Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista-Elk State Forest

This hike leads to a dramatic view over the canyon of the Sinnemahoning Creek.  Here, the canyon is about 1,200 feet deep, making it among the deepest in Pennsylvania if not the eastern U.S.  The view is spectacular as it overlooks the plateaus, ridges, gorges, and glens along the canyon.  The terrain is diverse.  This view is good for both sunrises and sunsets.  Almost this entire hike follows an unblazed trail, which is actually an old forest road.  However, the last small section is off trail, and steep, as it leads to the vista.  This hike is in the Elk State Forest and Bucktail State Park Natural Area.  

Park off of Montour Road, and follow a gated road as it climbs.  Reach the pipeline swath and hike along it.  The trail turns left off the swath, but it is easy to miss.  The turn is hidden in pine and spruce trees, but is noticeable if you keep an eye out for it.  Follow the trail across the plateau through laurel and hardwoods.  Descend gradually to a meadow.  Here, the trail ends and the short off trail hike to the view begins.  Head south and follow a steep ridge down off the plateau.  Reach a rock outcrop with superb views.  I particularly like the narrow, sloping ridge to the southwest.  The view looks into the side gorges of Lower and Upper Jerry Runs.  You can also see upstream for several miles.

The grandeur of this vista showcases the wild, rugged scenery of the Sinnemahoning and the PA Wilds.  The view is almost completely free from development.  The hike is about 2.5 miles, one way.

I hope to return to check out some other potential vistas, and a possible knife edge ridge to the east.  

For the map above, red is off trail and yellow is the unblazed trail or old forest road.

Parking is at 41.325393, -78.042696.  Montour Road is in decent shape and can be driven by a car.  The vista is located at41.300091, -78.048657. 

2 thoughts on “Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista-Elk State Forest

  1. Was out here today, July 4th 2020. Explored the “knife edge”. Found overlooks and excellent camping spots. Thank you for sharing these hidden treasures.

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