Exploring Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County

Beartown Rocks Overlook in the Clear Creek State Forest.
Beartown Rocks Overlook in the Clear Creek State Forest.

Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest features an exceptional scenic overlook perched high atop a “rock city” dating back to the last Ice Age!

Climbing on boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
One of the house-sized boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County.

And just like Bilger’s Rocks in Clearfield County, oftentimes billed as “Pennsylvania’s Best Rock Outcropping”, Beartown Rocks is essentially a roadside attraction, meaning you can park right next to it and take a leisurely stroll through this “rock city” in Jefferson County.

Taking in the scene at Bilger's Rocks in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.
Taking in the scene at Bilger’s Rocks in Clearfield County.

How to Find Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest

Beartown Rocks is located just off of Corbett Road, a dirt State Forest road in Jefferson County.

Corbett Road in the Clear Creek State Forest, near the turn-off for Beartown Rocks.
Corbett Road in the Clear Creek State Forest, near the turn-off for Beartown Rocks.

Turn off of Corbett Road at the Beartown Rocks sign and proceed to the parking area just a few hundred yards ahead.

A directional sign to Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
A directional sign to Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 41.30137, -79.05823 to find the parking area next to Beartown Rocks.

How to find Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
A map to Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest in Jefferson County, PA.

Exploring Beartown Rocks

To visit the boulder formations and scenic overlook at Beartown Rocks, follow the “overlook” trail to the right from the back corner of the parking area (the trail to the left leads away from the overlook and rock formations).

The trailhead and parking area at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
The trailhead and parking area at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

There is no “official” trail through the boulder formations, you can simply make your way through the rock city as you see fit.

One of the many trails through the boulder formations at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
One of the many trails through the boulder formations at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

The passageways between the boulders at Beartown Rocks are fairly wide, making it easy to explore even for those who don’t enjoy the claustrophobic sensations some boulder mazes can give you.

A passageway between the boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County, PA.
A passageway between the boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County.

Compare that to the narrow crevasses at another of the PA’s finest rock formations, the rock city along the Fred Woods Trail in Cameron County!

The author in one of the canyons formed by massive rock formations along the Fred Woods Trail.
The author in one of the canyons formed by massive rock formations along the Fred Woods Trail.

Beartown Rocks Overlook

The Beartown Rocks Overlook is close to the parking area, and reached by a set of wooden stairs.

Stairway to the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County.
Stairway to the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County.

The view from the Beartown Rocks Overlook is of the Clarion River valley, stretched out for what seems like a hundred miles before your eyes.

The view from the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
The view from the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County.

From the back edge of the overlook, you can look straight down into one of the crevasses below.

Looking straight down from the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County.
Looking straight down from the Beartown Rocks Overlook in Jefferson County.

Hiking Through Beartown Rocks

As mentioned earlier, the passageways between the boulders at Beartown Rocks are wide and relatively flat, meaning this is a fairly easy hike for all ages.

Exploring Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
Exploring Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County.

Not that you couldn’t injure yourself if you tried to climb some of the larger boulders (don’t do that), but compared to other “rock cities” in PA, Beartown Rocks is pretty tame.

Hiking at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
Hiking at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

In addition to the boulders, the trees at Beartown Rocks grow in some interesting ways, between and around the massive rock formations.

Two of the larger boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
Two of the larger boulders at Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.

This entire area was clear-cut during the late 1800s timber boom, so it’s a blessing to be able to enjoy it as a forested recreational area in our current times.

Trees growing up amongst the boulders at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
Trees growing up amongst the boulders at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-reach, easy-to-navigate “rock city” to explore, either by yourself or with young children, I can’t recommend Beartown Rocks in Jefferson County highly enough!

Ferns and moss covering one of the boulders at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.
Ferns and moss covering one of the boulders at Beartown Rocks in the Clear Creek State Forest.

Nearby Attractions

Doolittle Station in DuBois is an eclectic mix of restaurants, museums, a brewery, and a bed and breakfast, all housed in historic train cars!

Aerial view of the front half of Doolittle Station in DuBois Pennsylvania.
Aerial view of the front half of Doolittle Station in DuBois.

The Presidential Train Car Bed and Breakfast at Doolittle Station in DuBois is your chance to spend the night on a perfectly-preserved tain car built for early 1900s railroad tycoons!

The dining room area at the front of the Presidential Train Car bed and breakfast at Doolittle Station.
The dining room area at the front of the Presidential Train Car Bed and Breakfast at Doolittle Station.

Logan Falls is tucked away in the heart of the Allegheny National Forest in neighboring Forest County.

Logan Falls near Marienville Pennsylvania
Logan Falls near Marienville, Pennsylvania.

The Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Forest County serves no navigational purpose, but at 75 feet tall, it’s the tallest functional lighthouse in Pennsylvania!

Exploring the Tionesta Lighthouse in Forest County Pennsylvania.
The Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Tionesta, Forest County.

Rapp Run Falls is an almost-roadside waterfall in neighboring Clarion County.

Rapp Run Falls in Clarion County PA
Rapp Run Falls in Clarion County, Pennsylvania

Bilger’s Rocks, billed as “Pennsylvania’s Best Rock Outcropping”, is a 300 million year-old natural “rock city” in neighboring Clearfield County.

Climbing through a rocky jungle at Bilger's Rocks in Clearfield County.
Climbing through a rocky jungle at Bilger’s Rocks in Clearfield County.

The Fred Woods Trail in Cameron County is one of the most scenic hikes in the PA Wilds, leading to two excellent vistas as well as its own “rock city”.

Hiking through the rock formations along the Fred Woods Trail in Cameron County
The author at the rock city along the Fred Woods Trail.

Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County is home to what was once the longest and tallest railway bridge in the entire world – The Kinzua Viaduct.

The remains of the Kinzua Viaduct at Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County
The remains of the Kinzua Viaduct at Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County.

Partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003, the State repurposed the remaining, still-standing 600 feet of bridge and built the Kinzua Skywalk (a pedestrian walkway/overlook), which opened in 2011.

One of several observation areas at Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County, PA.
One of several observation areas at Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County, PA.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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