After our Fall hike of Jonathan Run we definitely were looking for another awesome fall hike. Doing some research I learned about both the Wolf Rocks trail and Beam Rocks trail, which are located right around Laurel Summit State Park. At the end of each one of these trails you get rewarded with awesome views of the valley below. Luckily both of these trails are only 1.6 miles apart so you can do them both in one day!
Getting to Wolf Rocks and Beam Rocks
The parking lot for the Wolf Rocks trailhead is located at these GPS coordinates: 40.118388, -79.176155. If you are travelling along Linn Run Road you’ll actually turn in to Laurel Summit State Park.
The parking lot for Beam rocks literally down the road from Wolf Rocks. Turning left out of Laurel Summit State Park take Linn Run road to turning left at Laurel Summit Road. A little over a mile down to the road you’ll first see a small observatory on your right, once you pass it you’ll see a small parking lot for a handful of cars. This is the parking lot for Beam Rocks, which has the GPS coordinates: 40.133028, -79.163850.
Before we get into each one of these trails if you are planning to do both in one day I would suggest doing Wolf Rocks first and then Beam Rocks. Beam Rocks is shorter so it makes sense to do it last. Now if you only have a short amount of time Beam Rocks makes sense as the trail is only 0.9 miles out and back.
Exploring Wolf Rocks
After parking at the parking lot you’ll find the Wolf Rocks trailhead at the end of the parking lot. The Wolf Rocks trail is about 2 miles each way so 4 miles total so make sure you are prepared for that. Luckily the elevation gain is only 272 feet so the trail is pretty easy. There were a few places were it was muddy or rocky, but nothing major. Walking along the trail we really enjoyed all of the little things we saw and all of the leaves on the ground. Even though we saw a few other people we really felt like we were along with nature.
At the end of the trail you come to Wolf Rocks, which is a scenic overlook of the valley below. We might have been a couple weeks late for perfect fall colors, but the view up there was amazing and definitely worth the hike! We actually packed and lunch and enjoyed it out on the rocks. We were out there for about a hour and we only saw 3-4 other groups of people.
Exploring Beam Rocks
After making our way back from Wolf Rocks we decided we would check out Beam Rocks as it was so close. A 5 minute drive down the road and we were at the parking lot for Beam Rocks. The trail for Beam Rocks is much shorter at only 0.9 miles total (in and out). So it really is only a 15-20 minute walk out to the rocks. The elevation gain for this trail is only 68 feet so it should be pretty easy.
Getting out to Beam Rocks you again get a great view, we did feel like we were “up in the trees” rather than above the trees like we felt at Wolf Rocks. Regardless, we enjoyed our time hanging out on Beam Rocks. You do need to be VERY careful at Beam Rocks as the drop-off is quite high. Someone actually fell off the rocks back in 2015 and died so PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
This was actually one of the better day trips we’ve gone on in a while. It was really relaxing and at the end of each hike we were rewarded with an amazing view! If you live in Pittsburgh these hikes are only about an hour and a half away and they are the perfect way to get out of the city and enjoy nature!
After our long day of hiking we decided to eat at Ruthie’s Diner along Interstate 30, which was awesome after such a long day!
Things to know about Wolf Rocks & Beam Rocks
– Both trails are very easy as there is barely any elevation change.
– You can definitely pack a lunch and enjoy it out on the rocks at either location.
– Both trails can be hiked year round.
– PLEASE be careful at Beam Rocks as the drop-off is quite high!