Chuck Keiper Trail

  • Swift Flowing Pete's Run

    Mountain streams, such as Eddy Lick, Boggs, and Pete's Run, parallel the Chuck Keiper Trail in many places. These streams provide water for both wildlife and the thirsty hiker (remember to filter all surface water before consuming).
  • Rugged Adventure

    The Chuck Keiper Trail is located in a remote area of Sproul State Forest. Only one paved road, route PA144, is anywhere near the trail, but still offering access at a number of crossings. Rugged terrain, in places, and lack of civilization contribute to the peaceful solitude of this trail.
  • Cranberry Swamp

    Located in the middle of the eastern loop of the Chuck Keiper Trail is the Cranberry Swamp Natural Area. A side trail provides access to this area. This area is home to many water fowl and migratory birds.
  • Waterfall on Yost Run

    Along the westernmost stretch of the Chuck Keiper Trail is Yost Run. The Yost Run Loop is a 6-mile dayhike that incorporates a stretch of the CKT. Yost Run is dotted with a number of waterfalls and is the only place within Centre County where a waterfall of significant size exists.
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The Chuck Keiper Trail is named after Charles F. Keiper who was a dedicated conservationist and wildlife law enforcement officer. The trail, located in the Sproul State Forest, is 52 miles in length and is organized into an eastern and western loop. The western loop is slightly longer than the eastern loop with the western loop being hiked in three days and the eastern in two days.

The trail makes many stream crossings without bridges and is best hiked at times of low water. The trail also traverses the Two Rock Run Fire area. There is no shade along this area of the hike so take plenty of water in the summer and try to hike this section in the early morning or late evening. The trail is a very strenuous hike as there are many ascents and descents without the use of switchbacks.

Topo Map - Chuck Keiper Trail

Hikes on the Chuck Keiper Trail

Chuck Keiper Trail: The Eddy Lick Run Circuit Hike

Located in Centre and Clinton counties, the Chuck Keiper Trail is a great trail for those hikers looking for a challenge and solitude. The trail is over 50 miles in length, but thanks to a cross-connector trail, it is split into two, shorter loops. Not only are their options for shorter backpacking trips, there are plenty of opportunities of day hikes. The Yost Run Loop is a very popular hike on a portion of the Chuck Keiper Trail. Another option that I discovered this weekend is a circuit hike that follows Eddy Lick Run.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: The Eddy Lick Run Circuit Hike

Chuck Keiper Trail: Day Hike From Pete's Run to Fish Dam Run

In April of 2006 we had decided that our annual Spring Hike would be on the Chuck Keiper Trail. Not having enough time to do the entire trail we opted to hike the eastern loop of the CKT. There were five of us that started out on the hike, but only two of us finished. One of the people that didn't finish the hike was Dude. He vowed that he would finish the eastern loop of the CKT sometime. Recently I decided that I'd like to do a day hike on the CKT, but wasn't sure where. That's when I thought about Dude and the fact he didn't get to finish the eastern loop last year. One phone call and a couple days later, Dude and I were dropping his car off at the Fish Dam Run Overlook and driving my car back Pete's Run Road so that Dude could complete the last 6 miles of the eastern loop.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: Day Hike From Pete's Run to Fish Dam Run

Chuck Keiper Trail: Our First Attempt at the West Loop

In April of 2006 we had decided that our annual Spring Hike would be on the Chuck Keiper Trail. Not having enough vacation time, nor the stamina, to do the entire trail we opted to hike the eastern loop of the CKT. We finished the 22 mile hike in three days and decided that we would try to make it up here later in the year to finish the rest of the trail: the remaining 33 mile western loop. As often happens, plans change, things come up, and we never did make it back to the CKT in 2006. Now in April of 2007 we set out to finish the Chuck Keiper Trail by completing the western loop almost one year to the date from when we started our adventures last April.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: Our First Attempt at the West Loop

Chuck Keiper Trail: Hiking the East Loop

I always look forward to overnight backpacking trips. I enjoy the sleeping outdoors and the time spent with fellow hikers around the camp fire at night. I especially enjoy the first overnighter of the season. You look forward to trying out all that new gear that you purchased over the winter. The excitement builds and expectations are high as the first day of hiking approaches. I'm happy to say that our hike on the east loop of the Chuck Keiper Trail, the first overnighter of the season, met all of my expectations.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: Hiking the East Loop

Chuck Keiper Trail: Cranberry Swamp Loop

The Cranberry Swamp Natural Area is located in Sproul State Forest, just south of Renovo Pennsylvania. This natural area is a typical mountain bog. It lies at the headwater of Cranberry Run and the amount of water can vary. During this hike there was quite a bit of water forming a large pond that many ducks were calling home. The Cranberry Swamp Trail is a loop off of the Chuck Keiper Trail but can also be easily accessed from route PA144.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: Cranberry Swamp Loop

Chuck Keiper Trail: Enjoying a Summer Day Along Yost Run

What started out as a leisurely weekend camping in the woods turned into an opportunity to experience part of the Chuck Keiper trail and a beautiful area of Northern Centre County. Yost Run is a small stream that runs through the Sproul State Forest in northern Centre County and empties into the West Branch of the Susquehanna river. The Yost Run loop that is highlighted here is part of the western loop of the Chuck Keiper trail. There are many beautiful waterfalls to see on Yost Run and on the smaller runs that feed into it.

Read more: Chuck Keiper Trail: Enjoying a Summer Day Along Yost Run

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