Painter Rock Hill is a nice little peak in the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania. The mountain sits at 2,920 feet and doesn't offer much of a summit or a trail to the summit but you can catch numerous views of the surrounding peaks from the Painter Rock trail. The peak is located in the Forbes State Forest and the Roaring Run Natural Area which offers numerous hiking trails that are all relatively easy and scenic vistas. In a region that was once crowded by logging until the 1960’s when a conservation agency took over the land and has been protected ever since making for a very nice retreat to the outdoors.
Painter Rock Hiking Trail
The route that I chose to take to get to the summit was the longest and made for a scenic hike. From the parking lot you travel on the Roaring Run Trail until you meet the Roaring Run Stream where you will need to look for the blazes and cross the stream to meet up with the Painter Rock Trail. The trail begins to climb gradually and from this trail you can see some impressive views of Birch Rock Hill off to your south. The trail with eventually turn into the McKenna Trail that will get you within .20 a mile of the actual summit. If you choose to go to the summit which is a large flat tree covered area with no views, simply get off the trail and head up for a easy hike to the top. At this point you can either return the way you came or continue on hiking. What I did was hiked until I reached the Laurel Highlands Trail and took that over to Seven Springs and then back down the Roaring Run Trail. I would recommend that you bring a park map and decide what you feel is best for you.
From highway 70/76 get off at eigher exit 91 or 110(depending on which direction you are coming from)and get on route 31. From route 31 take 381/711 south to the city of Champion and you will come to a four way stop. This road is County Line. Take this road east for a little under 2 miles and you will see the parking lot on your left.
Kooser and Laurel Hill State Parks are fairly close. Mountain Pines Campground is the closest campground to the Painter Rock trailhead, but I would NOT recommend that you stay there.
External Links Forbes State Forest
Pennsylvania State Parks