Hike the Golden Eagle Trail and Dragon’s Back Trail Loop-Tiadaghton State Forest

I met some friends from college to hike this excellent loop, totaling 10.3 miles.  It follows the classic Golden Eagle Trail and the fairly new Dragon’s Back Trail featuring several views, rock outcrops, and cascades.  It is considered one of the finest dayhikes in the state.  I recommend adding the Dragon’s Back Trail as I feel it is more scenic than the Golden Eagle Trail along Bonnell Run, which is still very scenic with a gorge of open hardwood forests.

From the parking area, we crossed PA 414 and began on the GET as it climbed up a gorge.  We turned right to begin the loop as falls tumbled below us to the left.  We made the long climb up to the ridge, which steepened as we neared the top.  It was getting warm and the sunlight filtered through the forest.  We reached the ridge and enjoyed the breeze as we descended passing a fine view to the left that looked up Wolf Run and then shortly thereafter, the classic view from Raven’s Horn and its unique rock outcrop.  The view was stunning as we looked into the Pine Creek Gorge as green mountains surrounded us.

Our descent continued along the ridge, passing more unique rock outcrops.  The trail then followed Wolf Run, which was flowing low, but has many cascades and small falls in a deep gorge.  We passed outcrops of flagstone, with sheaths of rock that looked stacked.  The trail along the creek was beautiful, and we crossed it several times.  When flowing well, Wolf Run is truly beautiful.  As we neared the top, there was a an old growth forest of giant pine and hemlock.  We reached our first view and then hiked through the laurel to an old forest road, which we took to Beulahland Vista, a gorgeous view looking over the fields and mountains of northern Pennsylvania.  

We continued on the grassy road, passing another excellent view, Bonnell Run Vista.  The GET then turned left, but we continued straight on the grassy forest road to hike the Dragon’s Back Trail.  We soon entered the woods and followed the yellow blazes along the forested ridgeline that narrowed with steep slopes on both sides.   We enjoyed another view, Webber’s Vista, looking down on Slate Run. We made another short climb, and then descended on a series of grades that switchbacked down to PA  414.

We crossed the road, walked down to the rail trail, and turned left on it.  The rail trail had great views of Pine Creek, wildflowers, and even an old cemetery.  It was a great way to end the hike.   We reached our cars and went to Slate Run for a meal.  

Pine Creek Gorge has dozens of excellent hiking trails for any ability.  However, hiking here generally means climbing.  The views make it more than worth it.  

Parking is at  41.439008, -77.511436.

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Hiking at Erie Bluffs State Park

Erie Bluffs State Park is one of PA’s newest state parks, and surely one of its most unique.  This park has a hiking experience unlike any other in the state.  Imagine hiking with the sound of the surf, with views across Lake Erie, which may as well be a freshwater ocean.  There is a beach, inlets, ravines, and trees of impressive size.  The trails that exist here are far more extensive than what is shown on the map.  I do not know if these trails are official.  For the best hike, you should incorporate these trails (brown on the map).  They often have some blazes, but not always, and are clearly established.  They are also very curvy.  They appear to primarily be used by mountain bikers.  The hiking here is relatively easy, but you should be good with navigation to use the brown trails on the map above.

From the parking area, begin on the Transition Trail as it crosses fields with bird houses.  There are also many wildflowers.  The trail follows a woodline and reaches a four-way intersection.  Turn right on the Lookout Trail as it follows the edge of the gorge and offers the first views of the giant hardwood trees that call this park home.  Some of the trees here are gigantic, with oak, maple and tulip poplar.  Erie Bluffs is the Cook Forest of hardwood trees.  Reach another intersection; the view here is ok.  Follow an unblazed trail down the slope to superb view of the lake from the top of the bluffs.  The forests are unique at top of the bluffs; it is open with hardwoods.  Be careful along the bluffs, as they are eroding.  It is awesome to hike with sounds of the surf and views of the lake.

Follow the unblazed trail down to the Fisherman’s Foot Path and walk out onto the beach and inlet of Elk Creek.  Enjoy the beautiful scenery.  It is hard to believe you are in Pennsylvania.  Retrace your steps back up to the Bluffs Edge Trail.   Where that trail makes a sharp left, continue straight on an obvious trail.  These trail meanders wildly, around ravines and back to the bluffs with some views.  The scenery is unique, and the ravines are almost 100 feet deep.  You may notice some different paint blazes on the trees, but the trails do not have signs.  I tended to keep turning right to get to the bluffs, and then the trails would veer left to go around the ravines.  

We then reached the Timber Trail and followed it for a while, passing more giant hardwoods and beautiful forests.  We then turned right again for one of the most scenic parts of the hike as the trail followed the edge of a deep ravine, and then followed the top of the bluffs.  It was beautiful with the wind, surf, and views.  Next was the yellow West Overlook Trail along the edge of Duck Run’s ravine.  We found a trail to drop into the ravine and it was stunning to walk down it with the creek and huge trees.  We hiked to the shore with views of the lake and a small slide where Duck Run flowed into the lake.  When it is calm, and the lake is low, it is possible to hike along the shore.  I hear it is an amazing experience.

We hiked out along the Duck Run Trail, dropped back into the scenic ravine, and followed the Whitetail Crossing and Black Oak Savanna Trails, which crossed more fields and meadows with wildflowers.  Next was a right turn on the Transition Trail back to the parking area.  

This route was 8-9 miles long.  Parking is at 42.015128, -80.376735.  While in the area, visit famous Presque Isle State Park and the city of Erie, which has many breweries. 

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Hike the Toms Creek and Landis Lake Loop-Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

This is an enjoyable 4ish mile loop in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  It features cascades, streamside hiking, gorge rim, hemlocks, a beautiful lake and wetlands, and waterfalls when the creek is flowing well.  It is a hike of great diversity, with many wildflowers, birds, and wildlife, especially near the lake and wetlands.  This entire hike follows established trails, some are unblazed.  This route is similar to that found on AllTrails, with some modifications.  

From the Toms Creek picnic and parking area, walk to the back of the picnic area and pick up the obvious trail as it goes upstream with views of Toms Creek.  It is an easy, gradual hike.  There are cascades, boulders and pools in the creek.  Large trees rise overhead, including tulip poplar and its distinctive blooms which had fallen to the forest floor.  This official trail comes to an end at a bench with views of the creek.  Now pick up the unblazed trail, which is obvious and goes upstream with more views of the creek and its cascades. 

Begin a steep climb up the slope and the trail turns left, following the rim of the gorge with forested views looking down towards the creek.  The forest has many hemlocks.  Intercept a trail with blue blazes, follow it and cross a small stream.  Go uphill.  The trail levels off as it nears Landis Lake with many hemlocks and pines.

We lost the blue trail around a blow down.  I believe it follows the dotted blue route on the map, but I did not hike that.  A better way is to follow an unblazed trail that goes along the shore of the beautiful, serene lake.  I felt as if I were in the Adirondacks.  Enjoy the scenery, birds, and lilypad blooms.  Landis Lake is a place where you’ll want to relax and enjoy.  The unblazed trail soon reaches a bridge at the outlet of the lake.  Reach an old road. 

We turned left on the road to enjoy more views of the lake and many wildflowers.  Reach a gate and hike around it, I believe this is now an open road to cars.  We saw a large wetland with many dead, standing trees.  On top was a heron nest, and a group of herons with the chicks, who looked too large for the nest.   The adults flew away, their massive wings flapping, before disappearing over the trees and down to the Delaware River where they feed. It was a great experience to see these incredible birds.  We went back to the footbridge at the outlet of Landis Lake.

Now we just followed the old road down, now largely covered by grass and vegetation.  Wooden guardrails still accompany the road.  We soon came upon a gorge with cascades and falls, some over twenty feet high.  The creek was low, but when running well, these falls would be beautiful.  The gorge looked deep and rugged, and I’m sure it hides more waterfalls.  The old road meandered down the mountain, often under pine trees.  We hiked around the gate, turned right on the road, and walked the short distance back to the parking area.  Near the parking area, notice the giant European beech tree and its red leaves. 

For the map above, brown is the official Toms Creek Trail, red are established but unblazed trails, blue is a blue blazed trail, black are old roads. The blue dotted route may be the AllTrails route near the lake. All routes are established, there is no bushwhacking. Enjoy this beautiful hike.

Parking is at 41.126645, -74.955010.

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Anders Run Natural Area-Cornplanter State Forest

Anders Run Natural Area is a tiny gem in northwest Pennsylvania, adjacent to the massive Allegheny National Forest.  It protects a valley that harbors an old growth forest, with towering pine trees.  These trees are among the tallest in the eastern United States, and are over 400 years old.  There is a yellow blazed trail system that explores the forest and valley. 

On this hike, we did the small loop via the cross connector.  This hike was less than a mile.  The natural area is just 96 acres in size.  Anders Run flows through the natural area, a small stream that is biodiverse; it is even home to lampreys.  

From the main parking area, we followed the trail into the woods and the large pine trees soon came into view.  Even larger trees were down the slope, almost out of view.  The trail took us to a road, where we turned left, walking the road.  More giant trees were along the road.  The trail made a discreet turn right into the woods and we followed the yellow blazes, crossing some bridges.  The cathedral of soaring trees was impressive as moss and ferns adorned the ground.  Anders Run babbled softly to the left as it flowed under logs and into clear pools.  

We decided to hike the cross connector and it was my favorite part.  The trees were beautiful as they reached into the sky.  It truly felt primeval.  It was like Cook Forest State Park, just smaller in size.  The cross connector trail crossed the road and we turned right onto the main loop.  There were still some large pine trees as the trail went in and out of small drainages.  Most of the trees were beech and other hardwoods.  We soon returned to the car.  

If you want a longer hike, just follow the main loop which is over two miles long.  The trails were narrow and brushy in places, but were easy to follow. 

If you’re looking for a short, easy and beautiful hike to do near the Allegheny National Forest, don’t miss Anders Run Natural Area.

Parking is at about 41.824727, -79.275683.

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Hike the Rimrock Loop/Morrison Trail-Allegheny National Forest

The Morrison Trail is one of the finest hikes in the Allegheny National Forest.  It is a loop with a cross-connector, creating two loops.  The longer of these loops is the Rimrock Loop.  In recent years, the trail has been extensively rerouted in places, avoiding Campbell Run and some wet areas.  Also a new side trail, the Black Bear Trail, has been added.  Our hike followed the Rimrock Loop and Black Bear Trail, and was about fourteen miles long; longer than the maps would suggest.  Further trail modifications may occur in the future.

The trails are well established, have signs at intersections, and are blazed with white or silver diamond placards.  These trails are ideal as either a long dayhike, or short overnight backpack.  

From the parking area, we followed a connector trail and turned left at the loop.  The forests were mostly hardwoods with vast glades of ferns.  We could see deep in the forest.  As we descended, hemlocks became more common and we reached a small stream, and the cross connector trail.  This was the start of the Rimrock Loop and we went right.  Luckily, this was the peak blooms for mountain laurel and the pinkish white blossoms adorned the forest.  It was beautiful.  The trail was level and rolling through the laurel.  We then reached the juncture with the new Black Bear Trail and turned left.  The trail descended, passing groves of hemlocks and small streams.  We then hiked among some large mossy boulders in open hardwood forests with ferns.  The trail curved around the mountain, passing more boulders and then gradually climbing back to the Rimrock Loop.  While Black Bear is nice, it is not a must-see, but is a great way to make a longer hike.  

The new section of the Rimrock Loop soon began as we climbed through open hardwoods and then dropped over a rocky section.  The trail continued a descent and entered a very scenic cove with large hemlocks and gigantic boulders with ferns, moss and lichens.  Some giant boulders had entire forests growing on top.  This was my favorite spot and I’d like to explore more of it.  It felt primeval.  

The trail returned to the open hardwoods and gradually descended to a side trail that leads to the Morrison Campground.  The trails in this area are brushy, but still easy to follow.  The only way to see the reservoir is at the campground, which is a nice place to take a break.  There is a fee to camp here.  

After the campground, the trail made its way up Morrison Run, another gorgeous section with great campsites, hemlocks, cascades and pools.  The streamside hiking was a joy as trout darted in the pools.  

At the next intersection, we turned left to begin the cross connector up a side stream of Morrison Run.  This is another great trail with cascades, hemlocks, and more giant boulders.  At one place, just off trail, the creek flows underground, beneath the mossy boulders with awesome rock formations, a cave, and cascades.  One thing I love about the Allegheny National Forest are all the giant sandstone boulders.

We completed the loop and returned back to the car. Hopefully the national forest will continue to expand its hiking trails.

After your hike, be sure to check out the beautiful Rimrock Overlook, which is nearby. At the base of the cliffs, cold air blows out of the cracks in the rock in the summer.

Parking is at 41.861656, -78.896839.  For the map above, black dots are boulders.   

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Hike the Cliff Park/Raymondskill Loop-Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

This loop is one of the most scenic in the Poconos, and all of eastern Pennsylvania.  It features a beautiful pond, hemlock forests, views, cliffs, gorge, and a stunning array of waterfalls, including famous Raymondskill Falls.  The loop is about 5-6 miles long and is moderate in difficulty.  It follows trails, most of which are blazed.  On the map above, the brown trails are established, but do not have signs or blazes.  Some of these “brown” trails appear on the national park’s website.  I highly recommend including the brown trails as they greatly enhance the scenery of this hike.  

We began from the Cliff Park trailhead as it has more parking than the Hackers Trailhead at Raymondskill Falls.  Follow the Pond Loop to the left and enjoy views of the scenic pond with wooded hillsides.  Climb gradually along an old grade and then turn left onto Buchanan Trail, heading towards Cliff Trail.  On our hike, this part was closed due to nesting peregrine falcons, but is the recommended route if open.  

Turn right onto Cliff Trail and hike along the ridge on top of the cliffs, enjoy Minisink Overlook and then Tristate Overlook, offering great views of the Delaware River valley and the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey.  When the leaves are off the trees, the views are extensive.  These cliffs are huge, so be very careful around them.  At Tristate Overlook, notice an obvious, unmarked trail heading south along the ridge.  We did not hike it, but it may be a shortcut for this route.  

Follow the Cliff Trail downhill on an old grade, and notice an obvious grade ascending to the left.  Climb up it, it is not signed or blazed.  Reach the top and follow a trail down and to the right along the top of the ridge and cliffs.  Reach awesome views looking south down the Delaware River.  Follow the unmarked trail along the ridge and descend gradually to the road.  Follow the road up to the parking area for Raymondskill Falls.  Enjoy the views of this amazing falls, one of Pennsylvania’s tallest and hike to the top of the falls.  Look for an unblazed trail heading upstream, follow it.

This trail is incredible as it explores stunning bedrock grottos, gorges, and many falls, slides, pools and cascades.  The forest is mostly hemlock.  The tallest falls is over forty feet.  Whitewater kayakers often paddle this section of the creek when the water is high.  Work your way up along the creek, enjoying the incredible scenery.  This trail seems well-known as we passed other hikers. Reach the road again and turn right.  Look for an old forest road to the left and follow it.  This old forest road curves right and climbs gradually.  Look for an established trail to the left that descends, follow it.  Hike on top of the rim of a gorge with hemlocks, as Raymondskill Creek flows below.  The scenery is beautiful.  Descend to what I call the hemlock lowlands along the creek; the hemlock forest here is a joy to explore.  The trail leaves the creek and climbs gradually, ending at the Hackers Trail.  Turn left.  

The Hackers Trail climbs slightly; a side trail to the left leads to an impressive slide and rock outcrop.  Continue on the Hackers Trail to impressive Hackers Falls and its deep pool.  There is so much scenery along this loop.  Climb to the Buchanan Trail and turn left onto it.  Follow this trail with pine trees, meadows, and abandoned buildings back to the parking area.  

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is Pennsylvania’s largest and one of its most popular national park properties.  It is an amazing place, with stunning gorges, waterfalls, vistas, ponds, and rock outcrops.  This is the website of the Cliff Park trails.

Again, the brown trails on the map above are not signed or blazed. However, they are well established and easy to follow.

Parking at Cliff Park Trailhead is at 41.303798, -74.832765. Hackers Trailhead/Raymondskill Falls is at 41.290197, -74.841145.

Hike the Dutters Run/Old Bark Loop-Loyalsock State Forest

Over the last several years, the Loyalsock State Forest has become a popular hiking destination with its diverse and beautiful scenery.  This loop is 4.5 mile long and moderate in difficulty.  There are several waterfalls, a nice view, a gorge, spring wildflowers, and open forests with glades of ferns.  I think it’s best to park at Dry Run Falls, a great way to both begin and end the hike. 

From Dry Run Falls, walk down the road and turn right onto Old Bark Trail, blazed yellow and climb on an old forest road.  The creek to your left has a great fifteen foot falls, but it is off the trail.  To reach it, hike up the creek.  When flowing well, you should not miss this falls.  The trail gradually climbs and moves towards the small creek.  Cross some wet areas and fern meadows.  Reach the Loyalsock Trail (LT).  Turn right onto the LT.  This part of the trail has some wet spots and features hardwood forests with some towering trees.  Cross the headwaters of Dry Run, some campsites, and reach the parking area on Dry Run Road.  Continue on the LT and cross the road. 

The trail passes through the woods and reaches Mary’s Vista, a narrow window of Dry Run Gorge.  It offers a great view of Smith’s Knob and the mountains to the west.  Begin to drop down into Dutters Run with some rocky terrain.  Reach Dutters Run with a small waterfall.  There are larger waterfalls downstream, but they are off trail.  The LT meanders up the narrow, wooded gorge of Dutters Run, a highlight of the hike.  There are many cascades and falls, and stream crossings without bridges, expect about seven of them.  The tallest falls is about 12 feet.  Enjoy your time along Dutters Run, it is a beautiful place.  

Pass a small cascade and campsite, and climb out of the gorge, following the LT.  Turn right onto the yellow Dutters Trail.  Descend along an old grade through the woods and pass a juncture with a bridle trail to the left.  The trail moves closer to the edge of the gorge and you can see some of the higher falls below; these falls are off trail.  Descend to Dry Run Road and turn left back to Dry Run Falls.  Ten years ago, Old Bark and Dutters Trail hardly existed.  Now they are well established.  Hiking has skyrocketed in the Loyalsock.  With beautiful loops like this, it is easy to see why. 

Afterwards we drove to enjoy the incredible views from High Knob, and to the Hillsgrove Covered Bridge. The Loyalsock is a special place.

Parking at Dry Run Falls is at 41.430370, -76.670430.   LT parking is at 41.438448, -76.653757.

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Hike the Worlds End Superloop

Map 1
Map 2
Map 3

I’ve long wanted to find a superloop hike around Worlds End State Park.  It is one of my favorite places with excellent scenery.  So, I thought of a loop that basically stretches from Cold Run to Ketchum Run.  The diversity of scenery is stunning with views, rock formations, gorges, waterfalls, and hemlock forests.  However, due to the circuitous nature of the trails, this is also the longest of the superloops- 25 miles with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain.  Don’t want to do the whole loop?  It is easy to divide the loop, or even do it as a backpacking trip. This is the fourth of Pennsylvania’s superloops. 

We began at a parking area along PA 154, marked as P1 on Map 1.  We hiked the loop clockwise, which is marked orange on the map, although the trails have different blaze colors.  There is one short, off trail section that is easy to navigate.  An ideal shortcut is marked purple on Map 2.  

From P1, we made our way up the blue Canyon Vista Trail and then onto the yellow Cold Run Trail.  The waterfalls on Cold Run were flowing great and the ramps and wildflowers were stunning.  I’ve never seen so many wildflowers in the Loyalsock, dotting the forest floor with white, blue, purple, and red.  We hiked up Cold Run, enjoying all the falls and flowers.  The trail meandered below and around the cascading water, and then climbed under impressive rocks, including the Boulder Arch.  The giant, mossy rocks continued until we returned to the blue Canyon Vista Trail.  We saw more large rocks, wildflowers, and a new view over the Loyalsock Creek, which roared far below. 

We reached famous Canyon Vista and enjoyed the view.  From there, the superloop follows the Loyalsock Trail (LT) through scenic woodlands and then to beautiful Mineral Springs Falls as it funnels down a large bedrock slide.  The natural, orange, sulfur spring was below the falls and we crossed Double Run, climbing to some rocks, up to a ridge, and down to a stream with hemlocks and campsites.  We crossed Worlds End Road and left the LT, turning left onto a bridle trail, followed right onto Coal Mine Road, and then at a swath, turned left onto another bridle trail, which took us to the Fern Rock Nature Trail parking area.  We followed the nature trail under hemlocks and with views of the swamp.  At the loop, we went left, enjoying more hemlocks and then descending to Ketchum with an assortment of slides and cascades.  We turned left off the nature trail loop onto a red trail, and then a quick left again.  Before crossing Ketchum Run, the off trail section began.

There is now a trail, unblazed, along Ketchum Run.  It passes two beautiful falls, slides, a glen and pools.  It was absolutely gorgeous as the water descended in white gowns over the glazed bedrock.  We returned to the LT and continued down along Ketchum Run, passing some campsites.  We entered a narrow, beautiful gorge with moss and more cascades.  Below us was Lee’s Falls.  The LT climbs up the rim of the gorge and then descends above Rode Falls with its iconic ladder.  We took a break here, eating some food and taking some pictures.  Along the mossy cliffs, spring water streamed out of cracks and crevices.  

The LT climbed out of the gorge, passing the two Alpine vistas.  At the lower one, there were several women hiking with their dogs.  White wildflowers covered the slopes of the mountain.  We continued on the LT to the Worlds End Trail, on which we turned left.  We hiked to Coal Mine Road, passed through a beautiful pine forest, and returned to the road.  We turned left onto a blue trail on an old forest road and followed it across the plateau under hemlocks.  The trail left the road, descended across the meadow, and made a steeper descent down into the canyon with more wildflowers.  I remember hiking this section years ago, it was barely an overgrown herdpath.  Now it was a well established trail.  This area has really become a hiking and trail running destination.

We passed some views created by a tornado and dropped down to the LT, on which we turned right, following it to the unblazed Pioneer Road.  We then hooked into the blue Double Run Trail with its cascades and pools.  Cottonwood Falls and all the other cascades were beautiful.  Next was the Link Trail as it followed the other branch of Double Run with more falls in a scenic gorge.  We crossed the road, hiked among rock outcrops and then turned left onto the blue Canyon Vista Trail.  Next was a small boulder maze and the fine view at Warren’s Window.  The hike then brought us down to the campground as we followed the Canyon Vista Trail along the Loyalsock Creek with its rapids.  Nearby, campers were grilling hot dogs and hamburgs.  We were hungry and tired, hoping someone would offer us one.  The aroma was a cruel taunt. No such luck, we could only feast on our imaginations.  We reached our cars, completing the loop. 

If you’re looking for a real challenge that showcases the incredible beauty of Worlds End and the Loyalsock, this is it.  

For the map: P=parking, V=vista, blue dashes across streams are waterfalls.

P1 is located at 41.469053, -76.563351

Other parking areas: Worlds End Rd.: 41.451133, -76.601863

Fern Rock Nature Trail: 41.437755, -76.608005

Double Run Nature Trail: 41.465866, -76.578629

Other Superloops: Golden Eagle/Hilborn, Slate Run, White Gold.



Exploring the Wonders of Kellogg Mountain and Satterlee Run-SGL 36

Kellogg Mountain and Satterlee Run in SGL 36 are places of great beauty.  Here you will find vistas, gorges, waterfalls, and impressive rock formations.  On this hike we decided to combine the Kellogg Mountains vistas, also known as English Rocks, and Satterlee Run’s beautiful waterfalls into one hike.  Along the way, we would also explore some new places, specifically an extensive area of giant rocks and chasms, and a view above Satterlee Run. 

This arduous hike would end up being 18.5 miles long.  No trails have signs or blazes.
We parked along Dark Hollow Road.  It is possible to park further down the game commission road; if the gate is open, this hike can be significantly shortened.  The road is in decent shape, but a vehicle with some clearance is recommended.  

We hiked down the road, passing logged areas and entered the forest.  At a meadow with fenced trees, we turned right onto a trail and made our way to the Kellogg Mountain Vistas; the views were stunning.  These are some of the finest views in the Endless Mountains.  We then retraced our steps until our off trail hike began to the rocks.  This was a new area and I didn’t know what to expect.  I told the group that I didn’t think the rocks were small.  We reached the rocks and we were stunned.  For over a half mile there were incredible chasms, slots, caves, overhangs and gigantic boulders.  It is one of the most impressive collection of giant rocks in the region.  It was a lot of fun exploring the different caves and passageways.  The group made fun of me, saying with sarcasm that the rocks were so small.

The rocks receded and we continued off trail, heading south and reached the rim above Satterlee Run with some partial views.  A steep descent followed to the grade, which we followed down into Satterlee Run.  We went off trail to see the falls.  Everyone was stunned by the beauty, as two streams joined among waterfalls.  As we took photos, a group of trout anglers came up to see the falls.  We scrambled up the one branch to see all the falls and cascades, which seemed to pour from everywhere.  We left the creek to make a steep climb to a vista above Satterlee.  The view was nice as it looked over Satterlee Run’s gorge and the Susquehanna River lowlands to the north.  We could also clearly see the giant white rocks at the Kellogg Mountain vista.  While nice, I’m not sure this vista was worth the effort to see it.  We descended back to Satterlee.  

We now hiked up the main branch of Satterlee Run to see the remaining waterfalls in a deep gorge.  Again, the beauty was mesmerizing.  We saw the final falls, climbed up to the grade, and walked back out to the game commission road, returning to our cars.  

This was an incredible, and exhausting hike.  The rocks and chasms certainly exceeded our expectations.  I’m sure Kellogg Mountain has more secrets.

For the map above, red is off trail, yellow is an old grade, white is the game commission road, and dark brown to the Kellogg Mountain vistas is an established trail. Again, no trails or roads are blazed or have signs.

Parking is at 41.613695, -76.503302.

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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.

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