A Backpacker’s Guide to Roaring Run Natural Area

background of fall colors trees - vg guideAre you dreaming about a retreat in nature? The Laurel Highlands is a top pick for outdoor adventures and hiking expeditions, and Roaring Run Natural Area offers all of this and more! It’s just 35 minutes away from our B&B and features a wide selection of trails and scenic landscapes. Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this great Pennsylvania destination. Before you make any travel arrangements, download our free Vacation Guide! There’s no need to waste countless hours researching the area when we have the best local recommendations. Discover our favorite outdoor activities, events, restaurants, and more!


Everything You Need to Know About Roaring Run Natural Area

Roaring Run Natural Area is a gem hidden in the Laurel Highlands. Roaring Run Mountain is at the heart of the natural area, which covers 3,593 acres of rolling hills in Pennsylvania. Here are all the things you need to know about this beautiful spot!



Roaring Run Natural Area is a backpacker’s dream come true. With more than five trails that form a 15-mile loop system, this terrain is perfect for hikers of all levels. If you are an experienced hiker and wish to attempt harder routes, note that some trails are steeper than others, with elevations of 150 feet in certain spots.

Do you want to be dazzled by the beauty of the Laurel Highlands? Are you looking for the Instagram spot? Head over to Painter Rock. This viewpoint overlooks the valley with practically no signs of civilization on the horizon. Best of all, it’s only a mile from the parking area, so you won’t need to hike for hours to get there!

Wildlife and Plants

While hiking in Roaring Run Natural Area, you will likely see a variety of animals and plants. Don’t forget to bring your camera! The forest is home to oak, birch, and sassafras trees. Some of the animals you might encounter include:

  • Deer
  • Turkeys
  • Black Bears
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks
  • Eagles


Best Time To Visit

Summer is a wonderful time to explore the Natural Area. That’s when you will meet the most people on the trails! Temperatures during this season typically range from the 50s at night to the mid-90s during the day. If you want to see beautiful landscapes with changing leaves, come in the fall! You’ll have the chance to taste wild blueberries growing around the park. Winter is the calmest season, and if you wish to go on a cross-country skiing adventure, Roaring Run Natural Area is a fantastic spot.


How To Get There

Roaring Run Natural Area is 23 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and a half hour from Oak Lodge. Take Donegal Lake Road toward PA-711 S, then take PA-31 E to Fire Tower Road and drive up to Painter Rock Trail. You’ll find two parking areas along Fire Tower Road, one near Nedrow Cemetery, and one along County Line Road.

Enjoy Some Well Deserved Comfort at Oak Lodge!

Aerial view of Oak Lodge in the fallAfter your visit to Roaring Run, unwind amongst nature at Oak Lodge! Our beautiful B&B is nestled in the hills of the Laurel Highlands and has all the modern comforts you need. Experience the serenity of the woods in one of our cabins and treat yourself to some much-needed relaxation in our spa! Get a good night’s sleep and join us the next morning in the main lodge where a delicious homemade breakfast awaits you.


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