South of Shunk, just within the Loyalsock State Forest, is a place of great beauty that is fairly easy to reach and that few know even exists. Weed Creek and Hoagland Branch join among waterfalls, chasms, gorges, deep pools, and rapids. Hemlocks shroud this special place. I call it the Hoagland Chasm and Weed Falls.
I parked along the road where Bear Wallow Road meets Dry Run Road. I then hiked an obvious, gated old grade to the north as it curved through drainages and then began a long, gradual descent to Slaskey Run. I noticed a faint footpath on the grade. The forest was beautiful with many large hardwoods and countless spring wildflowers, not to mention many large areas of ramps. At Slaskey Run there was a private property line so I followed an obvious grade to the right as it continued a gradual descent.
Below Slaskey Run tumbled over small waterfalls and slides. The largest falls is about 7 feet tall. As I neared Weed Creek, another grade was to the left. I took it. It followed the top of Weed Creek’s gorge and then descended to the water. From here, I walked in and along the creeks.
Weed Creek promptly entered a hemlock shaded gorge with steep slopes and ledges. The creek danced down slides and rapids with deep pools. It was very beautiful. The gorge opened up and I soon found myself on the top of Weed Falls, a scenic, curving 30 foot falls. I was able to scrambled down the side of the falls and entered a stunning grotto as cliffs rose around me topped with hemlocks.
I continued down Weed Creek with more rapids and slides. I then reached a beautiful sliding cascade where Weed Creek joined Hoagland Branch. The beauty of this spot was amazing with deep translucent pools as cliffs hemmed in Hoagland Branch. The sounds of the rushing creek echoed against its rocky confines. I was amazed by this place.
I turned left and hiked upstream along Hoagland Branch; I was speechless. I entered a spectacular chasm as red rock rose above me with angled buttresses. The creek had carved into the bedrock deep pools and slides. Hemlocks towered overhead. As I hiked up the chasm, the cliffs grew taller, everything was deeper and darker as if I was entering a different realm. There were no waterfalls, but several slides and rapids with deep pools. It rivaled the famous Rock Run. The floods from last Fall had scoured the sides of the chasm along the angled contours of the red bedrock. The northern end of the chasm ended at a private property line.
I retraced my steps back to Weed Creek, mesmerized by the scenery. I explored more of Hoagland Branch below Weed Creek to see the deep pools glowing in the bright sun. There were rapids and deep pools. A cabin was further downstream on the left. I saw the state forest boundary and turned around, retracing my steps back to the car.
A place of remarkable beauty hidden in the shadows of gorges and hemlocks, I will be back to Weed Falls and the Hoagland Chasm.
Hiking to Hoagland Chasm and Weed Falls is easy. The grade down to Weed Creek is obvious. There are no marked trails or signs.
- Park at the juncture of Dry Run Road and Bear Wallow Road. Park along the road, space is limited.
- Follow the obvious, gated grade north of the road as it curves and then gradually descends through a beautiful hardwood forest with many spring wildflowers.
- Reach Slaskey Run and a private property line; turn right onto obvious grade.
- Small waterfalls along Slaskey Run below the grade.
- As you near Weed Creek, look for a faint grade that curves left. Follow it above Weed Creek Gorge with views of the gorge.
- Descend to where Weed Creek and Slaskey Run meet.
- The rest of the hike follows the creeks. You must hike in and along the water. Do not attempt in high water.
- Hike Weed Creek downstream into a beautiful hemlock gorge.
- Reach the top of Weed Falls. Possible to scramble down north side of the falls, be careful. Otherwise hike around it.
- Beautiful grotto or gorge below Weed Falls.
- Reach juncture of Weed Creek and Hoagland Branch at a sliding waterfall. Scenery is superb.
- Turn left and hike Hoagland Branch upstream into the stunning chasm. Chasm is about 1,000 feet long and ends at a private property line. Be careful hiking in the chasm and watch for the deep pools. Again, never attempt in high water.
- Retrace your steps.
- Please treat this special place with respect.
- Hike is about 1.5-2 miles, one way.