PA’s Hidden Oasis (Big Spring)

**UPDATE** It has come to our attention that someone vandalized the rocks at Big Spring. For this reason we have updated this post and removed directions on how to get there since it is on private property.

It feels good to be lost in the right direction. It was also to find one of the most beautiful places we have gone together. Even though it was about a 5.5 mile hike round trip and it was extremely muddy, snakes on trails, and hard to navigate, it was one of our favorite trips together. Our journey took us to three stops this day, first being a hidden treasure called Big Spring, located in Forbes State Forest.

It took us only about an hour and half to get there from Pittsburgh and we left early in the morning. We didn’t know if this place would be busy due to us going on Memorial Day Weekend but we couldn’t wait to see!

Just a warning, make sure to screenshot all your maps and directions before getting to these areas because we didn’t have cell phone service almost the entire time being in this area. We also advise wearing boots and proper hiking gear due to the trails, nature, and mud. Bring a lot of water and snacks too since it took us about an hour both ways to walk back to the parking area. One we parked, we truly didn’t know what to expect.

Once we followed the trail about 2.3 miles, that’s when we saw it! We read many myths and many things about The Big Spring but it truly is natural wonder. You can see the water from many feet away and can see through the crystal clear blue-green water. The Spring itself is about 125 feet across and some studies state that people have measured 18 feet down from the surface. Its depth is almost deceiving, looking shallow and only a couple feet deep into the white sand. The coolest feature in the spring was the bubbles coming from below. The sand in the spring is continuously bubbling, and moving the sand below. It is quite intimidating almost and we couldn’t help but wonder where the water and bubbles were coming from.

We both were so mesmerized by the spring, we both explored for hours and didn’t even realize it. We were alone at the springs for awhile until others started showing up. It was busier than we expected but again we did go on a holiday weekend. We wished we would have gotten more photography and footage in the spring but the spring was freezing! It may have been 50 degrees and was tough to even get into. Bob was brave enough to get some footage of the bubbling below. We also were both nervous to step into the sand, not knowing if we would sink or not. We researched and to our knowledge, no one has ever been able to accurately figure out how deep the spring truly is or where items would end up.

The Big Spring was filled with mystery and we captured plenty of beauty in this area. We read that there is a trail you can also take from the YMCA and several others. We are unsure of what would be the easiest way but the way we went wasn’t that bad, just a long walk with a little snake on the trail that decided to surprise Bob in between his legs while walking, so just be careful and keep your eyes open! Again if you need direction or have any questions please reach out!

Our next stop this day was the Highest Point in Pennsylvania called Mount Davis. Mount Davis was only a couple minutes down the road and both are definitely able to be seen in one day. Mount Davis has an elevation of 3,213 feet above sea level. I know I was expecting more of the lines of a tall mountain or huge hill but really it was on a huge boulder. The area around Mount Davis is actually one big plateau filled with trees, springs, and camping. The coolest part of this area is the observation tower near the parking lot and the history panels around this area. The history is all about how it got its name and who founded the areas.

When walking up many floors up the observation tower, it is a fascinating view. All you see is trees, hills and green for miles and miles. It is a very small platform that only a few people can go up at a time. It was hard to get any photography alone in the tower. There is a metal topo map in the center of the tower which was really cool to see the different elevations and where places are. We decided to not walk the trails around the park in this area due to finding a place on the map called Baughman Rocks. It looked really cool on the map and decided to make our way back to the car.

The Baughman Rocks were only about 5 minutes down the road, and again very convenient and able to do all in one day. There are a few signs to guide you to these rocks. I am unsure if there is a trail that leads travelers to these rocks. When getting to this area, the platform built and wooden bridge is beautiful itself. It looks like something out of the tropics or a resort. Right before getting to the rocks, there is a story enscripted in one of the stones of the origin of the naming of the area and location. The story behind this area is actually saddening and very interesting. We recommend reading about this area in more detail but below is the summed up story that the rocks present. The over looks were scary and high but was a great place to get some pictures together and a great way to end our crazy adventure.

The three places we got to go to this adventure day were remarkable and one of our favorite trips we have gone so far. The springs were breathtaking, the views were magical, and the photography we got left us speechless. It was amazing just to spend time together, no phones, no service, no work, just us and our cameras. That’s the best part of our relationship, just us and the passion we have for all the amazing things this world has to offer. We have learned from our past lessons that the best thing about a relationship is being best friends and experiencing life together. Even with bruised knees, scrapes, and muddy shoes consistently, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. We hope you get out there and do these things as well! The greatest adventure has been able to see our relationship grow every destination…

Big Spring / Mount Davis Photo Gallery