Quehanna Trail: Part 2- Mosquito Creek to Bear Run to Parker Dam

Bridge over Mosquito Creek at campsite

Saturday morning arrived chilly and frosty.  Mist from Mosquito Creek had covered everything in a heavy frost; my tarp snowed when I shook it.  I was sore and slow getting around and the group left about fifteen minutes before I did. That was fine, I kind of wanted to do some solo hiking.
 
I followed the Bridge Trail up along the creek and it was beautiful with large boulders and several rapids along extensive meadows.  The trail left the creek and climbed through a meadow, offering a wide panorama of distant meadows, forests, and large ledges as Mosquito Creek flowed in the distance.  The meadows were comprised of teaberry, lowbush blueberry, and ferns.  It easily reminded me of Dolly Sods in West Virginia.  The photos don’t do it justice, it was a highlight of the trip.
 

Meadows along Mosquito Creek

The trail passed more meadows and meandered above Beaver Run, with a large beaver pond below.  I soon reached the Beaver Run Shallow Water Impoundment that offered a perfect reflection of the forest.
 

Beaver Run Shallow Water Impoundment

I decided to take a different route, so I went east of the pond and saw a blue blazed trail.  I took it to a shelter for birdwatchers.  I then noticed a yellow trail, so I took that, and it meandered through a beautiful pine forest; it was like walking on a pillow with all the pine needles.  It soon rejoined the cross-connector trail; this trail I took was the Lincoln Loop and it was a nice hike.
 
The trail crossed more meadows and then entered thick laurel before rejoining the Quehanna Trail.  The trail went through a series of big rocks and dropped into two drainages briefly before passing a view and dropping steeply to Mix Run.  During this descent I slipped on the leaves and fell down.
 

Mix Run

 
 
Mix Run was another nice creek that grew more scenic as I hiked up it with cascades and even a small hidden cabin with a “yard” of moss that reminded me of somewhere the seven dwarves from Snow White might reside.  It was back up to the plateau and to my next favorite section, the headwaters of Sullivan Run with a stunning forest of pine and hemlock- it was so green and dark.  Then it was down pretty Silver Mill Hollow along an old grade and across some log bridges that bowed when you stepped on them.  Thankfully they didn’t break since the creek was almost ten feet below.
 
The next section was frustrating- the sidehill around Haystack Mountain.  It was narrow, worn out, and a little treacherous.  Plus I was tired.  All the work to dig this sidehill lead to nowhere particularly scenic and it climbed up the mountain, than down, and then to a parking lot off the Quehanna Highway.  The sidehill resumed and it began to tick me off- they should re-route the trail because this section was pointless.  It was dark so the headlamp came out, and it was tough to find the trail blazes.  At least I was near Medix Run, where we were to camp.
 
I finally reached Medix Run where a man was camping in a primitive campground.  He said my group decided to camp further down the trail, along Bear Run.  He then offered a beer, hot dog, and a place to camp if I wanted too.  I was tempted, but politely declined.  I headed on into the darkness.
 
I found the amazing bridge across Medix Run- this thing is a huge, arched footbridge and impressive in its own right.  I wish I had a picture of it.  I began to climb up Bear Run and soon reached our campsite.  I set up the tarp, ate, and went to sleep.  It was a 19 mile day.
 
The next morning, Sunday, was warmer, as the sun glowed to the east and mist hung down in the valley.  I was up early and on the trail first.  I climbed up Bear Run and crossed the plateau to another view and then down to Laurel Run, with some views of this large and scenic stream.  After a roadwalk, it was back in the woods along Saunders Run, which grew more scenic as you hiked up with big boulders and small waterfalls.  By noon I was back at my car and changed my clothes.  It was a 10 mile day.
 
This was a great hike.  Sections of this trail are truly impressive, with some of the best scenery on the side and connector trails.  Most of the streams are incredibly beautiful, as are all the meadows, bogs, and forests of pine, hemlock, and spruce.  Be sure to check out the Bridge Trail and Crawford Vista, they are not to be missed.  Few trail systems offer so many options and so much different scenery.  Although we failed to see any elk, it was still a memorable hike.  Visit the Quehanna, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll find yourself coming back.
 
For more information about the Quehanna Trail, including online maps, go to:
 
For more pictures, go to:
 
 
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