Sawtooth Trail, Cold Run Waterfalls, Turtle Rock, and Vinegar Run- Worlds End State Park and Loyalsock State Forest

Sawtooth Trail follows top of these ledges

I remember, many years ago, opening the old green state park map of Worlds End for the first time and seeing the waterfalls and vistas and trails.  It was as if I had been given a key to a whole new world, one that I never knew existed.  I had to see these places, I thought.  After hiking all the trails at Worlds End, I moved onto the surrounding Wyoming (now Loyalsock) State Forest.  Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time in Worlds End State Park and the Loyalsock State Forest.  For a while, it was really the only place I seemed to hike and both remain among my favorite places I’ve ever visited.  But after a while, I moved on to new destinations.  However, it is always great to find out that Worlds End and the Loyalsock still have secrets I never knew existed.

Sawtooth Trail

I recently learned of an unmarked, unsigned, and unofficial trail called the Sawtooth Trail, which explores the crest of conglomerate boulders from the Rock Garden to the Link Trail.  I drove up to Canyon Vista and parked, walked back to the Rock Garden, bearing right on the trail that goes in between the rocks.  I walked the top of the rocks to the end, and with a little effort, found a trail to the left.  This trail had a tread I could follow, as it meandered through the woods and soon brought me to huge boulders and deep crevices, as large as the Rock Garden.  The trail stayed on the top of the rocks, revealing deep green hemlock forests with moss and ground pine.  The forests were beautiful.  The rocks were even more amazing.  There were dripping springs and ice flows.  Large square boulders broke off creating passages.  The scenery only got better as I followed the edge of a series of triangular ledges, jutting into the forest.  This was the namesake of the trail, as they appear to be the teeth of a saw.  The bedrock was milky white, tinged with moss, perfectly straight and angled.  The trail continued along the cliffs and ledges; sometimes the trail was a little hard to follow, but with a little effort, I found it again.  The forest continued its beauty.  As I headed east, the ledges became smaller and then the trail dropped below them.  I soon reached the Link Trail.

Triangular outcrops, Sawtooth Trail

The Sawtooth Trail is an excellent trail, and you can make a great loop by following the Link Trail back to Canyon Vista, but that was not to be my route on this hike.  I went off trail and continued along the cliffs to the east.  There were some cool outcrops, but nothing that rivaled the Sawtooth Trail.  I soon reached Cold Run Road.  I wasn’t sure where to go.  I came upon Cold Run and decided to see what the creek had to offer.  I followed it down to a series of waterfalls and cascades.  I was impressed by the scenery as the creek tumbled down ledges and boulders.  I was going to turn around, but something told me to explore more.  I went down the steep slope to see more falls.  A stream joined from the left, with more cascades in a deepening gorge.  Wow, I thought.  Below was a 15 foot falls, and further down, was another 15 foot cascade over mossy bedrock ledges, surrounded by springs.  The ice flows must be amazing when it’s cold, I thought.  I hiked back up the steep gorge as my legs burned.  I hiked below a colorful rock outcrop and returned to Cold Run Road.

Sawtooth Trail

I decided to go off trail again to explore another escarpment of ledges that brought me to the Worlds End Trail with all its boulder mazes and outcrops.  I explored the tunnel and then returned to Canyon Vista.

Cold Run

I had another place to visit, another unofficial trail above Vinegar Run, which led to a formation called Turtle Rock.  I found the place to park, but no sign of a trail, so I bushwhacked to the edge of a series of impressive cliffs in a hemlock forest, adorned with rhododendron, a rarity in the Loyalsock.  The terrain was surprisingly rugged and beautiful.  I came upon Turtle Rock; part of the outcrop does resemble the head of a turtle with an eye and pupil.  The ledges continued under hemlocks until I reached private property.  I dropped down to Vinegar Run and hiked up it, passing rapids and a secret campsite.  The highlight was a beautiful falls over fractured, mossy bedrock.  I saw a grade above me and hiked up to it; it was the Link Trail.  I was exhausted, so I was happy to find a real trail.  I hiked it to Cold Run Road and returned to my car.

Tunnel on Worlds End Trail

This was an amazing day exploring new places in the Loyalsock.  Sawtooth Trail was awesome, Cold Run was beautiful, and Turtle Rock was a special place hidden among cliffs and hemlocks.  The Loyalsock still has secrets.

More photos.

Turtle Rock


Vinegar Run



How to find the Sawtooth Trail…

  1. Where it begins at the end of the Rock Garden, above Canyon Vista.  N 41 27.677  W 76 34.426
  2. Where it ends at the Link Trail.  N 41 27.537  W 76 33.910

Location of Cold Run Waterfalls (there are many cascades, here are two):

  1. Falls below where the two forks meet:  N 41 27.621  W 76 33.436  andN41 27.675  W 76 33.307

Cold Run


Note: The Sawtooth Trail is not an official trail.  Mountain biking is not permitted on it.  However, I am unaware of any rule or regulation that states hiking is not permitted.  Hiking, on or off any trail, is typically permitted throughout the state forest.  There is a rare plant that grows somewhere near the trail, so please stay on the path itself.  Treat this place with respect.  Thank you.


13 thoughts on “Sawtooth Trail, Cold Run Waterfalls, Turtle Rock, and Vinegar Run- Worlds End State Park and Loyalsock State Forest

  1. Thanks Jeff! We love WESP & the Loyalsock as much as you & I am thrilled to learn of this new trail. We’ll check it out this summer.


  3. The park service learned of this trail and shut it down by dropping logs and brush on the path. They also removed the rock bridges. Their final act was to post “No Bicycles” signs on Sawtooth, well what’s left of it, and the LT in the vicinity of Canyon Vista. Best to not publicize unofficial trails. PS: Your photos are excellent.

    • I’m sorry, that was not my intention. After hundreds of posts, this is a first. It is unfortunate the park reacted that way instead of trying to find a way for people to enjoy such a beautiful place. If the park had concerns about the trail, why not have a public meeting to hear the varying viewpoints? The park and forest should encourage mountain biking and engage those users. While I will continue to share little known places with others, I will consider your request for future entries. I will remove the map from this post. I write this blog to encourage people to explore beautiful places, to get outside, to appreciate where they live, and to showcase PA’s hidden beauty. I also believe people will only protect what they know exists. The reaction over the years has been overwhelmingly positive, but I guess something like this was bound to happen and I’m sorry for this reaction.

      • No apology needed. My intention was simply to update you on what happened here. Your blog and your books provide a valuable resource to many. At this point I would leave everything on your blog as is, maybe if people continue to use the trail (Sawtooth) it may yet become official. Sorry if I upset you.

      • Ok,I’ll put the map back up. I’m not upset, just disappointed by this reaction. Maybe this wonderful trail can live on, I know many hikers were looking forward to exploring it. Thanks for having a trail there, those ledges are beautiful.


  5. Pingback: Dayhiking at Worlds End State Park | Endless Mountains Experience

  6. I am an avid outdoorsman and hiker, and found this blog while researching the “Endless Mt’s” for new areas to hike. I was recently in the area to have my passport stamped and inquired about this blog and these trails. I learned that the “Saw tooth” trail was illegally made and constructed. This trail along with many others were being utilized as Mountain Biking trails without permission of DCNR. Other tails with jumps and ramps were also constructed illegally for the purpose of Mountain Biking. They said there is currently 139 miles of trails and roads that are legal for Mountain Biking. That seems like an adequate amount. I believe DCNR’s issue is with rogue trails being constructed in sensitive areas without consideration of the impacts these trails could cause. I also second the bloggers reply that there should be a public forum about these situations. I look forward to hiking Saw Tooth and thanks for the information.

    • For some reason this trail has struck a nerve. As hiking is permitted throughout the state forest, it would seem hiking this “trail” is also permitted. I understand if mtn biking is not permitted on the Sawtooth. As for mountain biking trails, saying 139 miles are open to them is not as it seems. Many of those are on roads which do not really interest riders, the multi use trails that do exist in the Loyalsock State Forest are not ideal for riding. I’d suggest a formal mtn biking trail system designed for these users, it would be a great tourist draw for the county. I find most mtn bikers to be respectful and great advocates for the outdoors. There should be a usable trail system for them.

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