After seeing ONE picture in the Elk State Forest map, Fred Woods Trail has been on my trail bucket list. Fred Woods Trail is a 4.57 mile loop on Mason Hill Road in Elk County, Pennsylvania. It is known for some AMAZING rock formations, which can be found on the north side of the trail. A trail guide can be found here.
One weekend in Benezette, I suggested to Bryan that I take our kids, ages 9 and 12, along with their two friends, ages 7 and 13 up to Fred Woods for a short hike. So, I packed all four kids in the truck and made my way down 555 listening to the some chatter that indicated excitement for some and reluctance for others. I just wasn’t sure how hiking with four kids in the middle of July was going to go!
Turning onto Mason Hill Rd, we drove 2.75 miles up to the parking area where we unloaded all the kids, got everyone’s sneakers on (don’t try this in sandals!), and made sure everyone had water. There is a .76 mile path to the loop, and I tried to quell the whining with promises of “really cool rocks.” Two falls, one scratched knee, and one scraped side (WATCH FOR THE ROCKS ON THE TRAIL!!!!!), things were NOT looking good… until we started finding, well, COOL ROCKS.
And they climbed, and climbed, and fell some more, but spirits were high! What was supposed to be an hour or so trip, turned into a solid 5 hour adventure.
What I didn’t realize was how large the rock formations are a couple miles in… as big as houses! The kids were amazed, and I was impressed with some serious eye candy.
I think that everyone was in awe. The girls walked around with me, in sheer amazement, and as boys will be boys, they did more climbing.
After this, everyone was getting pretty tired, so we hiked out the way that we came. I have to say that although we didn’t make the whole loop, it was totally worth it to watch all the kids having SO MUCH FUN in the woods! What a beautiful, and memorable, experience for all! We are surely going back for another rock climbing adventure soon!
Post any Fred Woods memories or adventures in the comments below!