Black Forest Trail Backpacking

Challenge Level: moderate to strenuous, with distance and diverse terrain


This backpacking trip follows 35 of the 42.1 miles of the Black Forest Trail. The trail is named after the dense, dark (black) coniferous forest that surrounds the trail and is known for its beautiful vistas and meandering creeks. The hike is located in Lycoming County near the small wooded village of Slate Run, Pa.

Before you go, check out the trails, gain backpacking advice and learn more about the rich history of the Black Forest Trail. 

Learn more about the Black Forest Trail

How to Prepare

You don't need to be an experienced backpacker to participate. There will be 12 people in your group, so the carried load is distributed among your team. You don't have to be a serious athlete, but you will be walking moderate distances over several successive days carrying a 25- to 40-pound pack. The elevation gain and loss along the trail is gradual but can be challenging when carrying a loaded pack.

Expedition Itinerary 

The experience below is only an example. Trips are subject to change based on weather, local conditions and other circumstances.

Day 1

7 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Move into your residence hall. Breakfast and lunch on your own.

12:15 p.m. In a duffel bag, bring your equipment from the packing list to a storage area.

12:30 p.m. Meet with the associate dean, the director of Outdoor Education & Leadership, and BuckWild student trip leaders in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

1:30 p.m. Family goodbyes.

1:45 p.m. Report to Malesardi Quad to meet with your BuckWild student trip leaders.

2 p.m. Families meet with the president, provost and dean of students in the Weis Center.

2:30 p.m. Families depart campus or attend a social hour in the Weis Center lobby until 3:30 p.m.

Day 2

Wake up, pack up equipment and depart campus! Hike between 7 and 10 miles. Set up camp. Enjoy fun daily activities prepared by BuckWild student trip leaders.

Day 3

Wake up, break down camp and hike approximately 8-11 miles. Set up camp. Enjoy fun activities prepared by BuckWild trip leaders.

Day 4

Wake up, break down camp and hike approximately 8-11 miles. Set up camp. Enjoy fun activities prepared by BuckWild trip leaders.

Day 5

Wake up, break down camp and finish hiking to vehicles. Meet and engage with Bucknell professors in the afternoon at the Cowan Forrest D. Brown Retreat Center. Enjoy food and festivities mid-evening. Go back to your residence hall to shower and sleep!

Day 6

Breakfast 8:15 a.m. in Larison Dining Hall. Your BuckWild trip leaders will talk about the New Student Orientation schedule and you’ll watch a slideshow displaying each of the BuckWild trip experiences. New Student Orientation begins a little before lunch.

Outdoor Education & Leadership


Elaine Langone Center, Ground Floor