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1.31.2016

Wolf Rocks and Beam Rocks Overlook Hikes, Forbes State Forest, Somerset, PA

Today we embark upon a hike in the Allegheny Mountains on the western edge of the Laurel Highlands. We visit Laurel Summit State Park and Forbes State Forest. Laurel Summit State Park serves at a great trailhead and rest area for a myriad of trails through Forbes State Forest. If you visit these trails, be sure to practice safety and good judgment. Multiple serious tragedies have occurred at both of these vistas.
Wolf Rocks Overlook
Map Source: DCNR. I marked the access point for today's two hikes with blue stars. The hike to Wolf Rocks, with stops and sidetracking, is roughly four miles round trip.
Wolf Rocks Trailhead Coordinates:  40.1183247°, -079.1761786°
Beam Rocks Trailhead Coordinates      40.1329697°, -079.1638539°
We start this crisp morning at the Wolf Rocks Trailhead. This is a pretty fun trail that had minimal elevation change over nearly two miles of hiking in each direction. Because this is a pretty rocky area, be sure to wear a set of hiking boots that have high ankle coverage. You will almost certainly see many species of birds within this area hanging out in the woods on this ridge.
If you have not noticed yet, I really love Mountain Laurel.
The trails are marked pretty well for directions. 
Can you spot the bird?

How about now?
I really like this hike, especially at sunrise on a brisk day after a snowstorm.
And we have reached our destination, the beautiful Wolf Rocks Overlook, with an elevation of roughly 2600 feet, and a view approximately 700 feet down to the valley floor. 
These giant, sandstone boulders. These views are flat out awesome.

Now for the hike back to the trailhead, so we can go to the Beam Rocks Trailhead.

I stopped midway between the two trailheads and hiked in a little bit to see a small boulder field.

These deep crevasses are pretty cool


Now we are at the Beam Rocks Trailhead. This is a much shorter hike than the Wolf Rocks Overlook trail, but it is pretty awesome nonetheless.


These are some important warnings. These rocks are huge. The boulders are anywhere from 60 to 90 feet tall, each. This geologic wonder is really spectacular.
Approaching the vista...
Beam Rocks Vista
Be extremely careful, there are many quick and steep drop offs at this spot. Use common sense and stay safe.

You can see for miles from this vista.
These are definitely some of the premier hikes within the state. The views are outstanding. While these trails are not necessarily difficult, their views rival those of any of the hikes in the state. This is a great place to spend some time and relax. Linn Run State Park is nearby and offers some fun outdoor recreational activities as well. 

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