- Pennslyvania has the 5th highest population in the United States.
- At 1,100 feet above sea level, the state consists of lowlands for the most part although gently sloping mountain ranges are also present.
- Pennsylvania’s highest point sits 3,213 feet (979 meters) above sea level.
With over 13 million residents, Pennsylvania has the fifth-highest population of any U.S. state. Forests cover most of the state, with mountain ranges including the Allegheny, Pocono, and Appalachian Mountains. Home to both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is chock full of history. For visitors, there’s plenty to see, whether you’re into the outdoors, or into learning about the history of the United States, Pennsylvania has something for you. But, just where is the highest point in Pennsylvania?
Here, we’ll discover exactly where Pennsylvania’s highest point is, and how to get there. We’ll also find out just what you can do there, and whether or not you can hike to the highest point in the state. Then, we’ll take a look at Pennsylvania’s other high points, as well as the lowest point in the state.
Keep reading to learn more about Pennsylvania, its highs, and its lows.
Highest Point In Pennsylvania
The highest point in Pennsylvania is Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet (979 meters) above sea level. Mount Davis is in Somerset County, in the southwestern part of the state. It lies within the boundaries of Forbes State Forest; an observation tower tops this gentle peak. It might not look like the kind of “mountain” you may be used to, but, regardless, Mount Davis is higher than any other place in Pennsylvania. However, this peak is actually lower than Colorado’s lowest elevation!
Pennsylvania: Highs and Lows
With an average elevation of just 1,100 feet above sea level, Pennsylvania is a low-lying state, with gentle mountain ranges. Indeed, the highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis, is only around 2,000 feet higher than the average elevation. The state’s lowest elevation is actually sea level, at the Delaware River, which makes up the eastern border of the state.
In fact, Pennsylvania’s lowest lands lie primarily in the southeastern part of the state, in the region known as the Piedmont Plateau. This low-lying plateau is bordered to the north and west by Blue Mountain, which is straddled by the Appalachian Mountains. Beyond those, in the southern half of the state, are the Allegheny Mountains, of which Mount Davis is a part.
How to Get to Mount Davis
Meyersdale is one of the towns closest to the highest point in Pennsylvania. From there, you can actually drive to the top of Mount Davis in about 15 minutes (weather permitting). Driving to Mount Davis, you’ll park at the Forbes State Forest visitor’s parking lot. From there, it’s a short 0.8-mile hike to the top, with little elevation gain. From the peak’s observation tower, visitors can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding countryside. Rolling, forested hills dominate the landscape, with arcadian fields lending a picturesque quality.
Additionally, Mount Davis is only about 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh, so it makes a good option for a day trip from the city. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, and a wide variety of outdoor activities here.
What to Do at Mount Davis
Visiting Mount Davis is a must if you’re an outdoors lover in Pennsylvania, but, just what is there to do there? Well, if you’re into hiking, horseback riding, or even cross-country skiing, then you’re in luck. The highest point in Pennsylvania features several trails, ranging in length from just 0.1 miles long, to 2.8 miles long (the Tub Mill Run Trail). Unfortunately, the only type of camping allowed in Forbes State Forest is backpack camping. So, if you’re planning on an overnight trip, be sure to find another great place to spend the night.
If you’re not into hiking or walking the trails surrounding Mount Davis, you can always check out the nearby towns of Salisbury and Meyersdale. There are also other outdoor pinnacles, such as Baughman Rocks, which are well worth the visit.
But, perhaps most of all, Mount Davis is a great place to visit if you just want to “get away from it all”. Far from the beating pulse of any busy downtown, traffic noises, or throngs of people, Mount Davis is the perfect place to enjoy the quiet beauty of the countryside.
What Animals Live Around Mount Davis?
If you happen to hike to the elevation, you will come across a delightful variety of wildlife. They include Allegheny woodrats, bears, deers, and turkeys. You might even encounter a rattlesnake slithering across a path. The area is also home to an abundance of warblers.
As a matter of fact hunters actually descend on the region at certain seasons of the year to avail themselves of game.
The Five Highest Points in Pennsylvania
At 3,213 feet above sea level, Mount Davis is the highest point in Pennsylvania. But, what about the state’s other high points? Well, the second highest peak in Pennsylvania is Blue Knob, in Bedford County, at 3,120 feet above sea level. The third highest point in the state is Laurel Hill, in Fayette County, with an elevation of 2,994 feet. This is extremely close in elevation to the fourth highest point in Pennsylvania, the Laurel Hill Radio Tower in Westmoreland County, which has an elevation of 2,980 feet. Finally, the fifth highest point in Pennsylvania is Schaefer Head, in Blair County, with an elevation of 2,950 feet above sea level.
- Animals in Pennsylvania: What fauna inhabit the state’s plains, valleys, and coastlines? Read all about them here.
- Roaches in Pennsylvania: As far as pests come, they’re pretty resilient. And they’re especially skilled at trumping your best efforts to keep them out. Find out what roaches have settled down in the Keystone State.
- Are there Bears in Pennsylvania? These omnivorous ursines seem to be just about everywhere. So how likely are you to come across one ambling across a hiking path – or down your street? Find out here.
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- , Available here: https://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Davis
- , Available here: https://www.netstate.com/states/geography/pa_geography.htm#:~:text=The%20Mean%20Elevation%20of%20the,1%2C100%20feet%20above%20sea%20level.&text=The%20Allegheny%20Mountains%20run%20diagonally,plains%20in%20the%20southeast%20triangle