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Balanced Rock Loop

Easy
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A short, wooded loop along the lakeshore to Balanced Rock and then over toward the Straight Hill area.


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Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.3

KM

100%

Runnable

527' 161 m

High

471' 144 m

Low

98' 30 m

Up

97' 29 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

6%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake

Overview

Gifford Pinchot State Park has lots of trails to choose from, but most visitors end up on the Lakeside Trail at some point. This recommended loop heads out toward the popular Balanced Rock area off Boulder Point Trail before looping back through the woods with an optional loop on the other side of the parking lot.

Need to Know

Can be muddy or flooded.

Description

From the parking area, head toward the lake to find the Lakeside Trail. This loop can be traveled in either direction, but the mapped direction (clockwise) heads north toward the Balanced Rock first before looping back around past the parking area.

At the Lakeside Trail, turn right and follow the lakeshore for 0.75 miles. Look for the Boulder Point Trail, which is a short spur out onto the small peninsula. Before heading back onto the Lakeside Trail, a short distance to connect with the Fern Trail. Some of these connector trails have slim signage or marking so keep an eye on the Trail Run Project mobile app for on-trail navigation.

At the end of the Fern Trail, turn left onto the Midland Trail before continuing onto the Alpine Trail. The Alpine Trail ends at the entrance road where visitors can head back to the parking area or cross the road (as mapped) and follow the Pinchot Trail to the Gravel Trail, before returning on the Lakeside Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Woodpeckers, osprey, hawks, songbirds.

History & Background

The State Park features examples of the three primary rock classes with the most commonly found being igneous diabase, seen in the form of large boulders around Boulder Point, such as Balanced Rock. These boulders are rounded due to spheroidal weathering which just means the composition of the rock causes the exposure and resulting erosion to shape the boulders into rounded blocks.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3696

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#83

in Pennsylvania

#3,696

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360 Since Mar 4, 2020
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Photos

Nice scenic area to take pictures. Be sure to visit the large rocks along the shoreline at this point.
Mar 4, 2020 near Dover, PA

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