In the late Fall I explored a plateau of SGL 13 between Sullivan Branch and Heberly Run. This plateau appeared to have cliffs, views, hemlock forests, and possibly waterfalls. It would be a tough, off trail hike, but I was up for the challenge to explore an area few have seen.
I parked at Sullivan Falls, but I spent little time at this popular landmark. Instead, I hiked down Sullivan Branch to where a small sidestream joined from the right. I crossed the icy creek and hiked up the sidestream. I was immediately presented with ledges, cool rock formations, and cascades over mossy ledges.
I pushed uphill along this small, unnamed stream. The terrain was very steep as I ascended the glen. Soon, a 60 foot falls came into view, still flowing despite the dry weather; I called it Cliff Spring Falls. It was a beautiful falls surrounded by cliffs with springs dripping to the left. I had to get above the falls and a tough scramble over ledges followed as I clung to the steep slopes with by arms and legs. Above the falls was another 10 foot falls. Further up, the creek flowed under the rocks. I entered an area with ledges, boulders, and some large hemlocks. I then turned north to see some cliffs and a possible vista.
I hiked along the top of cliffs with a well-worn bear trail. Hemlocks grew overhead. I soon reached a couple of scenic views looking into Ricketts Glen and down Sullivan Branch. There was complete isolation and wilderness as tiers of bedrock surrounded me under ancient hemlocks. I retraced my steps back to the small stream.
I then headed south along the plateau escarpment with more ledges, boulders, and old growth hemlock. I also explored a few chasms. I reached the point of the plateau, and headed north along the escarpment with more old growth hemlocks. I dropped into a drainage and followed a line of cliffs with cascading seep springs, it was impressive. Springs just poured out of the ground above the cliffs, creating a dripping sound throughout the forest. I continued along the cliffs to the west where I reached a fine view looking down Heberly Run. All I heard was a breeze through the forest.
I retraced my steps back to the cliff springs and followed the drainage down. A creek soon appeared with some falls and cascades about 10 feet high. This unnamed creek joins Heberly Run just above Twin Falls. I didn’t go to Heberly Run, instead I followed a well established old grade on the east slope above Heberly. It was a great hike through large hardwoods. I hiked above a landslide and near some rock outcrops. I then descended to Sullivan Branch into an area with pine and barberry.
I crossed Sullivan Branch on some fallen logs and hiked up to the road, which I followed back to my car at Sullivan Falls.
It was great to explore this wild, untamed place. My aching legs thanked me the following day.