Surrounded by the beautiful Loyalsock State Forest, SGL 134 is a worthy destination
in its own right. Covering almost 7,000 acres, these game lands feature deep hemlock forests, ledges, views of the narrow Loyalsock Valley, and Huckle Run, a stream of great beauty.
I first hiked on these game lands about 12 years ago and had not been back prior to this hike. However, the experience had always stuck with me. On my first hike, my group followed a series of unofficial trails. I wasn’t sure where these trails were on my second visit, so I knew some bushwhacking would be required.
We reached the parking area to see it full; it was bear season. We would only see one hunter in the woods on our entire hike. We hiked down the gated road under thick hemlock forests and passed some meadows. The bushwhack soon began with a turn into the hemlocks; these game lands feature extensive hemlock forests. The forests were beautiful as we made our way to the edge of the plateau.
We soon reached the edge where there were some ledges and mountain laurel. We made our way along the cliff edge, battling laurel. As we proceeded, the ledges became larger as we traversed the edge of them. I climbed into a pine forest and turned right, where we reached a prominent cliff with an incredible view- Loyalsock Valley Vista. This vista is unique in that it is set down in the valley, so you are surrounded by the higher plateaus. The Loyalsock Creek glistened in the sun 500 feet below. The view to the west was impressive as the valley narrowed into a winding gorge as the prominent peak of Smiths Knob rose in the distance. The wind buffeted the vista, so we did not stay long.
We found the old trail system as it meandered above ledges, under hemlocks, and crossed the plateau. It was a very nice forest walk. There was still a faint treadway. Our next goal was Huckle Run. We reached a trail juncture and turned right and this trail took us down into the gorge. We had to leave the trail where it entered private property and we followed the game lands boundary steeply down to Huckle Run.
We were treated to a stream of amazing beauty. Huckle Run carved grottos with waterfalls, cascades, and deep pristine pools. The water was incredibly clear. I hiked up the creek to see more waterfalls and pools eroded into the bedrock. What a stunning place.
I climbed back up to the trail which followed a grade above the creek. The creek narrowed into a deep gorge. We hiked further to see a gorgeous series of waterfalls over moss covered ledges.
The old trail ended so we continued up the creek as it tumbled over boulders and rocks at the bottom of a deep gorge. A snow squall passed through sending snowflakes swirling down into the gorge. Hemlocks draped the canopy.
We climbed out of the gorge and reached an old game commission road. We followed the gated road back to the car as a setting sun sent shafts of light through the hemlock forests. I will surely be back to this special place.
Location of Huckle Run.