Mount Davis is the highest mountain in Pennsylvania, although you certainly wouldn't know it if you paid it a visit. Mount Davis is the summit of 30-mile long Negro Mountain, and roads take you very near the summit. Several hiking trails encircle the highpoint, but none dip below 3,000 feet, meaning the mountain has little prominence from any vantage point. Views from the top are nice, especially with the very tall obversation tower, that allows for expansive views in all directions. You are surrounded by mountains, and you can also see modern wind turbines on a nearby ridge.
Mt. Davis itself is named for the man who surveyed it, John N. Davis, who was a pioneer farmer in the Negro Mountain district, land surveyor and educator. He owned the tract on top of Negro Mountain. The Davis brothers, sons of the pioneer erected a flag pole at the high point to be used at the ceremony.
Mount Davis is located in Forbes State Forest, which offers recreational activities, and is frequently visited by Pittsburgh natives, living about 1 and 1/2 hours drive from the area.
Mount Davis is located in Somerset County in Southwest Pennsylvania, near the Maryland Border. The nearest major highways are the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-68 in Maryland. From either highway, you need to get onto Route 219, a major routeway in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In fact, if you travel Route 219 South for another hour, you can reach the trailhead to Maryland's highest mountain, Backbone Mountain.
There are good road signs pointing to Mount Davis. To reach the summit, you can either take the summit road for 1 mile to the parking lot, or park at the Picnic area, which is just past the summit road, and hard to miss. From there, you can take the highpoint trail about 0.8 miles to the summit, with an elevation gain of about 200 feet.
Directions from the major interstates From the North (PA Turnpike) you need to get to the town of Meyersdale, where you will head West once you see signs for the highpoint. From the South (I-68), you will head West from the town of Salisbury, Pennsylvania.
Mt. Davis Trail. This 0.1 mile trail connects Shelter Rock Road with the High Point. Many of the trees and plants common to the area are found here.
No permission is required to park at the highpoint, nor are there any fees for the use of the park. There are no seasonal closures but winter can offer seasonal snow, patches of fog and rain.
Camping in the Forbes State Forest is restricted to backpack-type camping. Camping out of vehicles or campers is not permitted. Permits for camping are required only if campers stay more than one night at any campsite. All campers are encouraged to obtain a permit in case you are overdue or if someone needs to reach you.
- Camp at least 100 feet from any stream
- Camp at least 200 feet from and out of sight of roads
- Camp at least 25 feet from and out of sight of any trails
- Keep field privies at least 200 feet from any water source
- Pack out all trash
- Not have campfires when wildfire danger is high