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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to find the Sawtooth Trail…
- Where it begins at the end of the Rock Garden, above Canyon Vista. N 41 27.677 W 76 34.426
- 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):
- Falls below where the two forks meet: N 41 27.621 W 76 33.436 andN41 27.675 W 76 33.307
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.