The Endless Mountains region is located in northeastern Pennsylvania and is comprised of vast, elevated plateaus and rolling foothills.  While the elevations never top 2,700 feet, it is a wonderland of scenic beauty, with numerous gorges, glens, waterfalls, lakes, rapids, ponds, scenic mountain streams, and incredible vistas.  The Endless Mountains are also home to a great biodiversity of plants and animals. 

This is an area with many superb hiking opportunities.  Not only are the Loyalsock Trail and Old Loggers Path located here, but also famous Ricketts Glen and Worlds End State Parks.  Rock Run is a stream of stunning beauty, and the Waterfall Wonderland in SGL 13 is one of the most beautiful places in the eastern United States.  With so much public land, there are places that resemble an untouched wilderness.

Many creeks, such as the Loyalsock, Schrader, and Mehoopany, feature thrilling whitewater rapids and gorges, while the Susquehanna River and Tunkhannock Creek are ideal for flatwater kayaking and canoeing.   

My motivation to write this blog and write the book “Hiking the Endless Mountains” (http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Endless-Mountains-Northeastern-Pennsylvania/dp/081170677X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320875565&sr=1-1) has been driven by not only a desire to chronicle my travels, but to also show people how special and unique the Endless Mountains are, and that this region needs to be protected.

Natural gas drilling and development has begun to spread throughout the Endless Mountains.  While these activities can bring great economic opportunities, it can also threaten our environment and natural resouces if not properly managed.  I am not against drilling, but I feel there must be a balance.  I am very concerned how so much of our public lands have been leased for drilling; this is land held in the public trust for all people.  If excessive drilling on public lands is allowed, it will result in the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of forests, habitats, and beautiful natural areas.  Our state forests and game lands attract millions of visitors from around the world to enjoy the outdoors (and spend their money in our communities).  But who will want to hunt, fish, kayak, backpack, camp, hike, or bike ride among rigs, gas wells, and compressor stations?  Who will want to visit parks and forests bulldozed for drilling?  We must preserve these special places for not only future generations, but also this one.

After all, the Marcellus Shale boom, is just that, a boom.  The time will come when it will pass, drilling will stop, wells will be capped, and royalty checks will stop coming in the mail.  What will we be left with then?  This is not Pennsylvania’s first “boom” and we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past- although it appears we are. 

I encourage you to contact your local state representative and senator and urge them to ensure our environment and public lands will be protected.  Please also urge them to support a moratorium to prohibit any more state lands from being leased for drilling; 700,000 acres of public lands have already been leased.  Please go to http://www.legis.state.pa.us/ to find your local elected official.

This blog will not only explore the Endless Mountains, but all of Pennsylvania, from Ohiopyle to the Delaware Water Gap, from the stunning Quehanna wilderness to Pine Creek Gorge.  Pennsylvania has so many incredible places- and we cannot preserve what we don’t even know  exists.

Welcome, and start exploring.

37 thoughts on “About

  1. I shared because this is exactly how I feel. Well said. I moved to this area almost 4 years ago and was appalled the first time I hiked past a well pad with a blaze on a post because there were no longer trees there. I’ve kayaked in areas that I’m sure a few years ago were pristine. .. and now you fight truck traffic and the rumble of activity seems to never be far enough away. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend your presentation in Scranton this past weekend. I’d have loved to see my Smith’s Knob photo enlarged. It’s my favorite place…next to the Haystacks as a close second. I was lucky to get that shot and happy to share. 🙂 More people need to see and appreciate what is here before apathy leads us to the same debacle as the post coal boom.

  2. Have you considered mapping your hikes (at least the ones you’ve published a post on) in a public Google map? I’ve enjoyed following your posts for a while, but now want to go back and search for hikes in a particular area, and not finding a method. Anyway, thanks!

  3. Hi Jeff – I own both editions of your Endless Mountain hiking guides but always seem to get myself lost. I spend most of my free time exploring Pennsylvania’s public lands and seem to love the state as much as you. It’s a pleasure to find your blog – maybe we’ll bump into one another some day on the trail!

  4. Thanks for doing this! I came across your blog because you had posted on VFTT, which features New England and New York. I grew up in Mt. Pocono, so when I hear Pennsylvania and mountains in the same sentence I immediately think of “NO TRESPASSING!” signs, heart shaped bath tubs, and rattlesnakes (except of course Delaware Water Gap). We live in New England and usually go to the White Mountains in NH, but next time we’re down visiting my brother we’ll look some of these places up.

    • Sure. PA has vast public lands and so many places to explore, not to mention one of the most extensive trail systems in the east. It is a very underrated state, but people are beginning to discover its gems. And you’ll have many of these places all to yourself. Just for comparison, PA’s state forests have about three times the acreage of NH’s White Mountain National Forest. Have fun exploring.

  5. Hey Jeff:

    Great stuff here! Grew up locally in NEPA and come back in the Spring and Summer whenever I can. Have a question for you….I want to explore Coalbed swamp in SGL 57 but can’t seem to plot out a way to get there based on looking at some topo maps online. What’s the best place to park and find a trail to get there? I’m probably gonna try for it either late May or early June…..hoping ticks aren’t that bad if a lot of bush wacking is required….seems to be less up on red rock mountain compared to other areas. Thx for any help!

    • Park at the coal mine at the end of the new road. Find the old road/ATV trail at the top of the mine. Hike in a northwest direction. Cross Red Brook, the outlet of Coalbed Swamp (cool rock features below to the right). If I remember correctly, follow grades to the left. May have to bushwhack to see the swamp. Unlike the name implies, it is pristine with spruce and very diverse with rare species. You can also hike up Red Brook when you cross it. Again, it can be thick and hard to reach the swamp itself. Ticks are less common up there. Have fun.

  6. Hey Jeff,

    Would it be advisable to do Bartlett Mountain / Catlin Brook anytime soon given all the rain that’s been happening? You do warn about some tricky stream crossings in your book, so I thought I would ask. Thx.

    • Creeks should be ok now, expect wet feet crossing Stony Brook. This is a challenging and beautiful loop, good to have GPS. There are wet areas on the top of the plateau. If you intend to include Catlin, know that it is very steep. I actually think it is best to go down the west side of the stream, not the east side where the old trail was. Easier to see the falls from the west side. Have fun.

      • Thanks Jeff. I anticipate wet feet, and I will have rain gear as well. I don’t have a GPS, but the descriptions in your book are more detailed than any guidebook I have seen, so I should be ok on Bartlett Mtn. I will try the west side of Catlin rather than the east; thanks for that tip. I want to see those waterfalls!

  7. Hello there. I have never been on your site before and just saw your concept for the EMT Trail to connect the LT with Ricketts Glen. I’m pretty familiar with the area, having grown up spending a lot of time along the Loyalsock, hiking the LT, and lived on top Red Rock Mtn. for a year, so am familiar with Ricketts Glen, some of SGL 57, Ringdale, Mildred and Lopez areas, etc. I am retired now, have my own chainsaw and chaps for trail work (I maintain a section of the Mid State about 15 miles from State College. This is a project I could contribute some effort to when you are ready to move.

    • Thanks, we’ll keep you in mind. A final trail route has been determined and submitted to PGC. It will likely take a while to get approvals. If our route is approved, it will be a stunning trail. This trail concept has been many years in the making and I hope it becomes a reality.

  8. Hi Jeff, thanks for the blog and info about the EMT. It sounds like you’ve already submitted a proposed route so it might be too late, but if you find that you could use any mapping or analysis of spatial data, I’d be happy to help. There is a range of things that might be useful such as analyzing elevation, distance to water sources, pdf maps, web maps, cartography, ground truthing, etc.

  9. Jeff,

    Even after leaving PA and moving to Hawaii I still check your blog occasionally to see what new gems you’ve uncovered since I left. One spot I never got around to exploring and I don’t think I’ve ever seen on your blog is the forks of Campbells Run in the Pine Creek Gorge. The google topo map shows a high likelihood of numerous waterfalls on this creek. I bet it’s a good spot, and if it peaks your interest to explore, I’m sure we’d all be interested to read about it and see your pictures. Happy exploring!

    • Thanks for following. Yes, I’ve been to Campbell’s Run. Incredible place. About 5 falls, one is almost 50 feet tall in an impressive gorge. I might write a post about it in the future. Lots of waterfalls in the Pine Creek Gorge.

  10. Hi there. A friend of mine sent me the link to your site with information on the World’s End Loop hike. In your article, you state that this could be an overnight backpacking adventure. Are there any permits required to camp on the trail(s)? I am trying to conduct a shakedown trip for a group of scouts preparing to go to Philmont. Thought your 11 mile hike would be perfect for a one night adventure. You can contact me at scouts@troop538.org. Thank you very much Stephen,.

  11. Howdy, just found you after finding your vid on YOUTUBE of your PA Wilds Hike…. sorry you didnt finish. Im now into retired mode 🙂 and that looks like a trail i need to hike ! Name is Dan in Emporium…. lots of trails and forest roads here and the Bucktail Path Trail for some training hikes before i get back to the long hikes. I have the AT & PCT done, need the CDT done for the Triple Crown. A tough road ahead for this old fella :-))

  12. Thank you. You have succeeded in my case. I have discovered the wonders of the mountains in our own backyard thanks to you. No more car rides to other states wasting good time in a vehicle.
    I’m a volunteer with DCNR in Loyalsock. For all I know I’m the only one. I currently maintain a number of trails that you introduced to us properly for the first time in your books.
    I volunteered after taking your Hoagland Loop hike. The trail immediately became one of my favorites. I volunteered and requested to maintain them. It was not to be. I was informed they were being abandoned.
    They offered the OLP and handed me some paint. It became obvious when they didn’t tell me where to start or stop that I was in it alone.
    1 year in and I’ve cleared it of blowdown twice, brush cut the mountain laurel and have reblazed 20 miles of it.
    I’m now working with local runners to reopen the Long and Short Run Trails.
    Anyways… thank you again for all of this. Your knowledge and willingness to share it gave me the courage to step off the trail and find some truly amazing places.
    Now a question, how is the Endless Mountain Trail coming along? And are they still following proposed route?

    • Thanks for all of your work. The OLP has become very popular and I’m glad its getting some maintenance. Too bad to hear about Hoagland, it is a great loop. There is some talk to build a connector from the OLP to the LT. Not much news for the EMT, there is still some work going on to try to get a campsite along the route.

  13. Jeff: read your description of the World’s End Superloop on the KTA newsletter link. My wife and I want to hike the west end of the loop. Where the LT crosses World’s End Road (going west), did you walk up the road to Coal Mine Road to pick up the bridle trail that appears to parallel World’s End Road? I don’t recall seeing a bridle trail connecting directly to the LT at that intersection.
    Thanks for generously sharing these trials!

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