The Quebec Run Wild Area in Forbes State Forest is an amazing area for both day hikes and overnight backpacking and camping trips. Read on to learn more about this awesome trail system!
Quebec Run Wild Area is a ~7,400 acre area located in Forbes State Forest, just north of the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border. There are over 23 miles of interconnected trails located in the area. This forest is mostly third growth, resulting from extensive timber harvesting from 1938-40 and many of the logging roads are still visible.
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.
This area was AMAZING for disconnecting from life and immersing yourself in nature. We had zero service at our campsite and it was lovely. If being that disconnected is stressful, think about investing in a Garmin InReach or other satellite communicator (or check out some of the other backpacking areas that have more cell service, such as the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail at Laurel Ridge State Park.)
Camping at Quebec Run Wild Area
There are no permits required for one night stays at the Quebec Run Wild Area. If you plan to stay at a site for more than one day, you must obtain a permit. However, the DCNR recommends that all campers get a permit just in case of delay or if someone is trying to reach you. To obtain a permit, visit the PA State Park Reserve America site.
We chose to hike the Quebec Run outer loop, an 11.3 mile loop around the park, heading clockwise. My hiking companion and I left Pittsburgh after work on a Friday and drove 90 minutes from Pittsburgh so we did not have a ton of time to hike before it got dark. We planned for ~1.5 miles the first day and 10 miles on Saturday. This led us to a beautiful campsite along the river for the evening.
Looking for more places to backpack in Pennsylvania? Check out my post on Best Backpacking in Western Pennsylvania!
Advice for Camping in Quebec Run
We visited in early May and it was quite cold near the river (temperatures got down to high 30’s/low 40’s). If you choose a river campsite, please be aware of the temperature swings and pack appropriate gear.
There are many stream crossings in this area. Be aware of the weather and call rangers to check conditions if there have been a lot of rain before your trip. I highly recommend packing extra socks and being okay with having wet feet! I hike in Topo trail runners and Smartwool socks, which dry relatively quickly and don’t cause blisters for me.
Camping in the Forbes State Forest is restricted to backpacking (aka primitive camping). Camping out of vehicles or campers is not allowed. Campers in the Quebec Run Wild Area must remember to:
- Camp at least 100 feet from any stream
- Keep field privies at least 200 feet from any water source
- Pack out all trash (and remember to leave NO trace)!
- Not have campfires when wildfire danger is high
Let’s keep this beautiful wild area wild! For more information on primitive camping, visit the DNCR site here.
Trying to figure out what gear to bring with you on your trip to Quebec Run? Check out my comprehensive list of gear recommendations in my Backpacking Gear Must Haves post!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are activities other than hiking allowed in Quebec Run Wild Area?
Cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are permitted on designated trails. Hikers can use all trails in this area!
Does Quebec Run have bathrooms?
There are no bathrooms, shelters, or rest areas at Quebec Run.
Are dogs allowed in the Wild Area?
Yes, you can bring your dog to Quebec Run. Please make sure to bring all appropriate supplies for your dog, including a first aid kit, water, and food.
Can I get a map of Quebec Run Wild Area?
Yes! For a printable version of the Quebec Run Wild Area, click here. I also recommend downloading the AllTrails map of whatever trail you plan to hike. This is only possible with a Pro plan, but is completely worth it to me for peace of mind.
How far is Quebec Run from Pittsburgh?
The Wild Area is about ninety minutes from Pittsburgh.
What is close to Quebec Run Wild Area?
The Wild Area is relatively near tons of awesome things to do in the Laurel Highlands, including:
- Laurel Caverns (~10 min)
- Ohiopyle State Park (~30 min)
- Cooper’s Rock State Forest (~35 min)
- Laurel Hill State Park (~60 min)
- Kooser State Park (~60 min)
- Linn Run State Park (~75 min)
Want to backpack Quebec Run Wild Area? Let me know in the comments!
Updated November 4, 2023