If you’re looking to trail ride or trail drive your horse at Black Moshannon State Park and the surrounding Moshannon State Forest, we have information which may be useful. This is mostly up to date as of early 2023.

Live Trail Map

The following link will show you trails around the park designated for equestrian use. You can also ride or drive on park roads, but they aren’t “designated” horse trails. Some may have more car traffic than you’d like.

Waymarked Trails: Black Moshannon

The park office does have a paper brochure for horseback riding which is good to have, but probably out of date.

Loop Trails

We are mapping some easy loop trails you might find helpful.

You can view live Graphhopper maps of these routes and modify them. You can then download a GPX track to follow with your navigation device if you wish. See tips on using Graphhopper maps farther down this page.

Map of figure 8 loop trail for horse riding

Riding from Benner Run

Just off Rt 504 (Rattlesnake Pike), this large lot is the main equestrian day-use parking and a great starting point for many loop rides.

These loops are mostly arranged to give a cool-down walk at the end on level Ridge Trail. Usually your device can reverse the route if you want to go the other way.

Staying north of Route 504

DistanceTimeVerticalRoute or NicknameLive map
4.8 miles1:34520 feetPOA-Benner-NorthRun-RidgeLink
5.0 miles1:40560 feetPOA-Benner-Rattlesnake-Ridge
“The Ghost”

Crossing south of Route 504

DistanceTimeVerticalRoute or NicknameLive map
3.6 miles1:11310 feetSmaysTrail-StageCoach-Ridge
“The Whale”
6.1 miles2:00625 feetSmaysRun-NorthRun-Underwood-StageCoach-Ridge
“Big Tee”
6.9 miles2:18680 feetRidge-NorthRun-SmaysLink

Horse Driving Trails from Benner Run

Driving routes are way trickier but we are working on it. Most of the trails are wide and smooth enough for carriages, but there are large rock barriers or locked gates wherever they reach a road. That makes access challenging, and it’s really hard to come up with loops.

DistanceTimeVerticalRoute or NicknameLive map
2.6 miles0:50315 feetPOA trail (out and back, both ends)Link
4.8 miles1:40462 feetPOA-Ridge-Rattlesnake-North Run-Ridge (loop)Link

These are decent driving trails which are mostly grass with reasonable rocks and looks plenty wide. The climbs are going to be a workout; we suggest this route is not for unfit equestrian partners. There are grass clearings which would be good resting points.

Riding from Underwood Road

A small parking lot on Beaver Road at Underwood Road gives access to equestrian trails farther south in the park. The lot is not very big and it is right on the road. When we visited most of it was piled with a mountain of gravel for road work!

DistanceTimeVerticalRoute or NicknameLive map
3.1 miles1:05322 feetSmays-AFT-Beaver Meadow
“Beaver Mills Loop”

Enjoyable short loop with modest vertical. Allegheny Front Trail is open to horse use in this section. It is quite a narrow path through ferns; you will be going single file. There is one short wooden bridge with railings on that section. Other sections are easy woods roads with nice shade and good footing.

Trail Notes

POA Trail north from the parking area is wide and mostly grassy with some rocks mixed in to start. It falls off fairly steeply at places, maybe more fun to go north than south. There are two large grass clearings good for breaks. Either clearing has a track out to Benner Run road; both are gated. POA isn’t too shady because of the orientation and lack of large trees.

Benner Run road from POA to North Run/Rattlesnake is an ok ride of about a mile. It’s certainly not flat! During wetter weather there are some small streams along it, and there is one piped spring that probably runs most of the time.

Rattlesnake Trail is similar to POA but has medium trees and should be bit shadier, at least once the leaves are out. It’s wide and mostly grassy with a few rocky areas. The climbs going south are notable; it’s certainly not a level trail. There is one grass clearing towards the north end, but no other big break spots.

Ridge Trail is built for snowmobiles so is pretty wide and has a lot of #2 gravel mixed in, but there is a good bit of grass too. It’s mostly fairly flat, but there are some big gentle dips east and west of Benner Run road that might make your horse want to blast off. It’s mostly nice woods and pretty shady, though it passes through a few open areas. It’s along Rt 504 but there isn’t much traffic.

Smay’s Trail (north end) starts as a nice woods road south of Rt 504 with a little bit of up and down through mature forest as far as Stage Coach trail. It’s mostly grassy with some rocky places. There is one damp spot in this section. We haven’t tried the section to the southwest of Stage Coach trail yet.

Smay’s Trail (south end) starts at Julian Pike (Beaver Rd) as a very pleasant woods road descending through mature forest with good shade as far as the AFT. Footing is good.

Stage Coach trail is sort of what you’d expect from the name, it feels like a classic woods route you could travel with a wagon. It does have a bit more terrain. It descends to Underwood road but nothing steep. On the other side it follows across the face of the hillside and curves in and out nicely. Eventually it starts a climb up to Rt 504, which is a little bit of a workout but nothing crazy.

Allegheny Front Trail (AFT) is open to horse use between Julian Pike (Beaver Rd) and Underwood Rd. The section from Smays Trail to Beaver Rd is quite narrow and winding, more like a footpath. Nice woods with almost solid fern undergrowth. Some sections through hemlocks may have low branches.

Usage Tips for Graphhopper Maps

  • Maps default to metric. To switch, click [Settings] next to the time and distance display.
  • You can zoom/pan the map as you’d expect, and re-order or add intermediate points to fine tune a route.
  • You need to be in walking or hiking or it may not route on trails! Buttons at top left select this.
  • A button in the upper right allows you to pick the background map. Other choices show elevation contours and an aerial view.
  • Move your mouse along the elevation graph and it shows corresponding location on the route.
  • To get GPX tracks, press [GPX] next to the time and distance display. Save the file to your computer or device.


Times shown are based on (human) walking pace about 3 mph. Your mileage may vary!

Since these are loop trails, vertical distance up and down are approximately equal. See live maps for full elevation profiles.


If you find these useful or want to suggest other routes, give us a yell. We’d love to hear from you!