This year, I’m making more of an effort to explore Pennsylvania’s hidden, scenic wonders. For a long time, Ticklish Rock has been on my list. I had seen many photographs of this unique rock formation that appears to defy gravity. The only problem was that it is on private land. I had tried to find it a decade ago, but the land was posted along the closest road to Ticklish Rock.
Over the last year, I’ve heard rumors that the public was allowed to hike to the rock. An increasing number of recent photos on the Internet seemed to confirm that. So I decided to give it a second try.
I drove down the conveniently named Ticklish Rock Road. There was a white house or cabin on the left, and a small parking area before it. I looked across the road and saw a sign, stating hiking was allowed on Sundays. Just my luck, it was Sunday.
I parked and followed an old forest grade as it climbed the hill. I continued straight, avoiding intersecting trails and grades. I reached the top of the hill and crossed a meadow. Ahead was an open forest at the rim of the plateau with obvious cliffs. I looked down and saw Ticklish Rock. I scrambled down. The rock might be 15 feet tall, and how it stands upright defies belief. It really is fascinating. It defies gravity, almost appearing to levitate. A large rectangular boulder sits atop a narrow, twisting pedestal. It looks as if it should tumble over at any moment, but it has been there for centuries.
It was called “Ticklish”, because a rock that precarious should wiggle, as if being tickled. Nearby the cliffs are eroding in a similar, twisting fashion, so there may be new ticklish rocks in a couple centuries. There was also a rock outcrop with a facial profile.
With the leaves off the trees, I was treated to 40 mile views of distant ridges and the escarpment of the Allegheny Plateau.
I then drove down the mountain to US 220. The drive was beautiful, with rolling foothills, shaded hollows, fields filled with deer, and a forested stream studded with ledges. I passed an old church, turned into a home, with cedar shingles. It still had its bell. It looked like a bucolic paradise.
Location of the trail. It begins across the road from the building you see on the Google map link.
I stuggled with showing the location of Ticklish Rock. I decided to do so because it is open to the public on Sundays, and it is well known.
If you go:
- This is private land. Only visit the rock on a Sunday.
- Do not loiter or camp.
- Do not litter. Pick up any litter you may see.
- Do not climb, mark, or deface Ticklish Rock.
- Stay on the trail to the rock. It is about a 10-15 minute walk, one way.
- Be careful around the cliffs.
- Treat this place with respect, as you would want others to act if they were on your property.
Thanks to the Ticklish Rock Hunting Club for allowing access.