Frozen Run Gorge, Masten, and the Loyalsock State Forest

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Frozen Run Gorge, Loyalsock State Forest

My friend Mike recently invited me to the Loyalsock State Forest over Columbus Day weekend for some hiking and camping with his friends.  He dangled a hike to Frozen Run to entice me.  Since I couldn’t find a shuttle to hike the Donut Hole Trail, I thought, why not?

Frozen Run

As many of you may now know, Frozen Run Gorge is a pretty special spot.  We went there back in April and vowed to return.  This hike proved to be even more beautiful.  Despite the dry weather, Frozen Run still had water as it tumbled over cascades and between large boulders.  Boulder Falls was a treat as always, except a tree decided to fall across it.  The hike up to the vista was a little grueling as we bypassed large boulders, saw the cave, and soon made it to the top.  The vista was simply spectacular.  In the state forest, only High Knob can rival this view and this is the finest view that can only be reached by hiking.  Colors were popping at the higher elevations, with vivid reds and oranges.  Deeper in the gorge, the trees were still green.  All of Mike’s friends loved the view.  It truly is breathtaking since it allows you to look straight down the gorge as the Pickenville Mountain cliffs are off to the left and broad, rolling plateaus are in the distance.  The cliff rim revealed some more views as we made our way back to the car.

Rob at Boulder Falls

We followed a similar route as in this trip report, only in reverse: https://endlessmountains.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/the-wonders-of-frozen-run-gorge-loyalsock-state-forest/

Kara and Mike

I then decided I wanted to check out some rock outcrops south of Bodine Mountain Road.  Rob, one of Mike’s friends, offered to join me.  We were soon treated to a cliff rim with deep crevices and even a view across the top of the plateau.  Although not nearly as impressive as the view down Frozen Run Gorge, it was great to see the superb fall colors.  We made our way around the cliff rim with more rock outcrops, but no more views.  The east side of this cliff rim had large, jumbled boulders, overhangs, and a formation that looked like Stonehenge.  This was a unique formation, flat on one side, but angled like the bow of a ship on the other, as it supported a flat boulder.   PA has so many places of hidden beauty.

Inside Stonehenge Rock

We drove back to Masten to camp for the night.  I’ve been to Masten many times, but don’t recall ever camping there, or if I did, it was over ten years ago.  We sat around the fire and tried to help Mike take some nighttime photography.  I love Masten, it is so peaceful and serene, nestled in a deep, wooded, isolated valley.  I should camp there more often.

Big Hollow Pond

The next morning, I said goodbye to the others as I scouted the access of two vistas I hope to explore in the future.  I then made a roadtrip across the Loyalsock State Forest, stopping by Big Hollow Pond, Dry Run Falls, High Knob Overlook, and Upper Alpine Vista.

Another great weekend in the sublime Loyalsock State Forest.

Upper Alpine Vista, Loyalsock Trail

More photos:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskJE2kaU

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