Campbell’s Ledge is one of the most famous local landmarks in Northeast PA. It is a dramatic cliff that rises almost 700 feet above the Susquehanna River, offering thirty mile views. As with many landmarks, it seems to have a story involving Native Americans. One story was that it was named after a man named Campbell who was being chased by Native Americans, and decided to fall to his death instead of being captured. It was also known as Dial Rock since the sun would shine on the cliff face at noon.
I have driven by the ledge hundreds of times and always wondered what it would be like to see it from the top. I recently found out.
Although privately owned, public hiking and hunting are allowed. We parked off of Coxton Road and followed a road called “Red Oak Road” on Google maps. I presume driving on this road is not permitted; even if it was, it is a rugged and steep road that requires a vehicle with ground clearance. The hike follows this road as it climbs the mountain, passing a water tank and some old water supply structures.
We reached scenic Campbell’s Ledge Reservoir where we enjoyed the views over the water. Another climb followed over exposed bedrock to the top of the ledge where we were treated to amazing views over the river, Pittston, Wyoming Valley, and the mountains to the north. I was particularly impressed with the views to the north, where the rolling green ridges and peaks reminded me of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. The view is unique in that one side of it looks over an urban area, while the other is rural and wooded with only a few homes and fields. With its western exposure, the sunset would be amazing.
This a huge cliff and be careful along the rim. A fall will be fatal. We saw some birds of prey flying around and calling far below; I wondered if they were peregrine falcons. As we turned around, several more hikers were coming up. I was surprised to see so many people hiking up to the ledge.
We returned to the reservoir and then hiked out to Falling Springs Reservoir. This was worthwhile as Falling Springs is truly beautiful and serene. We retraced our steps back to the car.
I’ve read that the ledge and its surroundings are fascinating, with old mines, big rocks, quartz caves, and waterfalls. I hope to explore more of it in the future.
More photos, click image below:
NOTICE: The ledge itself is private land and access may be prohibited. Respect any signs you may see. When I hiked here, I did not see any “no trespassing” signs and there were plenty of people hiking up to the ledge. As a result, I wrote this post thinking public access was allowed. Please consider hiking elsewhere.