Sproul State Forest, situated north of the Allegheny front in the Allegheny Plateau region, itself was named in memory of William C. Sproul Governor of Pennsylvania from 1919 to 1923. Governor Sproul was best known for expansion of public education system in Pennsylvania. Today, the forest contains some of the most rugged and remote forest land in Pennsylvania. The area offers some outstanding opportunities for diversified outdoor recreation.
History of the Area
The Sproul State Forest was named in memory of William C. Sproul Governor of Pennsylvania from 1919 to 1923. Governor Sproul was best known for expansion of public education system in Pennsylvania.
The forest is located in western Clinton and northern Centre counties containing 280,000 acres of State Forest Land. Land acquisition for the Sproul State Forest began in 1898 with the purchase of a tract of cut over forest land from the Clinton County Commissioners near Bull Run in the Young Woman's Creek watershed. The location is marked with a suitable monument. This first purchase was also the beginning of the entire Pennsylvania State Forest system. Over the years, the State Forest system has grown. There are now over 2,000,000 acres of State Forest Land which are managed for the good of all citizens in Pennsylvania.
Hiking -- Two hiking trails systems designated as State Forest Trails are located within the Sproul State Forest. The Chuck Keiper Trail is a 50 mile double looped system which includes trails in the Fish Dam Wild Area and Burns Run Wild Area. The Chuck Keiper Trail is marked with orange paint blazes.
The Donut Hole Trail is approximately 90 miles in length and connects with the Susquehannock Trail System. The trail traverses Kettle Creek Park and terminates at Hyner Run State Park. The Donut Hole Trail is marked with orange paint blazes.
There are numerous other foot trails which were originally built for fire access which provide good hiking into most parts of the Sproul State Forest. These trails are not marked or maintained. When hiking in the Sproul State forest persons should dress for the weather and use map and compass
Equestrian Use -- An Equestrian Trail located near Kettle Creek State Park is comprised of a 15 mile loop. The Eagleton Mine Camp Trail, a multi-use trail, offers a 20 mile loop through several historical locations in the area. Additionally with the exception of designated hiking trails and municipal watersheds, horseback riders may utilized the old woods roads and State Forest Road system. Trail maps are available by contacting the Sproul district office.
Mountain Biking -- All trails within the Sproul State Forest are open to mountain biking, with the exception of the Donut Hole Trail and the Chuck Keiper Trail. Most trails are kept clear over the summer, but some do become overgrown. It is recommended you contact the district office to find out which trails are better for riding. The Eagleton Mine Camp Trail offers excellent biking. Many sections are narrow, steep and rocky. The northern section is not as technical as the southern loop.
Cross-country Skiing -- Hiking Bear Ski Trail is located on Hyner Mountain and traverses 14 miles. The trail covers diverse terrain providing opportunities for both novice and experienced skiers.
Snowmobiling -- Snowmobile Trails are available for use when snow conditions permit. The Hyner Mountain Trail system is marked and groomed. Also, many State Forest Roads are open for joint use of snowmobiles and licensed motorized vehicles.
All Terrain Vehicles -- There is one area in the Sproul State Forest open to All Terrain Vehicles use. The area is located near the Huling Branch of Two Mile Run and consists of old woods roads, old coal mining roads, and unreclaimed surface mining areas. All the rest of Sproul State Forest is closed to All Terrain Vehicle use.