugar Bay. Parts of the trail travels near Allegheny Reservoir, with pleasant views. The NCT heads around a few side bays of the reservoir. There are a couple of remote campgrounds along the shoreline that the NCT passes by. This is a very scenic section of the NCT.
The New York State Line and Allegany State Park is close by. For more information on the NCT in Allegany State Park see NCT - Allegany State Park. This section of the North Country Trail begins near the Willow Bay National Recreational Area. There is a real nice campground with cabins located at Willow Bay National Recreational Area.
The trail leaves PA 346 just over a mile south of the NY State Line, soon after the entrance to Willow Bay National Recreational Area. The trail descends to cross Tracy Run and soon reaches the junction of the Tracy Run Trail, which leads to the Tracy Ridge Recreational Area. There is a campground located there as well as the Tracy Ridge Hiking Trail System.
Handsome Lake Campground (picture courtesy of Kirk Doyle)
From there the trail travels closer to the reservoir. The NCT meets the Johnnycake Trail, which is part of the Tracy Ridge Hiking Trail System, near Johnnycake Run. The trail ascends and will soon reach a side trail that leads to Handsome Lake Campground. This remote campground along the shoreline of Allegheny Reservoir is accessible by boat or by hiking in.
The trail continues to ascend and a side trail leads to the Hopewell Campground. This is another remote campground along the shoreline of Allegheny Reservoir is accessible by boat or by hiking in. At 8.5 miles reach a high point at 1965 feet. The trail now descends quickly first toward Nelson Run, where a side trail leads to parking on PA 321, then on to Sugar Bay and the end of this section at PA 321.
We suggest these National Geographic Trail Maps in helping prepare your adventure in Allegheny National Forest:
Allegheny National Forest South (Trails Illustrated Map)
Allegheny National Forest North (Trails Illustrated Map)
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