Clarion Loop Trail - 3 mile hike.
Penn Wood Airstream Park is located about 8 miles south of the town of Clarion. Clarion University is a big part of the town of 5000 people, and the campus is located just off of Main Street. Among the notable graduates of Clarion is Pete Vuckovich. Vuc was a Cy Young awarding winning pitcher for the 1982 AL pennant winning Milwaukee Brewers. On a team full of characters, Vuc was certainly memorable. That was a fun fall at Marquette and I’ll never forget the party on Wisconsin Avenue the night the Brewers clinched against the Angels. Oh, and Vuc starred in the movie Major League - he played the villain on an opposing team.
Suze and I spotted the Clarion Loop Trail sign when exploring the town. The trail head is located right off of a Clarion University Dorm parking lot and a block off of Main Street. Obviously, this must be a simple 3 mile loop - it starts right in town!
After just a couple of minutes of walking you feel like you are miles from civilization. The forest is very thick. We didn’t expect the trail to be challenging, but it has some tricky terrain and you must cross a creek three times. The last half of the trail is almost all uphill and I’d call it a hike, not a walk.
The Trail is marked with white marks on the trees along the path. We lost the trail a couple of times, but managed to find our way eventually. Suze was certain that an ingenious serial killer had painted the trees to lure us into his lair. Fortunately, we didn’t run into a machete wielding lunatic. In fact, we didn’t see anyone else on the trial.
The trail takes you out to the Clarion River and loops you back to campus. It is amazing how isolated you feel when you are obviously never further than a mile or so from town. Beautiful hike.