Mount Davis: Pennsylvania's Highest Point

high pointssomerset county paforbes state forestmt. davis natural areawestern paSeries: Attractions of Pennsylvania

Mt. Davis

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of visiting Mount Davis, Pennsylvania with a couple of Pittsburgh-based friends of mine.

Mount Davis is the highest point in Pennsylvania, but you wouldn't know that if you stood there and didn't take a close look at its commemorative plaques. Surrounded by forest, the high point offers no sweeping vistas.

Even driving to the summit doesn't feel particularly special. Nearby towns are already at 2,000 feet, so ascending an extra 1,200 feet by car isn't all that particularly dramatic. (Mount Davis is part of a longer ridgeline which extends south into Maryland where it is very unfortunately-named Negro Mountain, which state legislators have failed at renaming.)

All is not for naught, though. Mount Davis High Point is home to a parking lot, a set of relatively short hiking trails, and some commemorative plaques.

Most importantly, it is home to an observation tower, which provides an expansive view of the surroundings.

Mt. Davis

Mt. Davis
A closer view of the rusting edifice that is the observation tower.
A closer view of the rusting edifice that is the observation tower.
My late grandmother was not a fan of wind power turbines, as she believed they worsened her television signals.
My late grandmother was not a fan of wind power turbines, as she believed they worsened her television signals.
Hang on, am I supposed to avoid lens flare or something?
Hang on, am I supposed to avoid lens flare or something?
A lesson in the effects of weather on the area's geology.
A lesson in the effects of weather on the area's geology.

The nearby Shelter Rock Trail passes by some rocks that have been shaped by years of weathering.

Mt. Davis
Mt. Davis

Some of the rocks in the area featured some pretty unusual (to me) brown lichen.

Mt. Davis
A spring, bubbling away. The cherries on top are, of course, algae growth and a rotting tree trunk!
A spring, bubbling away. The cherries on top are, of course, algae growth and a rotting tree trunk!
Some flourishing mushrooms.
Some flourishing mushrooms.

Of the nearby hiking trails, the clear highlight was the 2.8 mile-long Tub Mill Run Trail.

For a portion of its length, this trail parallels its eponymous stream as it flows down hill, cascading wonderfully over rocks. It's a different, but equally joyous view of this slice of the Forbes State Forest.

Mt. Davis
Mt. Davis
Mt. Davis

Other than hiking and climbing a tower, there are also numerous picnic tables available at the High Point trailhead. It was a great place to have lunch.

It was also great, for a brief moment, to be the highest person in Pennsylvania. (Joke stolen from Mike.)

Plant sprouts, whose nature we were unable to identify.
Plant sprouts, whose nature we were unable to identify.
A final look at the surroundings through some less-thick foliage.
A final look at the surroundings through some less-thick foliage.