Martin Hill Wild Area-Central Loop


Description: The Martin Hill Wild Area is comprised of 11.500 acres of Buchanan State Forest. The southernmost part of the Mid State Trail (MST) runs right through it. Using it as the backbone, some side trails and perhaps a little bit of bushwhacking some pretty nice loops can be made. 

Described here is a 6.1 mile strenuous loop offering views and a great deal of solitude over most of the hike. Some of the trail conditions are very rough. There are two rocky Nose-to-Toes climbs. An unofficial trail closes the loop. A longer loop (about 12 miles with 2000 feet E.G.) can be made by combining this hike with the Martin Hill Wild Area-South Loop.

Google Maps Custom Driving Directions

The hike starts at the MST parking area at the intersection of Beans Cove Road and Martin Hill Road.


The MST is part of the Great Eastern Trail (GET).______________________________________



Printable/Downloadable Map

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Zipped National Geographic TOPO! GPS and Universal GPX Files

GPS Text File for Non-TOPO! Users


Trail Notes:  From the parking area hike north on the orange blazed Mid-State trail

(MST).  The first 0.6 miles is through a majestic Pine forest. Cross the headwaters of Wildcat Run and climb to a power line right of way in 1.35 miles from the parking area. Here the MST turns left and follows it steeply over rocky, open terrain for 0.38 miles to the Tower Road. The hill is covered with Mountain Laurel which should put on a show in May/June. Make sure you turn around occasionally to take in the view of the easterly ridges. On a clear day you can see the man-made gap in Sidling Hill that I-68 passes through. Turn left onto the road and in 0.14 miles arrive at the comm. towers. Bear left on the circle road and then left again onto the signed Jackson Trail (Shown in red on the map but not blazed). It is being encroached in places by Mountain Laurel but is generally easy to follow. Keep a sharp eye out for the unofficial “Green” Trail on the left in 0.97 miles. If you miss this turn you will end up at a cabin. Bear left onto the two-tone green blazed trail and follow the faded blazes and “log curbs” down to Wildcat Run. You’ll pass through an area with sparse small trees and Blueberry thickets. The later might make it difficult to stay on trail in the summer but if you lose the trail at least you won’t starve to death. From this area you’ll get a view of Beans Cove to the right and Tussey Mountain straight ahead. The trail will re-enter mature forest and cross and follow a tributary for a few steps before climbing a bit to sidehill for a while before finally descending to Wildcat Run. The trail crosses the run where two trees have fallen across it, bears hard left and climbs to Beans Cove Road in 1.22 miles from leaving the Jackson Trail. Cross the road at a pull over area. This is the northern terminus of the red blazed Fetters Trail. Climb steeply for 0.83 miles, turning into an old road at the top, to the junction with the MST (an old logging road at this point). Turn left and follow it for 1.27 miles back to your vehicle.


Critique This Outing



Name: Peter F.                                                                                                               Hike: Martin Hill Wild Area-Central Loop

Date: Various                                                                                                                            Rating: 4


Critique: The upper part of Jackson Trail (from the summit circle down to the "green trail" junction) has been cleared and is now red blazed.


Name: MountainStreamFlood                                                                                               Hike: Martin Hill Wild Area-Central Loop
Date: 9/23/12                                                                                                                          Rating: 4.5

Critique: Overall a great hike. Fall colors were in full brilliance this past weekend, especially the plentiful blueberry bushes which have turned a fiery red. The foliage is nicely set against numerous views of the surrounding ridges and coves.

A few notes. First the MST has been rerouted and no longer follows the power line cut at mile 1.35. Instead it crosses underneath the line and then bears left and parallels it on a newly constructed footpath in the woods. The trail passes back under the line just below Tower Road at the view of the Sideling Hill Cut, before ascending to a junction with the road (this adds ~0.3mi to the trip). Second, both the un-blazed Jackson and red-blazed Fetters Trails are extremely overgrown for much of their length. For the most part, as noted, they are still easy to discern, with the exception of the very beginning of the Fetters trail, where there is no visible footpath and the old and fading red blazes are few and far between.

Still a wonderful hike, that I would highly recommend, great scenery and seclusion!



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