Elk Neck State Forest

​​Hiking Trails

Trail sign in Elk Neck State ForestMason Dixon Trail - 8.1 Miles—Moderate

The Mason Dixon Trail passes through Elk Neck State Forest. Hikers can plan multiple day trips by using this trail system, which explores some of the most natural settings on the forest including the Plum Creek Natural Area. Unknown to many, this long–distance trail route covers some 193 miles. The trail starts from the Appalachian Trail at Whiskey Springs in Pennsylvania and concludes at the Brandywine Trail at Chadds Ford, PA on the banks of the Brandywine River. The trail through Elk Neck State Forest is gentle to moderately sloped. The trail traverses all three main driving trails on the Main Tract and hikers can choose to do the system in its entirety or in small sections from parking areas near trailhead intersection points.

Pete Bond Trail - .3 Miles—Easy

Named after A. R. “Pete” Bond, former State Forester, this trail takes visitors on a gentle stroll to the Pete Bond Scenic Overlook. This trail is easily navigable to all users. This trail does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Access Guidelines, but may be usable by some persons with disabilities.

Elk Neck Lighthouse Trail - 5.5 miles—Moderate

Commencing at the Plum Creek Pond, this trail traverses through various parts of the State Forest. Established as part of the Elk Neck Trails Association, this trail connects the State Forest with the Town of North East and the Turkey Point Lighthouse at Elk Neck State Park. Encompassing nearly 12 miles from end to end, this trail crosses both state and private property while giving users a unique view of the natural features of the Elk Neck Peninsula. Along the way, users can stop at the Pete Bond Scenic overlook and gaze upon the vista view of the North East River and surrounding communities. This trail allows visitors to experience the Plum Creek Natural Area. Users may encounter abundant amounts of both wildlife and native plants along the way.

Black Hill Red Trail - 1.7 Miles—Moderate

Starting at the Black Hill Ranger Station, this trail follows the State Forest road to the old fire tower. The walk is through gently sloping terrain until you reach the highest point of Black Hill. The tower is no longer in service and is not open to visitors of the forest. While at the Ranger Station, you may view demonstration plantings of both trees and native warm season grasses. Parking is available behind the Ranger Station.

​​Elk Neck State Forest Arboretum Hiking Trail