MOCANAQUA LOOP TRAILS
Now part of the Pinchot State Forest, the Mocanaqua Loops Trails offer stunning views of the Susquehanna River and valley.
Earth Conservancy’s Lower Wyoming Valley Open Space Master Plan (1999) stressed three key components for a successful regional greenspace system: trails, parklands, and conservation areas. The Mocanaqua Loop Trails were one project that resulted from this directive. Located in the historic Wyoming Valley of northeastern Pennsylvania, the original Moc Loop, as it is familiarly known, was actually a system of four individual trails, comprising about 15 miles along the northern reach of Penobscot Mountain: the 2-mile Orange Loop; the 6-mile Brown Loop; the 8-mile Green Loop; and the 7-mile Blue Loop. Although the trails vary in difficulty, all take hikers along an unimproved trail traversing the mountainside to its ridgetop, providing scenic overlooks of the Susquehanna River, surrounding mountains, and the small communities dotting the valley’s floor. In addition to the natural features, some areas also hold industrial ruins, harkening back to the former Glen Alden Coal Corporation’s mining of the area.
EC began construction on the Mocanaqua Loop in 2001, which included directional and interpretive signage, and facilities at the system’s trailhead, located off Main Street. The Mocanaqua Loop opened on June 7, 2003, on National Trails Day. The project was made possible by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR), Luzerne County, and the Power Bar Corporation. Over the years, Conyngham Township generously assisted EC with maintenance of the trailhead area.
In 2015, EC, working in partnership with North Branch Land Trust, transferred the Mocanaqua Loop Trail System along with 3,053 of the Mocanaqua Highlands to the Pennsylvania State Forest System through a DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Program grant. Visit PA DCNR’s Pinchot State Forest webpage for current information about the Mocanaqua Loop Trail and other recreational areas in the region. You also can directly download the Mocanaqua Loop Trails map.
Please Remember: Appropriate clothes and shoes (and socks!) should be worn for trail hiking. Rain gear – for unpredictable weather – is always a plus. Always bring water and easy trail foods like granola bars to keep in pockets or backpacks. Visit www.americantrails.org for more hiking tips.
Off-Season Use: Off-season trail use poses unique risks inherent when participating in outdoor recreation activities. Users assume all risk in recreating on state forest properties.