The McIntyre Wild Are has long attracted the attention of outdoor enthusiasts. It features several gorges with waterfalls, vistas, diverse forests, small ponds, a cemetery and other historical remnants from the mining area. I really wanted to return to Dutchmans and Abbot Run; I had seen these streams years ago and was amazed by the rugged gorges and stunning array of waterfalls. The other month, I finally returned. We explored the wild area over two hikes.
I met Ben at a small parking area along McIntyre Road. Because this area was once mined, it is filled with a web of old grades. We followed some grades down Dutchmans Run to see the first of its waterfalls where the gorge began to cut into the plateau. We came upon a twenty foot falls shrouded in hemlocks as a small side stream joined with its own cascade. There was also an impressive stone retaining wall and a culvert with thick wooden timbers. We continued down, following a grade on the north side of the creek. Above us was a culm pile, we climbed to it to see a fine view across the gorge of Dutchmans Run.
We continued down the grade until it crossed the creek. Only metal poles remained of the bridge. We crossed and entered thick hemlock. We wanted to see the creek and hiked to it. There was a stunning chasm and cascade. Below was a massive stone wall that was part of some kind of tram that would bring coal down off the mountain. The scenery was incredible as the water roared against the cliff walls. We returned to the grade and descended, only to be greeted with another falls from a side stream.
The grade dropped along the deep gorge, but it began to curve away from the creek, so we left it and descended. We made the rugged off trail hike up Dutchmans Run to see another thirty foot falls. A variety of ten foot falls were downstream. We headed downstream to see the final falls, and the most beautiful. A forty foot straight drop falls creating a veil of water.
We now wanted to head north to Abbot Run. We climbed above the final/bottom falls on Dutchmans Run and found an old grade that headed north. It was a little eroded in places, but we were able to follow it. It vanished for good and we descended to Abbot Run. Abbot Run was amazing, there was a thirty foot falls at the bottom with a pool. Towering cliffs loomed over the falls. We made the difficult scramble up into the chasm (not recommended) which was incredibly scenic. The creek was incased with cliffs as water tumbled over falls. A side stream joined with a falls and the chasm ended at a twenty five foot falls. We scrambled up the north side of Abbot Run to a grade.
To see Ben’s Vista, we walked down the grade to the side stream and then hiked north up along the side stream on a faint skid trail or grade. This faded out, so we followed the small side stream uphill to a series of ledges with cascades. In winter, a very impressive ice cave forms. From there, we hiked above the ledges to the west to Ben’s Vista, which is from an outcrop. It offers a great view looking down the narrow, twisting Lycoming Creek Valley. This is a dramatic cliff rim north of Ben’s Vista, where a bear trail provides some access, although the laurel is still thick in spots. The cliffs are exposed and offer great views, but the views are limited to looking across the valley, or south. As you head north, the cliffs offer views north into the rugged hills of southern Tioga County. These cliffs are on private land, but it was not posted. While the cliffs are very dramatic, the view from Ben’s Vista is just as good, if not better.
Back on Abbot Run, we headed up the grade and reached a place where the two forks of the creek met. What an amazing place. We could see waterfalls on both forks, creating a stunning view. One was about ten feet tall, the other about thirty. We hiked up the north fork, off trail, and entered a rugged, foreboding gorge as cliffs rose around us. We turned the corner to see another thirty foot falls featuring a drop and broad slide. We returned to where the two forks met and hiked up the south fork (Abbott Run on the map). We then headed south back to the car along old grades, an off trail hike, and through spruce forests.
One final unique spot is the source of Dutchmans Run, which is just off of McIntyre Road. We hiked up the creek to enter a trench of excavated area. There, a large pristine spring gushes from the earth. It was as if the spring was revealed while the land was being excavated.
This is a rugged, challenging hike perfect for the experienced hiker who is comfortable with off trail navigation. It follows a combination of grades and off trail hiking. No trails are marked or have signs. It is about nine to ten miles in length. The beauty and diversity of this hike is truly exceptional and the history makes it that much more fascinating. PA is so beautiful. Explore it.
Parking is at 41.530888, -76.932878. It is pull off parking, not a formal parking area.
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More McIntyre beauty. We pushed up Abbott Run and reached a foreboding gorge lined with cliffs. We turned the corner and saw this 30 footer, completely gorged in. We were stunned. I never knew this falls existed. It looked possible to go behind the top part of the falls. Loyalsock State Forest.