Many years ago I joined a guided hike with the Alpine Club of Williamsport up to Rattlesnake Point in the Loyalsock State Forest, across from Camp Susque. After getting a recent map, and hiking to the nearby Lookout Rocks last year, I decided to return. My original plan had been to find some waterfalls in the state forest near Wallis Run, but with several roads closed, I ended up on PA 14 and decided to check out Rattlesnake Point instead.
The hike begins along PA 15, right where Susque Road meets. There are some places to pull off and park along Susque Road. Camp Susque is unique in that it allows the public to hike the trails on camp lands, just sign in first at the camp office. The beginning of the hike is on camp land, but most of it is on state forest.
I crossed PA 14, turned right onto a mowed path and reached a trail sign and trail, marked with grey blazes. The footpath is fairly evident, comprised of narrow sidehill, as it went below some ledges and into a stream valley with laurel. I crossed the seasonal stream, flowing on my hike, and was soon greeted with a gorgeous twenty foot falls and an overhanging ledge. The ledge was broad and springs cascaded on the other end. The trail continued up the steep glen with tulip poplar trees and other hardwoods. The switchbacks soon began.
This trail is filled with switchbacks that climb steeply up the glen. The trail comes close to a second falls, but you must go off trail to see it. It is an odd falls, flows out of the ground at the top and then disappears at the bottom over a ledge of moss with a large pine tree growing on the top. The switchbacks continued over rocky slopes, along some ledges, through some laurel, and then reaches the vista.
It is an impressive view, about 1,000 feet above the valley floor. Steep mountainsides surround the valley, through which the Lycoming Creek twists and turns. I was also able to look almost straight down on my car through the bare trees. I could see for about 20-25 miles. The length of the trail is about 1.5 miles. And no, I didn’t see any snakes.
This is a beautiful and challenging trail, made even more scenic when the creek is flowing.
Hiking to Rattlesnake Point is easy.
1. Register at the Camp Susque office.
2. Park on Susque Road, before it meets PA 14.
3. Cross PA 14 and bear right onto a mowed path.
4. The trail begins at a trail sign. It climbs about 1,000 vertical feet in a mile and a half.
5. Trail is blazed grey, so it can be a little hard to see some blazes, but the path is noticeable.
6. Trail crosses a small creek twice.
7. Trail follows many narrow switchbacks and the terrain does get rocky. Rocks are loose.
8. View is beautiful, but be careful, it is at a cliff.
9. Return the way you came.