It’s been a few years since I hiked Flat Rock Trail at Colonel Denning State Park, but the memories of the trial and it’s vista are still with me. The trial itself is difficult. Hiking boots, trekking poles, water and some snacks packed with carbs and protein are recommended.
The flat rock trail and vista is a 5 mile out and back hike with a stunning vista of the Cumberland Valley. The trail starts near the amphitheater area of Colonel Denning State Park. The trail is marked with a large sign, near the amphitheater area. Also take time to check out Colonel Denning State Park. It also has other trails, and a lake.
Colonel Denning State Park is located at 1599 Doubling Gap Rd, Newville, PA 17241
Blue Mountain in Tuscarora State Forest. The trail head is at the footbridge next to the environmental classroom. This is a moderate to rugged hike climbing in elevation over 900 feet with rocks and loose gravel. At the top of the mountain, Flat Rock Trail joins the Tuscarora Trailto the overlook. Flat Rock Trail overlook is a natural rock outcrop that affords a 180-degree spectacular view of Cumberland Valley.
This is a trail I recommend taking your time hiking. As you make your way through the small valley before climbing again to the vista you’ll come across a marshy area. A boardwalk that was built and installed by a boy scout as his Eagle Scout project makes its way through the wetland. This portion of the trail has some beautiful scenery, so take a moment to soak it in and enjoy. This will also give you chance to catch your breath before climbing the second portion of the trail that leads to the vista. Once you’ve reached the boardwalk you’re almost there, don’t give up.
There is a shelter along the way. This can be a good stopping point to take a break before pushing on to the top.
Once you’ve reached the vista be sure to take some pics, then sit on the rocks and soak in the view.