Matt Mertes and Weitzel Hollow Trails Loop-Loyalsock State Forest

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After hiking to Rattlesnake Point, I traveled to Wallis Run to check out a loop combining the Matt Mertes and Weitzel Hollow Trails.  I parked along Wallis Run Road right before the temporary bridge.  A better parking area is where the Weitzel Hollow Trail meets at Wallis Run Road.  The Matt Mertes Trail makes it way up a slope under hemlocks; some trees are quite large.  The trail crosses a narrow powerline swath and continues the climb through a scenic forest.

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I turned left to continue the climb, and the terrain become rockier and steeper.  Several large hemlocks had died from the wooly adelgid. I reached the ridge where the trail leveled and then descended through laurel.  The trail turned right and climbed gradually, staying close to the edge of the plateau in a scenic pine forest.  I passed a nice view of the mountains and countryside and continued the climb through laurel and over rocks.  The trail then began a gradual, rocky descent into a stream valley where it ended at the yellow blazed Weitzel Hollow Trail, a scenic spot that felt more isolated than it was.

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Here I turned left and descended along the yellow trail in a deep, wooded valley.  At first, the trail was in the streambed but soon followed an old grade on the left.  The creek was scenic with many cascades and pools.  One part of the grade was washed out due to a flash flood in the Fall.   The hike along the Weitzel Hollow Trail was enjoyable and ended at Wallis Run Road where there is a sign and register.  This is the recommended place to park.  I then walked the road a short distance back to the car.

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This enjoyable loop is about three miles and is a bit of a workout.  It is rocky and a little steep in sections, but features hemlock and pine forests, a view, and beautiful stream side hiking with cascades and pools.   Another fine hike in the Loyalsock State Forest.

More photos.

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