There are seven interconnected trails in the Summit Area of Allegany State Park (also known as the Art Roscoe X-Country Ski Area. Click on the map to the left to open a larger version in your browser.
The Sweetwater, Christian Hollow, and Leonard Run trails are in the northern section of the Summit Area.
Ridge Run, Patterson, and Snow Snake go through the central portion to the southern portion. Bova is in the very southern portion.
This article describes a hike from the Summit area parking lot via the Patterson then Ridge Run trails to the new lean-to, then a return via the Bova and Snow Snake trails, passing the older lean-to on the Snow Snake trail.
The total round trip is 9.6 miles, but it could easily be shorten to 7.5 miles by skipping the second older lean-to on the Snow Snake trail and instead returning via the Ridge Run Trail. You can make it even shorter, just 6.5 miles, (again skipping the second older lean-to) if you return over the same route you take to the new lean-to.
Click on the pictures to open larger versions in your browser
This is the trail map sign at the beginning of the trail. First, be aware that there is a new mountain biking single track loop trail that runs east off the Ridge Run trail. That loop trail is not depicted on the trail map sign. Second, be aware that a Reverend and his daughter got lost in this area a few years ago. The daughter made it back the next day but the Reverend died in the woods. His body was found about 18 months later. Bring a map and compass, or gps, and be prepared to spend an unexpected night in the woods. You can print a map from this G4Map Link of the trail.
The trail to your left goes to the Summit Fire Tower, and the Sweetwater trail (which is also connected to the Leonard Run and Christian Hollow trails).
The Patterson trail is a wide x-country dirt and stone trail. It is a gradual but consistent descent of about 500 feet over the course of 2 miles to the southern junction with the Snow Snake and Ridge Run trails. Along the way you cross over a half dozen or so streams that run under the trail through culverts.
This sign, about 2.25 miles from the start of your hike, is at the southern most intersection of the Patterson trail and the Snow Snake Trail. You will want to continue following the Patterson trail to reach the new lean-to.
A few hundred feet further on the Patterson trail brings you to the junction of the Patterson trail, the Ridge Run Trail, and the Patterson/Bova trail. You want to follow the Ridge Run Trail to the new lean-to. The Patterson trail depicted in this sign is the trail you just hiked down. The Patterson/Bova trail would take you to the Bova Ski area parting lot. You will return to this spot over that Patterson/Bova trail.
At this point you can either:
(1) return to the Summit Parking lot via the Ridge Run Trail (about 3,5 miles);
(2) return via the Ridge Run Trail (back over the way you came – about 1 mile) to the intersection of the Patterson and Snow Snake trails, then return to the Summit parking lot either by retracing your path back over the Patterson trail (about 2.25 miles) or take the Snow Snake Trail back to the Summit parking lot (about 4.7 miles); or
(3) Do as described below, taking the Bova trail to the Bova Ski area (about 3/4ths of a mile), then the Patterson/Bova trail back to the intersection with the Snow Snake and Patterson trails (about 1 mile), then take the Snow Snake trail back to the Summit Parking lot (about 4.75 miles), passing the older lean-to on the way back.
The Bova Ski Trail branches off from the Ridge Run Trail about 20 yards to the right of the lean-to (as you are facing the lean-to). You will descend about 400 feet over the course of .75 miles. Most of the descent occurs in the last half of the trail after you reach the top of the old Bova ski hill
After you come to the clearing that is the beginning of the top of the old Bova ski hill, you will come to a split in the trail. A road like trail goes straight ahead on a rather steep incline and is in generally poor condition. Instead, take the single track footpath that goes to the left in this picture.
At the end of the switchbacks the single track footpath meets the road you could have come down. Proceed downhill through the field. Not far ahead you will see a trail going into the woods on your right. Take that trail as it will meetup with the Patterson/Bova trail a little ways east. You could continue straight ahead about 100 yards to the Bova Ski area parking lot, and pick up the Patterson/Bova trail there.
Follow the path back to the parking lot.
Elevation Profile for entire Hike.