Salt Springs is one of the best-kept secrets in Pennsylvania. Well, it used to be. I’ve been coming to this park for over ten years and it is amazing how much it has changed, and how popular it has become. The barn has been refurbished, the old farmhouse has been restored, a parking area has been added, and a boardwalk traverses the rim of the gorge. The park is very popular with New Yorkers, since it is close to the border.
Salt Springs is described in Hikes Nos. 3-5 in Hiking the Endless Mountains.
It is hard not to love Salt Springs, with its gorge, waterfalls, old growth trees, and miles of trails that explore streams, boulders, meadows, cemeteries, and woodlands. There is even a primitive camping area with some beautiful sites along Silver Creek. Salt Springs is one of the few state parks managed by a non-profit agency, Friends of Salt Springs Park. Please support this great organization. State parks lands cover 405 acres, and the Friends of Salt Springs Park also own an adjoining 437 acres. They are essentially managed as one park with a network of trails connecting both properties.
I recently returned to Salt Springs with Tim, Rick, and Rick’s two kids, Keith and Logan. However, seeing the park was not my only goal for this trip.
We began by hiking up the Fall Brook Trail as it follows the creek into the gorge. The kids loved scrambling up the three waterfalls. Next we followed the Hemlock Trail as it explored a forest of old-growth hemlock, with some trees being over 300 years old. A boardwalk followed the rim of the gorge under the towering canopy of the old growth trees.
The kids really enjoyed investigating Penny Rock, which is a large boulder where people have embedded pennies and other coins over the years. To leave a coin is supposed to bring good luck.
Next we followed the Woodland Trail through a beautiful forest with a fallen hemlock that was well over 350 years old. The trail descended to the park’s namesake, a small, salty spring that bubbled with methane gas. The spring was well-known to the Native Americans, who used the salt.
We then took a walk down to check out the campground along Silver Creek. There are eight sites and three camping cottages. Tent sites nos. 2-5 appeared to be the nicest.
We returned to the car and left the park. But I had one more destination. Very close to the park in the small hamlet of Franklin Forks is a relatively new brewery, Endless Brewing Co. I stopped by, but they were closed. Salt Springs State Park and Endless Brewing Co., what more could you want?
More information about Salt Springs State Park.