Hike the Salt Springs Circuit-Salt Springs State Park

Salt Springs State Park is an excellent place to hike with over fourteen miles of trails from which you can do a variety of loops.  The park has diverse scenery with waterfalls, gorge, old growth hemlocks, meadows, streams, and some nice views.  The park’s namesake is a small bubbling spring close to the main parking area.  The park offers cabins, and has a campground.  The Friends of Salt Springs Park helps maintain the trails.

This eight mile loop contains some of the best scenery in the park. It follows a lot of different trails, with many turns.  It is easy to shorten, or lengthen the loop.  It explores some of the less popular areas of the park, and features a lot of streams and hemlock forests.  The meadows along this route offer wildflowers, wildlife, and bird watching, not to mention views.  There is even a beautiful grove of spruce trees.  Begin at the right side of the barn at the parking area and follow the red Silver Creek Trail into beautiful hemlocks above Silver Creek.  Climb up the slope to an old woods road and then descend into a hardwood forest.  Pass a juncture with the North Creek Trail, which crosses Silver Creek without a bridge and features meadows; it is a nice alternative route.

Reach some hemlocks and the trail splits, go right onto the blue Border Trail.  This trail goes to a small seasonal stream and begins a steep climb along it.  At the top is a rock overhang and wet weather falls that is beautiful when flowing.  Leave the Border Trail and continue on the Meadow Trail, making sure to veer straight or left at the start of the Meadow Trail loop.  This is a great trail, featuring stone walls, wildflowers, and explores the edge of the valley.  Pass some meadows and odd rock outcrops.  Descend along more meadows and reach Buckley Road with a nice view.  Follow Buckley Road to the right.  This road is gated and is basically an old forest road.  Turn left onto the blue Border Trail.  Hike on some boardwalks across some wet areas.  

Reach the white Spruce Trail and turn left; keep an eye out for this turn.  Enter a beautiful grove of spruce trees, a highlight of the hike.  Hike down to a small stream and walk along it and then cross a dirt road.  Pass some ruins and reach the Wetlands Trail and turn left; turning right and crossing the creek would be a shortcut, but hiking along Fall Brook is scenic. 

Hike down along Fall Brook, enjoying views over the water and cross a series of meadows.  Reach Buckley Road, turn right and cross the bridge, and then turn right on the red Fall Brook Trail.  The Bunny Trail soon joins, but follow the Fall Brook Trail, which features more views of the creek and lots of hemlocks.  Climb from the creek and follow Bunny to Cliff Trails with rock outcrops.  Follow Cliff Trail with open hardwood forests and large ledges above the trail.  Climb up to the Frog Pond, really just a shallow vernal pool and continue on the Cliff Trail.  Pass an old quarry, which still has cut flagstone.  Descend and rejoin the Bunny Trail again.  Reach a parking area and turn right onto the white Friends Trail with meadows and some views.  The Friends Trail makes a sharp left and crosses the road and a large meadow with great views.  Enter the woods and turn left onto Hardwood and then Hemlock Trail, with its stunning old growth hemlocks and boardwalk along the rim of the gorge.  Descend to the picnic area and see the salt spring.  To see the gorge and falls, hike up Fall Brook.  The trail that had been there is largely washed away.  You can climb up the first falls to see the second falls and the heart of the gorge.  It is beautiful.  Retrace your steps and go to the parking area.  Be aware on this hike there was no footbridge across Fall Brook.

Parking is at  41.912027, -75.865623.  After the hike, stop by Endless Brewing nearby, a great microbrewery.

Photos:

Hike the Quehanna Meadow Route and East Cross Connector-Quehanna Wild Area

Quehanna Wild Area is a special place, and is starting to attract the attention of hikers and backpackers with its extensive trail network and diverse scenery.  Quehanna has vast meadows, pristine streams, views, cascades, giant boulders, great camping, forests of spruce and pine, and wild elk herds.  I’ve been to Quehanna many times, and on this hike we did something different.  I parked at the Beaver Dam parking area and took the Lincoln Loop to the East Cross Connector (ECC) with forests of spruce, pine, and meadows,  Streams were running full from the snowmelt.  Creeks in Quehanna are beautiful; the tend to be deep, with sandy bottoms.  

I met my friends who were camping along the ECC, and we headed north to the Quehanna Trail.  Along the way, the sun lit the forest of laurel, pine and spruce.  We also passed a large spring gushing from the ground.  We reached the Quehanna Trail and stashed our packs.  We then hiked off trail, heading east, across the plateau.  The forest was mostly open, but we did encounter some laurel and big rocks.  We then reached a view over Red Run, which we could hear roaring far below.  The view of the canyon was beautiful.  We returned to the Quehanna Trail and our packs.

Here, I left the group, who wanted to hike a different route.  I wanted to hike the Quehanna Meadow Route, something that has long been on my list.  I hiked south on the ECC and then hiked the Teaberry Trail, which still had deep snow in places.  The two views were mostly overgrown and I ran into a group of five hikers.  I then hiked a trail I had not been on,  Teaberry Trail Connector, it was a great trail with a series of meadows.  I then continued on the Marion Brooks loop, which went through hardwoods, tunneled through laurel and then went through more beautiful meadows with white birch trees and spruce.  A great trail.  I turned left on Losey Road and checked out the white birch forest in the Marion Brooks Natural Area. 

I continued on the yellow Marion Brooks loop, passing another hiker.  The pine forests were awesome.  I reached the meadows, which were wet.  Here, my off trail hike on the Quehanna Meadow Route began.  I crossed meadow after meadow, lined with pine and spruce trees.  It was incredible.  I reached Pebble Run and passed through some woods.  I then reached more incredible meadows as the creek shone silver in the bright sun.  I went through another forest and pushed through a hemlock thicket to reach the largest meadows.  Amazing.  Vast meadows continued for miles as Pebble Run, then joined by Mosquito Creek, flowed in the valley to my right with rapids and white boulders.  It really felt like Dolly Sods.  I could not imagine the stars here.

As I hiked, the valley grew deeper with large rocks.  Before Beaver Run, I reached some giant boulders with caves and deep chasm that I hope to explore.  This chasm might run for over a hundred feet.  I crossed Beaver Run, flowing fast and deep, and got wet feet.  I hiked up the meadow with fine views to the south over the oxbow bend of Mosquito Creek, an awesome spot.  Giant boulders and cliffs loomed across the creek.  The sun began to set, and I was tired.  I pushed on to the Bridge Trail, which I hiked down to Mosquito Creek and our campsite.  We enjoyed a fire and conversation, even though it was hard to hear with the roar of Mosquito Creek.  Since we were assured clear skies, I just slept on the ground without a tent.  The stars were incredible, as they appeared one by one.  The Orion constellation was vivid.  I could see the Milky Way as satellites zoomed overhead.  The sound of the creek quickly put me to sleep. 

The next morning, we got up, hiked up to beautiful Crawford Vista and then headed north on the ECC.  Meeker Run was filled with cascades, and had some great campsites.  We saw meadows and postholed through the snow.  It was a windy day as cumulus clouds sailed overhead.  We crossed more meadows and a bridge over Beaver Run; colors seemed to be everywhere, from the stones in the creek, the dried ferns, green evergreens, blue skies, white clouds.  Even in winter, Quehanna is colorful.  As we hiked out, we passed a couple backpacking in, starting a three-night trip.  They were from Texas, moved to Detroit, and were excited to explore the Quehanna.  We gave them some tips and trails not to miss.  

We reached the parking area and were soon heading home.  But Quehanna keeps bringing people back.  

For the map above, red is off trail. The vista over Red Run is at 41.295158, -78.252096. Parking is at 41.261274, -78.258002.

Explore the Hiker, Cliff and East Shore Trails Loop-Prompton State Park

This is a great mini-hike that packs in a lot of scenery.  Prompton State Park is a hidden gem with a beautiful lake, hemlock forests, falls, ledges, and over twenty miles of hiking and mountain biking trails along an extensive network.  This hike is at the northern end of the park and is about 1.5-2 miles long.

From the parking area, follow the trail to the Hiker Trail and turn left.  This trail meanders up the mountain, exploring the tiers of ledges.  It is a great trail and features impressive ice flows in winter.  Take time to explore the ledges and rock overhangs as springs trickle over them.  The rocks are colorful with lichens and moss.  At the top of the ledges, veer right onto another trail and hike along the top of the ledges.  On our winter hike, we could see more ice flows and draperies.  The forests are primarily hardwoods.  We dropped into a hemlock shaded glen with red bedrock, slides and cascades.

We crossed the creek and hiked up the other side.  There we turned right onto an old grade or trail as it descended along the glen.  I’m not sure if this is the Sidewinder Trail.  Regardless, you’ll want to take the trail closest to the glen and falls.  The falls soon came into view as they tumbled over the red bedrock under hemlocks.  This glen is very scenic and a highlight of the hike.  However, the creek is seasonal and often dry in summer.  
Turn right and hike up along the West Branch Lackawaxen River, enjoying the views over the babbling creek.  Complete the loop and retrace your steps.

Parking is at 41.635577, -75.346180.

For the map above, I is the Hiker Trail, C is the Cliff Trail, M is the Sidewinder Trail. The red trail along the river is the East Shore Trail.

See Friends of Prompton State Park for more information.

A visit from several years ago.

Hike to Windstorm Vista and Cottonwood Falls-Worlds End State Park

This loop hike at Worlds End explores a new vista created by a windstorm.  It also features hemlocks, views, ledges, and waterfalls.  It explores some of the less popular parts of the park and is a very diverse and scenic hike.  This hike begins and ends at the park office.  Begin by following the Loyalsock Trail (LT) and cross PA 154.  A steep climb under hemlocks soon follows up a ridge.  You can hear the rapids of the Loyalsock Creek far below.   Reach an area with many fallen trees from the windstorm and Worlds End Vista, offering a nice view of the creek and canyon below.

Continue up the trail and reach a juncture where the LT turns left; there is also a sign for the Pioneer Road, the original route through Worlds End.  Legend has it that the terrain was so steep along the road that travelers thought they reached the end of the world, or their lives.  Here, turn right onto the yellow Worlds End Trail as it climbs up the slope with more fallen trees and some views.  The Worlds End Trail then level along the side of the mountain. 

Watch for where the trail turns left and goes up the mountain.  Here, you want to go straight, off trail, keeping the same elevation to a large open area with a great view of Worlds End, what I call the Windstorm Vista.  As I enjoyed the view, I could hear the ice collapsing off of High Rock and then falling into the Loyalsock Creek.  I imagined this was what glaciers sounded like.  

I returned to the LT and followed it along the mountain, enjoying the peaceful forests and trickling springs.  Above were a series of cliffs and ledges and lined the mountain.  I reached a juncture with Pioneer Road, which is unblazed but easy to follow.  Here, I noticed some cliffs and an orange rock overhang above me.  I went off trail to investigate.  The overhang was unique and colorful, with the colors of rust and orange mottled along flakes of rock.  Sandstone ledges surrounded the overhang. I soon returned to the Pioneer Road which I followed to a seasonal stream and Worlds End Road.  I crossed and picked up the green blazed Double Run Trail.

This was a beautiful trail with cascades and rapids under hemlocks.  Cottonwood Falls was beautiful with its grotto of ice formations and deep pool.  More falls and slides were below.  I rejoined with the LT, crossed two footbridges, and continued on the green Double Run Nature Trail to a parking area along PA 154.  I crossed the road and followed the Link Trail along the Loyalsock Creek, on sidehill along a steep bank, on rock ledges above the creek, and under a rock overhang.  It is a beautiful trail to hike.  I soon returned to the park office, completing the loop.  While there, it is well worth your time to walk down to High Rock along the Loyalsock Creek to see the ice formations.

Parking is at 41.471624, -76.581951.   Windstorm vista is approximately located at 41.468511, -76.587605.

Winter Hike to Becker Brook and the Weeping Wall-SGL 57

This was a winter hike to Becker Brook to see the ice flows at the Weeping Wall.  I first hiked through here six year ago in the spring, we came upon a cove of ledges and cliffs from which many springs flowed.  I’ve always wanted to return to see what these springs looked like frozen.  This is a worthwhile hike anytime of the year with big rocks, waterfalls, cascades, caves, mazes and overhangs.  Being a winter hike, access is tricky.  The road is plowed to Parking 1, but not Parking 2.  If there is little snow, it is possible to reach Parking 2; it is best to reach it from PA 487.  it is generally not advisable to drive the road between Parking 1 and 2 as it is steep and rugged in places.  

Due to heavy snow, we had to make the longer hike from Parking 1.  Thankfully, the road had tire and snowmobile tracks, which made the walking easier.  At the top, however, we had to put on snowshoes to traverse the deep snow.  What a workout.  We dropped down to some large rock outcrops below Parking 2, which had some ice flows.  We crossed the one branch of Becker Brook, and headed to the main branch.  We dropped down to the creek at Becker Brook Falls, which were completely snow covered.  This is a beautiful spot with giant boulders and cascading waterfalls into a deep pool.  We then climbed to the rim of rocks south of the brook and hiked around the rim.  The giant rocks were beautiful and we passed one overhang with ice flows.  Animal tracks stitched the snow across the forest floor.

We reached a giant overhang with a cave, maze and chasms.  It was very scenic.  The tracks of a bobcat passed through a small cave.  The red rock was striking against the white snow.  The overhang had a variety of colors-black, green, silver, red and orange.  It was striking.

We headed south along the rim, passing more giant rocks, and soon reached the Weeping Wall.  The ice flows were beautiful with mounds, draperies, and walls of blue ice.  A narrow chasm with filled with silvery icicles.  Springs bubbled from the rocks.  A beautiful place.  We retraced our steps, the hike being much easier with a packed path in the snow.

This hike is off trail with no blazes or signs.  Red is the off trail route.  Yellow is an alternate route to see more of Becker Brook’s cascades and falls, although there are landslides and flood damage. Parking 2 is on the gamelands.  Enjoy this beautiful place anytime of the year.

Parking 1 is at 41.466884, -76.161423.

Parking 2 is at 41.455797, -76.197386.

Weeping Wall is at 41.445431, -76.200722.

Hike to the Windy Valley Vistas-SGL 57

This off trail hike leads to fine views over Windy Valley and Koerber Brook.  If you’ve ever parked at White Brook and looked across the valley to the cliffs on the other side, that is where the Windy Valley Vista is located.  It is a beautiful escarpment of rock outcrops with some fine views.  This hike is on SGL 57.  There are no signs or blazes.

Pull off parking for this hike is at  41.490798, -76.132794.  Cross the road and hike to Koerber Brook.  Turn right and hike up a narrow ridge or slope above the brook.  Hike the rim above the brook as it flows in a deep ravine.  There are cascades, slides and small falls.  Above the falls, there is a grade to the left, follow it.  Koerber Falls is just upstream and very much worth seeing if the creek is flowing well.  Follow the grade for a bit, but then climb up the ridge, following some deer paths.  The terrain steepens and there are rock ledges.  At about 1750 feet in elevation, work north and pick up the “goat path”, an obvious path across the mountain that is fairly well established.  This is the easiest way to the views.  Reach the escarpment of ledges and begin exploring, enjoy the views and unique rock ledges and outcrops.  The views across the valley and up White Brook are beautiful, there is even a view that looks up Mehoopany Creek.   Reach a private property line and turn around, follow the goat path back to the ridge.  The cliff with the views are located at 41.496181, -76.124201.

If you’d like to see Koerber Vista, hike up the ridge to a talus slope with a nice view looking down the gorge into Windy Valley.  The view is located at  about 41.494370, -76.120817.  Retrace your steps back down the ridge, to Koerber Brook, and your car.

Hike the Hog and Long Runs Circuit-SGL 13

SGL 13 is popular among outdoor enthusiasts for its waterfalls, gorges, and scenery.  While most people visit Heberly Run and Sullivan Branch, there are other streams intrepid hikers should explore.  At the top of that list are Hog and Long Runs.  This hike features many falls, slides, and cascades, deep gorges, boulders, hemlock forests, and a superb view.  It is one of the most scenic places in SGL 13.  However, it is a challenging hike that only experienced and fit hikers with good navigational skills should attempt.  None of the trails are blazed or have signs.  There is extensive off trail hiking.  There are stream crossings, as a result this hike should not be attempted in high water.  Luckily, this hike is largely free of thick laurel. I first visited Hog Run several years ago.

From the parking area, hike up to and along Bloody Run to a logging road.  There is a cascade on Bloody Run, as well as scenic Bloody Run Falls further upstream.  Follow the logging road around the mountain and into the valley of Elk Run.  We could see a large rock outcrop along Long Run, and decided to try to reach it, somehow.  After passing some cabins far below us on the right, we left the logging road and dropped down to Elk Run where we soon picked up an intermittent old ATV trail with some flagging.  We hiked this along Elk Run with rapids, hemlocks, and ledges dripping with springs.  The old ATV trail detoured around fallen trees, but generally it was somewhat easy to follow. 

As we neared the confluence of Hog Run, we crossed Elk Run.  Be careful and do not attempt in high water as Elk Run is a sizeable creek.  After crossing Elk Run, we veered up the slope to the right and intercepted an old grade, which we took up along Hog Run.  We had views of the cascades below, but the grade is well above Hog Run.  The grade reached Hog Run at Hog Run Falls, a steep descent was required to view the falls from the bottom as it tumbled through a bedrock grotto.  Upstream were three, distinct and beautiful bedrock slides.  We continued on the grade passing cascades, boulders, and hemlocks, including a notable three-tiered falls.  Soon, the grade faded out and we just walked up Hog Run with cascades and slides.  A sidestream joined from the left with falls and we entered Tsuga Glen, a bedrock grotto with falls, cascades, and surrounded with large hemlocks.  Giant, cut hemlock logs are in the glen, likely for a logging grade that once ascended the glen.  It is a beautiful spot that must have incredible ice flows in winter.

We continued upstream into a hemlock forest and we soon reached a 12 foot falls, the final one on Hog Run.  We then crossed the plateau to the southeast into a forest of moss, ground pine and hemlock.  Beech soon dominated as we explored some large rocks and boulders.  We hiked southeast and dropped into the gorge of Log Run with cascades and an old grade.  We climbed again, to the east rim of Log Run, to try to find the rock outcrop we saw earlier.  We reached the first tributary to see a stunning 40 foot falls dropping into the deep gorge.  We continued south, entering a hemlock forest with boulders off to the left and rock outcrops below us on the right.  This rim walk was gorgeous with the hemlocks and steep terrain.  We reached a second tributary, the boulder glen, marked with a gigantic boulder from which the creek flowed down into a gorge of giant boulders.  We could see at least one falls far below, but we didn’t have time to explore more.  We continued along the awesome rim walk.

We pushed through hemlocks and reached Adams Point, a stunning view of Long Run, Fishing Creek Valley, and a glimpse of the Columbia County farmlands beyond.  Amazing.  Be careful at the point, it is a large cliff.  We returned to the 40 foot falls along the rim walk.  We descended the tributary, passing cascades to the confluence with Long Run.  What an amazing spot.  Slides, cascades, falls and grottos.  Downstream was more sublime scenery.  A scramble up to an old grade allowed us to look down on Long Run and its non-stop cascades.  The grade reached a Y intersection, and we went right, climbing up the mountain.  This is necessary to avoid private land.  The climb was fairly easy as we reached the ridge, where it faded out.  Here, we went off trail, working our way down to Elk Run.  Angle northwest for the more reasonable descent, it is very steep in places.  Cross Elk Run and retrace your steps.

This is a beautiful, wild region that any experienced trekker should see.  I hope to return to explore the Boulder glen, and the creek south of Adams Point, which may have waterfalls.  Enjoy and protect your public lands.

Parking is at41.306067, -76.428181.

For the map above:

Red-off trail, Brown-logging road, Yellow-old grades, Purple-old ATV trail. Blue dots are cascades or falls.

Hike the Bald Mountain Loop and Lehigh Rim Route-Lehigh Gorge State Park

The Lehigh Gorge is the best kept secret in eastern Pennsylvania, and the largest gorge near the eastern seaboard of the United States.  The gorge has waterfalls, vistas, rapids, historic ruins and many different habitats.  It once attracted the famed naturalist, John James Audubon, who explored the gorge looking for birds.  Unlike the Pine Creek Gorge, the Lehigh Gorge does not have an extensive system of hiking trails.  This hike follows a relatively new trail system in the Lehigh Gorge State Park, and includes a beautiful off trail trek along the rim of the gorge to some great vistas and a fun scramble.  

Park at 40.963783, -75.777269.  The road to this parking area is easy to miss and looks like a driveway, it is located at  40.964374, -75.779458.   Follow the blue blazed trail along an old forest road through pine trees down to a scenic pond.  The trail passes through a hemlock forest with rhododendron and then climbs.  The forest changes to laurel with hardwoods.  As the trail reaches the ridge, the forest is open with hardwoods.  Reach a trail sign to start the Bald Mountain Loop, go right, or straight on the loop, on the blue trail.  The trail is level and rolling on top of the ridge. 

Reach the yellow Vista Trail, follow it to the right, and keep right when the loop begins.  The trail soon takes you to the rim of the gorge (remember this spot) with several nice views framed with pine trees.  Continue along the rim for more nice views.  Where the Vista Trail turns away from the rim, retrace your steps to where the Vista Trail first reached the rim.

Now the off trail Lehigh Rim Route begins, marked red on the map.  Simply follow the rim of the gorge.  The brush is not very thick and the hiking is fairly easy.  You may notice a faint trail.  The first vistas are among the finest and look towards Tank Hollow Vista.  The Lehigh River roars far below.  Continue along the rim and ascend a little.  Laurel becomes more common but is never very thick.  Reach a series of large boulders and white rock outcrops with fine views across the gorge.  It was a lot of fun to explore these large rock outcrops.  The pine was aromatic in the warm sun.

The route then begins to drop towards a small side stream, passing another view from a rock outcrop.  Cross the small creek with cascades and then climb up the other side.  Here is the Canyon Scramble, a fun scramble up a sloping rock ledge with views of the gorge.  It is possible to bypass the ledge, but it is brushy.  After the Canyon Scramble, climb up some more ledges and hike to the top of the rim.  The vistas are done.  Reach an obvious old forest road and hike it to the right.  Reach the blue blazed Bald Mountain loop and retrace your steps.

This is a beautiful hike with one of the finest rim walks along the gorge.  

Hike the Haystacks and Brook Kedron Loop-Loyalsock State Forest

The Haystacks have long been a popular hiking destination in the Loyalsock State Forest.  For the more experienced and adventurous hiker, there is a great loop you can do along the unofficial Brook Kedron Trail.  I’ve heard this may become an official trail, and it is shown on the Purple Lizard Map.  When I hiked it, it was only marked with orange flagging.  Be aware it can be a little hard to follow, especially south of Mead Road.  Why hike Brook Kedron?  It is a beautiful stream with many falls, slides, cascades, and a unique mini-gorge of fractured rock.  It is a small stream; you can expect the best flow when the Loyalsock Creek is flowing over 3.0 feet on the USGS gauge.  In summer, it will likely be dry except after a good rain.  This loop is 5-6 miles long.  

From the Loyalsock Parking area, just follow the Loyalsock Trail (LT) down to the old railroad grade and be sure to visit Dutchmans Falls.  Continue on the Loyalsock Trail down the grade until the trail makes a sharp right and descends to the Loyalsock Creek.  Follow the creek for some beautiful hiking.  The trail veers from the creek, ascends a ridge, and drops down to the Loyalsock Creek again with campsites.  An access road joins from the left.  Soon reach the impressive Haystack Rapids with its giant white boulders and cascading water.  It is a truly beautiful place.  

The LT climbs the mountain back to the old grade and to a seasonal falls.  Turn left on the grade until near where the access road descends to the left.  Here, look for a trail and orange flagging to the right, follow it.  The trail enters the glen of Brook Kedron with its cascades.  The trail leaves the brook and climbs to the left to some ledges and boulders, but returns to the brook with a nice falls.  Continue up the brook with more cascades and slides.  Enter a beautiful mini-gorge of bedrock ledges.  Continue upstream with more cascades.  The trail leaves the brook to the left, this can be easy to miss.  Upstream, and off trail, is a unique oxbow loop that is neat to photograph.  

Reach Mead Road, where you have a decision.  Turn left on the road and walk it back to the parking area for a shorter and easier loop.  Or continue on the Brook Kedron Trail, which is harder to follow, at least on my hike.  It follows the remnants of an old logging road under hemlocks and across meadows.  Overall I found it scenic.  Descend to a deer fence where the flagging ended.  Turn right and follow the deer fence around and you will be behind the forestry buildings.  Now follow the yellow trail (I can’t recall the name, maybe the Old Dushore Rd. Trail) as it explores the forest, crosses a swath, and descends under hemlocks to Mead Road.  Turn left on the road and hike up to the parking area.

This is a beautiful loop, particularly if Brook Kedron is flowing well.  Parking is at 41.448281, -76.453220.

For the map above, red is the LT, yellow are blazed trails, brown is the railroad grade or forest access road, green is the Brook Kedron Trail, only marked with orange flagging on my hike.

Hike to Scurry Overlook and Henry Run Falls-Cook Forest State Park

This is a great hike with a view, a falls at a unique and beautiful dam, and an incredible hike along the Clarion River.  This hike is about 1.5 miles, one way.  At the small parking area along Gravel Lick Rd, follow the blue blazed North Country Trail (NCT) to the east.  Climb through laurel and reach Scurry Overlook with its nice view of the Clarion River below.  The trail drops and then follows the side hill of the mountain, passing some boulders.

Descend to hemlocks and reach Henry Run, cross over it on a bridge.  Walk downstream to see the unique old sawmill dam with its 10-12 foot falls.  The dam is unique with its large blocks of stone.  The fact that it is still standing is amazing and a testament to its workmanship.  There is a bench to sit on along the Clarion River, below the falls.

We continued along the NCT and the Clarion River to the River Trail, at which point we turned around.  What a beautiful hike along this pristine river, under large hemlocks.  We could hear the rattling calls of the kingfishers across the water.  From there we retraced our steps.

The NCT is an incredible hiking destination across western Pennsylvania, featuring historic towns and diverse scenery.  

Parking is at about 41.320285, -79.245390.

Scroll through the photos.