Hike the Hog and Long Runs Circuit-SGL 13

SGL 13 is popular among outdoor enthusiasts for its waterfalls, gorges, and scenery.  While most people visit Heberly Run and Sullivan Branch, there are other streams intrepid hikers should explore.  At the top of that list are Hog and Long Runs.  This hike features many falls, slides, and cascades, deep gorges, boulders, hemlock forests, and a superb view.  It is one of the most scenic places in SGL 13.  However, it is a challenging hike that only experienced and fit hikers with good navigational skills should attempt.  None of the trails are blazed or have signs.  There is extensive off trail hiking.  There are stream crossings, as a result this hike should not be attempted in high water.  Luckily, this hike is largely free of thick laurel. I first visited Hog Run several years ago.

From the parking area, hike up to and along Bloody Run to a logging road.  There is a cascade on Bloody Run, as well as scenic Bloody Run Falls further upstream.  Follow the logging road around the mountain and into the valley of Elk Run.  We could see a large rock outcrop along Long Run, and decided to try to reach it, somehow.  After passing some cabins far below us on the right, we left the logging road and dropped down to Elk Run where we soon picked up an intermittent old ATV trail with some flagging.  We hiked this along Elk Run with rapids, hemlocks, and ledges dripping with springs.  The old ATV trail detoured around fallen trees, but generally it was somewhat easy to follow. 

As we neared the confluence of Hog Run, we crossed Elk Run.  Be careful and do not attempt in high water as Elk Run is a sizeable creek.  After crossing Elk Run, we veered up the slope to the right and intercepted an old grade, which we took up along Hog Run.  We had views of the cascades below, but the grade is well above Hog Run.  The grade reached Hog Run at Hog Run Falls, a steep descent was required to view the falls from the bottom as it tumbled through a bedrock grotto.  Upstream were three, distinct and beautiful bedrock slides.  We continued on the grade passing cascades, boulders, and hemlocks, including a notable three-tiered falls.  Soon, the grade faded out and we just walked up Hog Run with cascades and slides.  A sidestream joined from the left with falls and we entered Tsuga Glen, a bedrock grotto with falls, cascades, and surrounded with large hemlocks.  Giant, cut hemlock logs are in the glen, likely for a logging grade that once ascended the glen.  It is a beautiful spot that must have incredible ice flows in winter.

We continued upstream into a hemlock forest and we soon reached a 12 foot falls, the final one on Hog Run.  We then crossed the plateau to the southeast into a forest of moss, ground pine and hemlock.  Beech soon dominated as we explored some large rocks and boulders.  We hiked southeast and dropped into the gorge of Log Run with cascades and an old grade.  We climbed again, to the east rim of Log Run, to try to find the rock outcrop we saw earlier.  We reached the first tributary to see a stunning 40 foot falls dropping into the deep gorge.  We continued south, entering a hemlock forest with boulders off to the left and rock outcrops below us on the right.  This rim walk was gorgeous with the hemlocks and steep terrain.  We reached a second tributary, the boulder glen, marked with a gigantic boulder from which the creek flowed down into a gorge of giant boulders.  We could see at least one falls far below, but we didn’t have time to explore more.  We continued along the awesome rim walk.

We pushed through hemlocks and reached Adams Point, a stunning view of Long Run, Fishing Creek Valley, and a glimpse of the Columbia County farmlands beyond.  Amazing.  Be careful at the point, it is a large cliff.  We returned to the 40 foot falls along the rim walk.  We descended the tributary, passing cascades to the confluence with Long Run.  What an amazing spot.  Slides, cascades, falls and grottos.  Downstream was more sublime scenery.  A scramble up to an old grade allowed us to look down on Long Run and its non-stop cascades.  The grade reached a Y intersection, and we went right, climbing up the mountain.  This is necessary to avoid private land.  The climb was fairly easy as we reached the ridge, where it faded out.  Here, we went off trail, working our way down to Elk Run.  Angle northwest for the more reasonable descent, it is very steep in places.  Cross Elk Run and retrace your steps.

This is a beautiful, wild region that any experienced trekker should see.  I hope to return to explore the Boulder glen, and the creek south of Adams Point, which may have waterfalls.  Enjoy and protect your public lands.

Parking is at41.306067, -76.428181.

For the map above:

Red-off trail, Brown-logging road, Yellow-old grades, Purple-old ATV trail. Blue dots are cascades or falls.

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