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Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy

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Baker Trail

by admin last modified Dec 04, 2017 08:48 PM

A 133 -mile hiking and backpacking trail north of Pittsburgh, PA


The Baker Trail is a 133-mile (214 kilometer) hiking and backpacking trail, following forest paths, old jeep trails and dirt roads through woods, farmlands, along rivers and creeks. The Baker Trail is one of the 18 state-designated hiking trails and is included on the trails map of Pennsylvania.


The black line in the shape of a "J" in the center of this map is the Baker Trail.

Map zoom: State | City

Trail Ethics

At all times while hiking the Baker Trail, please:

  • Be courteous to people living along the trail.
  • Remember, you are generally on private property.
  • Respect the land and its owners. If asked to leave, do so.
  • Stay on the trail.
  • Do not camp or build fires along the trail except at designated shelters.
  • Refrain from bringing dogs and bicycles on the trail.
  • Keep off the trail with motorized vehicles.
  • Carry out your own trash; help by picking up others’ litter.
  • Recognize your limitations and your assumed risk. The Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy and the landowners want you to enjoy your hike; neither will take the responsibility for personal injury or losses while using the trail.

Trail Alerts

  • The trail has been rerouted between Kelly Station Road and Oldfield Drive. It has been moved mostly off Kelly Station Road, along the hill in the woods, and now crosses Taylor Run about 100 feet east of the cable climb. (21 August 2016)
  • The Atwood shelter has been fenced off and is not presently accessible. (10 July 2016)

Trail Condition

Presently the trail needs work in some areas. Volunteer work crews address problem areas in the spring. If you encounter any difficulties with trail conditions, blazing, or landowners, please email us at

Use & Trail Guide

Currently, there are nine campsites with openfront "Adirondack" shelters located on side trails. There are no signs pointing to the shelters, so they must be located by consulting the Baker Trail Guide. The Guide includes a detailed description and maps of the trail. For ordering information, see the Merchandise page of this web site. The Guide includes a section-by-section trail description, locations of shelter sites, a set of topographic maps, information on the use and history of the trail, hiking tips, information about campgrounds, cabins, food stores and park facilities within walking distance of the trail.

All hikers should be equipped for the season. Carry with you food, water purification and the gear you will need. There are a few stores convenient to the trail (see the Guide for locations).

Try to leave a supply of wood in the shelter for the next hiker. Do not cut trees. Before leaving the shelter, put out your campfire and leave the site clean. Pack out cans, foil and all other unburnable items. As with most trailside shelters in the U.S., burying trash is no longer acceptable.


The Baker Trail was established in 1950 and named for the late Pittsburgh attorney Horace Forbes Baker, who was instrumental in the re-establishment of the Pittsburgh Council of the American Youth Hostels after World War II. The trail originally extended from Aspinwall to Cook Forest State Park (133 miles). However, extensive development along the Allegheny River caused the Aspinwall-Freeport section to be abandoned. In 1971, the trail was extended northward from Cook Forest Fire Tower to near the Allegheny National Forest, making the trail 132 miles long.


Archive Dustoff

Here are some interesting letters and documents from the Baker Trail archive.

  • A 1973 trip report by Robert Beck of Chalfont, PA (410kB, PDF format)
  • A 1969 letter by Paul Smith of Beach City, OH about some family-related history along the trail (76kB, PDF format)

Trail Stewards

These are the volunteers who have adopted and committed to maintain a section of the trail:

From To Miles Steward
Northern terminusRoute 66 crossing3.6
Route 66 crossingGreenwood Rd crossing4.2
Greenwood Rd crossingForest Rd crossing (central)3.8
Forest Rd crossing (central)Fire tower3.0
Fire towerGravelick Rd (south)2.8
Gravelick Rd (south)Iron Bridge Rd2.3Mark Gibson
Iron Bridge RdWork Dr at Summerville Dr3.8Mark Gibson
Work Dr at Summerville DrMcCanna Run at Mill Creek3.5Mark Gibson
McCanna Run at Mill CreekMill Creek cable bridge4.1Mark Gibson
Mill Creek cable bridgeMarkel Rd at Route 9494.2Jason Strohm
Markel Rd at Route 949Route 28 crossing5.6
Route 28 crossingRedbank Valley Trail4.2
Redbank Valley TrailFryer Rd (north)2.6
Fryer Rd (north)Sandy Hill Rd at Route 5364.3
Sandy Hill Rd at Route 536Route 839 crossing5.9
Route 839 crossingCreek Rd5.1
Creek RdGerman Rd (north)3.9Donna Stolz & Tirzah Griffin
German Rd (north)Route 839 (south)3.7Donna Stolz & Tirzah Griffin
Route 839 (south)Dry Knob Rd at Dayton-Smicksburg Rd4.3
Dry Knob Rd at Dayton-Smicksburg RdWilson Rd at Sinktown Rd4.7
Wilson Rd at Sinktown RdRoute 954 at Matty Rd6.0
Route 954 at Matty RdHollow Rd at Barks Hill Rd5.0
Hollow Rd at Barks Hill RdMiller Rd at Wood Rd4.6
Miller Rd at Wood RdRoute 210 crossing5.2
Route 210 crossingPine Hill Rd2.6
Pine Hill RdCherry Run Hill Rd at service road4.7
Cherry Run Hill Rd at service roadPrivate road at Gibson Rd2.6Bill Dietrich
Private road at Gibson RdHorney Camp Run covered bridge4.0Bill Dietrich
Horney Camp Run covered bridgeCr Crk Dm Rd at picnic3.1Crooked Creek Watershed Assn
Cr Crk Dm Rd at picnicBethel Twp bldg at Ridge Rd3.6
Bethel Twp bldg at Ridge RdTaylor Run1.9Dwight Fox
Taylor RunJack Rd at Johnetta Rd2.9Dwight Fox
Jack Rd at Johnetta RdGodfrey Rd at Kiski Railroad2.3
Godfrey Rd at Kiski RailroadKiski River bridge (CLOSED)3.2
Kiski River bridge (CLOSED)Southern terminus1.9

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