Hike the Cliff Park/Raymondskill Loop-Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

This loop is one of the most scenic in the Poconos, and all of eastern Pennsylvania.  It features a beautiful pond, hemlock forests, views, cliffs, gorge, and a stunning array of waterfalls, including famous Raymondskill Falls.  The loop is about 5-6 miles long and is moderate in difficulty.  It follows trails, most of which are blazed.  On the map above, the brown trails are established, but do not have signs or blazes.  Some of these “brown” trails appear on the national park’s website.  I highly recommend including the brown trails as they greatly enhance the scenery of this hike.  

We began from the Cliff Park trailhead as it has more parking than the Hackers Trailhead at Raymondskill Falls.  Follow the Pond Loop to the left and enjoy views of the scenic pond with wooded hillsides.  Climb gradually along an old grade and then turn left onto Buchanan Trail, heading towards Cliff Trail.  On our hike, this part was closed due to nesting peregrine falcons, but is the recommended route if open.  

Turn right onto Cliff Trail and hike along the ridge on top of the cliffs, enjoy Minisink Overlook and then Tristate Overlook, offering great views of the Delaware River valley and the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey.  When the leaves are off the trees, the views are extensive.  These cliffs are huge, so be very careful around them.  At Tristate Overlook, notice an obvious, unmarked trail heading south along the ridge.  We did not hike it, but it may be a shortcut for this route.  

Follow the Cliff Trail downhill on an old grade, and notice an obvious grade ascending to the left.  Climb up it, it is not signed or blazed.  Reach the top and follow a trail down and to the right along the top of the ridge and cliffs.  Reach awesome views looking south down the Delaware River.  Follow the unmarked trail along the ridge and descend gradually to the road.  Follow the road up to the parking area for Raymondskill Falls.  Enjoy the views of this amazing falls, one of Pennsylvania’s tallest and hike to the top of the falls.  Look for an unblazed trail heading upstream, follow it.

This trail is incredible as it explores stunning bedrock grottos, gorges, and many falls, slides, pools and cascades.  The forest is mostly hemlock.  The tallest falls is over forty feet.  Whitewater kayakers often paddle this section of the creek when the water is high.  Work your way up along the creek, enjoying the incredible scenery.  This trail seems well-known as we passed other hikers. Reach the road again and turn right.  Look for an old forest road to the left and follow it.  This old forest road curves right and climbs gradually.  Look for an established trail to the left that descends, follow it.  Hike on top of the rim of a gorge with hemlocks, as Raymondskill Creek flows below.  The scenery is beautiful.  Descend to what I call the hemlock lowlands along the creek; the hemlock forest here is a joy to explore.  The trail leaves the creek and climbs gradually, ending at the Hackers Trail.  Turn left.  

The Hackers Trail climbs slightly; a side trail to the left leads to an impressive slide and rock outcrop.  Continue on the Hackers Trail to impressive Hackers Falls and its deep pool.  There is so much scenery along this loop.  Climb to the Buchanan Trail and turn left onto it.  Follow this trail with pine trees, meadows, and abandoned buildings back to the parking area.  

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is Pennsylvania’s largest and one of its most popular national park properties.  It is an amazing place, with stunning gorges, waterfalls, vistas, ponds, and rock outcrops.  This is the website of the Cliff Park trails.

Again, the brown trails on the map above are not signed or blazed. However, they are well established and easy to follow.

Parking at Cliff Park Trailhead is at 41.303798, -74.832765. Hackers Trailhead/Raymondskill Falls is at 41.290197, -74.841145.

Hike the Dutters Run/Old Bark Loop-Loyalsock State Forest

Over the last several years, the Loyalsock State Forest has become a popular hiking destination with its diverse and beautiful scenery.  This loop is 4.5 mile long and moderate in difficulty.  There are several waterfalls, a nice view, a gorge, spring wildflowers, and open forests with glades of ferns.  I think it’s best to park at Dry Run Falls, a great way to both begin and end the hike. 

From Dry Run Falls, walk down the road and turn right onto Old Bark Trail, blazed yellow and climb on an old forest road.  The creek to your left has a great fifteen foot falls, but it is off the trail.  To reach it, hike up the creek.  When flowing well, you should not miss this falls.  The trail gradually climbs and moves towards the small creek.  Cross some wet areas and fern meadows.  Reach the Loyalsock Trail (LT).  Turn right onto the LT.  This part of the trail has some wet spots and features hardwood forests with some towering trees.  Cross the headwaters of Dry Run, some campsites, and reach the parking area on Dry Run Road.  Continue on the LT and cross the road. 

The trail passes through the woods and reaches Mary’s Vista, a narrow window of Dry Run Gorge.  It offers a great view of Smith’s Knob and the mountains to the west.  Begin to drop down into Dutters Run with some rocky terrain.  Reach Dutters Run with a small waterfall.  There are larger waterfalls downstream, but they are off trail.  The LT meanders up the narrow, wooded gorge of Dutters Run, a highlight of the hike.  There are many cascades and falls, and stream crossings without bridges, expect about seven of them.  The tallest falls is about 12 feet.  Enjoy your time along Dutters Run, it is a beautiful place.  

Pass a small cascade and campsite, and climb out of the gorge, following the LT.  Turn right onto the yellow Dutters Trail.  Descend along an old grade through the woods and pass a juncture with a bridle trail to the left.  The trail moves closer to the edge of the gorge and you can see some of the higher falls below; these falls are off trail.  Descend to Dry Run Road and turn left back to Dry Run Falls.  Ten years ago, Old Bark and Dutters Trail hardly existed.  Now they are well established.  Hiking has skyrocketed in the Loyalsock.  With beautiful loops like this, it is easy to see why. 

Afterwards we drove to enjoy the incredible views from High Knob, and to the Hillsgrove Covered Bridge. The Loyalsock is a special place.

Parking at Dry Run Falls is at 41.430370, -76.670430.   LT parking is at 41.438448, -76.653757.


Hike the Worlds End Superloop

Map 1
Map 2
Map 3

I’ve long wanted to find a superloop hike around Worlds End State Park.  It is one of my favorite places with excellent scenery.  So, I thought of a loop that basically stretches from Cold Run to Ketchum Run.  The diversity of scenery is stunning with views, rock formations, gorges, waterfalls, and hemlock forests.  However, due to the circuitous nature of the trails, this is also the longest of the superloops- 25 miles with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain.  Don’t want to do the whole loop?  It is easy to divide the loop, or even do it as a backpacking trip. This is the fourth of Pennsylvania’s superloops. 

We began at a parking area along PA 154, marked as P1 on Map 1.  We hiked the loop clockwise, which is marked orange on the map, although the trails have different blaze colors.  There is one short, off trail section that is easy to navigate.  An ideal shortcut is marked purple on Map 2.  

From P1, we made our way up the blue Canyon Vista Trail and then onto the yellow Cold Run Trail.  The waterfalls on Cold Run were flowing great and the ramps and wildflowers were stunning.  I’ve never seen so many wildflowers in the Loyalsock, dotting the forest floor with white, blue, purple, and red.  We hiked up Cold Run, enjoying all the falls and flowers.  The trail meandered below and around the cascading water, and then climbed under impressive rocks, including the Boulder Arch.  The giant, mossy rocks continued until we returned to the blue Canyon Vista Trail.  We saw more large rocks, wildflowers, and a new view over the Loyalsock Creek, which roared far below. 

We reached famous Canyon Vista and enjoyed the view.  From there, the superloop follows the Loyalsock Trail (LT) through scenic woodlands and then to beautiful Mineral Springs Falls as it funnels down a large bedrock slide.  The natural, orange, sulfur spring was below the falls and we crossed Double Run, climbing to some rocks, up to a ridge, and down to a stream with hemlocks and campsites.  We crossed Worlds End Road and left the LT, turning left onto a bridle trail, followed right onto Coal Mine Road, and then at a swath, turned left onto another bridle trail, which took us to the Fern Rock Nature Trail parking area.  We followed the nature trail under hemlocks and with views of the swamp.  At the loop, we went left, enjoying more hemlocks and then descending to Ketchum with an assortment of slides and cascades.  We turned left off the nature trail loop onto a red trail, and then a quick left again.  Before crossing Ketchum Run, the off trail section began.

There is now a trail, unblazed, along Ketchum Run.  It passes two beautiful falls, slides, a glen and pools.  It was absolutely gorgeous as the water descended in white gowns over the glazed bedrock.  We returned to the LT and continued down along Ketchum Run, passing some campsites.  We entered a narrow, beautiful gorge with moss and more cascades.  Below us was Lee’s Falls.  The LT climbs up the rim of the gorge and then descends above Rode Falls with its iconic ladder.  We took a break here, eating some food and taking some pictures.  Along the mossy cliffs, spring water streamed out of cracks and crevices.  

The LT climbed out of the gorge, passing the two Alpine vistas.  At the lower one, there were several women hiking with their dogs.  White wildflowers covered the slopes of the mountain.  We continued on the LT to the Worlds End Trail, on which we turned left.  We hiked to Coal Mine Road, passed through a beautiful pine forest, and returned to the road.  We turned left onto a blue trail on an old forest road and followed it across the plateau under hemlocks.  The trail left the road, descended across the meadow, and made a steeper descent down into the canyon with more wildflowers.  I remember hiking this section years ago, it was barely an overgrown herdpath.  Now it was a well established trail.  This area has really become a hiking and trail running destination.

We passed some views created by a tornado and dropped down to the LT, on which we turned right, following it to the unblazed Pioneer Road.  We then hooked into the blue Double Run Trail with its cascades and pools.  Cottonwood Falls and all the other cascades were beautiful.  Next was the Link Trail as it followed the other branch of Double Run with more falls in a scenic gorge.  We crossed the road, hiked among rock outcrops and then turned left onto the blue Canyon Vista Trail.  Next was a small boulder maze and the fine view at Warren’s Window.  The hike then brought us down to the campground as we followed the Canyon Vista Trail along the Loyalsock Creek with its rapids.  Nearby, campers were grilling hot dogs and hamburgs.  We were hungry and tired, hoping someone would offer us one.  The aroma was a cruel taunt. No such luck, we could only feast on our imaginations.  We reached our cars, completing the loop. 

If you’re looking for a real challenge that showcases the incredible beauty of Worlds End and the Loyalsock, this is it.  

For the map: P=parking, V=vista, blue dashes across streams are waterfalls.

P1 is located at 41.469053, -76.563351

Other parking areas: Worlds End Rd.: 41.451133, -76.601863

Fern Rock Nature Trail: 41.437755, -76.608005

Double Run Nature Trail: 41.465866, -76.578629

Other Superloops: Golden Eagle/Hilborn, Slate Run, White Gold.

Exploring the Wonders of Kellogg Mountain and Satterlee Run-SGL 36

Kellogg Mountain and Satterlee Run in SGL 36 are places of great beauty.  Here you will find vistas, gorges, waterfalls, and impressive rock formations.  On this hike we decided to combine the Kellogg Mountains vistas, also known as English Rocks, and Satterlee Run’s beautiful waterfalls into one hike.  Along the way, we would also explore some new places, specifically an extensive area of giant rocks and chasms, and a view above Satterlee Run. 

This arduous hike would end up being 18.5 miles long.  No trails have signs or blazes.
We parked along Dark Hollow Road.  It is possible to park further down the game commission road; if the gate is open, this hike can be significantly shortened.  The road is in decent shape, but a vehicle with some clearance is recommended.  

We hiked down the road, passing logged areas and entered the forest.  At a meadow with fenced trees, we turned right onto a trail and made our way to the Kellogg Mountain Vistas; the views were stunning.  These are some of the finest views in the Endless Mountains.  We then retraced our steps until our off trail hike began to the rocks.  This was a new area and I didn’t know what to expect.  I told the group that I didn’t think the rocks were small.  We reached the rocks and we were stunned.  For over a half mile there were incredible chasms, slots, caves, overhangs and gigantic boulders.  It is one of the most impressive collection of giant rocks in the region.  It was a lot of fun exploring the different caves and passageways.  The group made fun of me, saying with sarcasm that the rocks were so small.

The rocks receded and we continued off trail, heading south and reached the rim above Satterlee Run with some partial views.  A steep descent followed to the grade, which we followed down into Satterlee Run.  We went off trail to see the falls.  Everyone was stunned by the beauty, as two streams joined among waterfalls.  As we took photos, a group of trout anglers came up to see the falls.  We scrambled up the one branch to see all the falls and cascades, which seemed to pour from everywhere.  We left the creek to make a steep climb to a vista above Satterlee.  The view was nice as it looked over Satterlee Run’s gorge and the Susquehanna River lowlands to the north.  We could also clearly see the giant white rocks at the Kellogg Mountain vista.  While nice, I’m not sure this vista was worth the effort to see it.  We descended back to Satterlee.  

We now hiked up the main branch of Satterlee Run to see the remaining waterfalls in a deep gorge.  Again, the beauty was mesmerizing.  We saw the final falls, climbed up to the grade, and walked back out to the game commission road, returning to our cars.  

This was an incredible, and exhausting hike.  The rocks and chasms certainly exceeded our expectations.  I’m sure Kellogg Mountain has more secrets.

For the map above, red is off trail, yellow is an old grade, white is the game commission road, and dark brown to the Kellogg Mountain vistas is an established trail. Again, no trails or roads are blazed or have signs.

Parking is at 41.613695, -76.503302.

Photos and videos:

Hike the Salt Springs Circuit-Salt Springs State Park

Salt Springs State Park is an excellent place to hike with over fourteen miles of trails from which you can do a variety of loops.  The park has diverse scenery with waterfalls, gorge, old growth hemlocks, meadows, streams, and some nice views.  The park’s namesake is a small bubbling spring close to the main parking area.  The park offers cabins, and has a campground.  The Friends of Salt Springs Park helps maintain the trails.

This eight mile loop contains some of the best scenery in the park. It follows a lot of different trails, with many turns.  It is easy to shorten, or lengthen the loop.  It explores some of the less popular areas of the park, and features a lot of streams and hemlock forests.  The meadows along this route offer wildflowers, wildlife, and bird watching, not to mention views.  There is even a beautiful grove of spruce trees.  Begin at the right side of the barn at the parking area and follow the red Silver Creek Trail into beautiful hemlocks above Silver Creek.  Climb up the slope to an old woods road and then descend into a hardwood forest.  Pass a juncture with the North Creek Trail, which crosses Silver Creek without a bridge and features meadows; it is a nice alternative route.

Reach some hemlocks and the trail splits, go right onto the blue Border Trail.  This trail goes to a small seasonal stream and begins a steep climb along it.  At the top is a rock overhang and wet weather falls that is beautiful when flowing.  Leave the Border Trail and continue on the Meadow Trail, making sure to veer straight or left at the start of the Meadow Trail loop.  This is a great trail, featuring stone walls, wildflowers, and explores the edge of the valley.  Pass some meadows and odd rock outcrops.  Descend along more meadows and reach Buckley Road with a nice view.  Follow Buckley Road to the right.  This road is gated and is basically an old forest road.  Turn left onto the blue Border Trail.  Hike on some boardwalks across some wet areas.  

Reach the white Spruce Trail and turn left; keep an eye out for this turn.  Enter a beautiful grove of spruce trees, a highlight of the hike.  Hike down to a small stream and walk along it and then cross a dirt road.  Pass some ruins and reach the Wetlands Trail and turn left; turning right and crossing the creek would be a shortcut, but hiking along Fall Brook is scenic. 

Hike down along Fall Brook, enjoying views over the water and cross a series of meadows.  Reach Buckley Road, turn right and cross the bridge, and then turn right on the red Fall Brook Trail.  The Bunny Trail soon joins, but follow the Fall Brook Trail, which features more views of the creek and lots of hemlocks.  Climb from the creek and follow Bunny to Cliff Trails with rock outcrops.  Follow Cliff Trail with open hardwood forests and large ledges above the trail.  Climb up to the Frog Pond, really just a shallow vernal pool and continue on the Cliff Trail.  Pass an old quarry, which still has cut flagstone.  Descend and rejoin the Bunny Trail again.  Reach a parking area and turn right onto the white Friends Trail with meadows and some views.  The Friends Trail makes a sharp left and crosses the road and a large meadow with great views.  Enter the woods and turn left onto Hardwood and then Hemlock Trail, with its stunning old growth hemlocks and boardwalk along the rim of the gorge.  Descend to the picnic area and see the salt spring.  To see the gorge and falls, hike up Fall Brook.  The trail that had been there is largely washed away.  You can climb up the first falls to see the second falls and the heart of the gorge.  It is beautiful.  Retrace your steps and go to the parking area.  Be aware on this hike there was no footbridge across Fall Brook.

Parking is at  41.912027, -75.865623.  After the hike, stop by Endless Brewing nearby, a great microbrewery.


Hike the Quehanna Meadow Route and East Cross Connector-Quehanna Wild Area

Quehanna Wild Area is a special place, and is starting to attract the attention of hikers and backpackers with its extensive trail network and diverse scenery.  Quehanna has vast meadows, pristine streams, views, cascades, giant boulders, great camping, forests of spruce and pine, and wild elk herds.  I’ve been to Quehanna many times, and on this hike we did something different.  I parked at the Beaver Dam parking area and took the Lincoln Loop to the East Cross Connector (ECC) with forests of spruce, pine, and meadows,  Streams were running full from the snowmelt.  Creeks in Quehanna are beautiful; the tend to be deep, with sandy bottoms.  

I met my friends who were camping along the ECC, and we headed north to the Quehanna Trail.  Along the way, the sun lit the forest of laurel, pine and spruce.  We also passed a large spring gushing from the ground.  We reached the Quehanna Trail and stashed our packs.  We then hiked off trail, heading east, across the plateau.  The forest was mostly open, but we did encounter some laurel and big rocks.  We then reached a view over Red Run, which we could hear roaring far below.  The view of the canyon was beautiful.  We returned to the Quehanna Trail and our packs.

Here, I left the group, who wanted to hike a different route.  I wanted to hike the Quehanna Meadow Route, something that has long been on my list.  I hiked south on the ECC and then hiked the Teaberry Trail, which still had deep snow in places.  The two views were mostly overgrown and I ran into a group of five hikers.  I then hiked a trail I had not been on,  Teaberry Trail Connector, it was a great trail with a series of meadows.  I then continued on the Marion Brooks loop, which went through hardwoods, tunneled through laurel and then went through more beautiful meadows with white birch trees and spruce.  A great trail.  I turned left on Losey Road and checked out the white birch forest in the Marion Brooks Natural Area. 

I continued on the yellow Marion Brooks loop, passing another hiker.  The pine forests were awesome.  I reached the meadows, which were wet.  Here, my off trail hike on the Quehanna Meadow Route began.  I crossed meadow after meadow, lined with pine and spruce trees.  It was incredible.  I reached Pebble Run and passed through some woods.  I then reached more incredible meadows as the creek shone silver in the bright sun.  I went through another forest and pushed through a hemlock thicket to reach the largest meadows.  Amazing.  Vast meadows continued for miles as Pebble Run, then joined by Mosquito Creek, flowed in the valley to my right with rapids and white boulders.  It really felt like Dolly Sods.  I could not imagine the stars here.

As I hiked, the valley grew deeper with large rocks.  Before Beaver Run, I reached some giant boulders with caves and deep chasm that I hope to explore.  This chasm might run for over a hundred feet.  I crossed Beaver Run, flowing fast and deep, and got wet feet.  I hiked up the meadow with fine views to the south over the oxbow bend of Mosquito Creek, an awesome spot.  Giant boulders and cliffs loomed across the creek.  The sun began to set, and I was tired.  I pushed on to the Bridge Trail, which I hiked down to Mosquito Creek and our campsite.  We enjoyed a fire and conversation, even though it was hard to hear with the roar of Mosquito Creek.  Since we were assured clear skies, I just slept on the ground without a tent.  The stars were incredible, as they appeared one by one.  The Orion constellation was vivid.  I could see the Milky Way as satellites zoomed overhead.  The sound of the creek quickly put me to sleep. 

The next morning, we got up, hiked up to beautiful Crawford Vista and then headed north on the ECC.  Meeker Run was filled with cascades, and had some great campsites.  We saw meadows and postholed through the snow.  It was a windy day as cumulus clouds sailed overhead.  We crossed more meadows and a bridge over Beaver Run; colors seemed to be everywhere, from the stones in the creek, the dried ferns, green evergreens, blue skies, white clouds.  Even in winter, Quehanna is colorful.  As we hiked out, we passed a couple backpacking in, starting a three-night trip.  They were from Texas, moved to Detroit, and were excited to explore the Quehanna.  We gave them some tips and trails not to miss.  

We reached the parking area and were soon heading home.  But Quehanna keeps bringing people back.  

For the map above, red is off trail. The vista over Red Run is at 41.295158, -78.252096. Parking is at 41.261274, -78.258002.

Explore the Hiker, Cliff and East Shore Trails Loop-Prompton State Park

This is a great mini-hike that packs in a lot of scenery.  Prompton State Park is a hidden gem with a beautiful lake, hemlock forests, falls, ledges, and over twenty miles of hiking and mountain biking trails along an extensive network.  This hike is at the northern end of the park and is about 1.5-2 miles long.

From the parking area, follow the trail to the Hiker Trail and turn left.  This trail meanders up the mountain, exploring the tiers of ledges.  It is a great trail and features impressive ice flows in winter.  Take time to explore the ledges and rock overhangs as springs trickle over them.  The rocks are colorful with lichens and moss.  At the top of the ledges, veer right onto another trail and hike along the top of the ledges.  On our winter hike, we could see more ice flows and draperies.  The forests are primarily hardwoods.  We dropped into a hemlock shaded glen with red bedrock, slides and cascades.

We crossed the creek and hiked up the other side.  There we turned right onto an old grade or trail as it descended along the glen.  I’m not sure if this is the Sidewinder Trail.  Regardless, you’ll want to take the trail closest to the glen and falls.  The falls soon came into view as they tumbled over the red bedrock under hemlocks.  This glen is very scenic and a highlight of the hike.  However, the creek is seasonal and often dry in summer.  
Turn right and hike up along the West Branch Lackawaxen River, enjoying the views over the babbling creek.  Complete the loop and retrace your steps.

Parking is at 41.635577, -75.346180.

For the map above, I is the Hiker Trail, C is the Cliff Trail, M is the Sidewinder Trail. The red trail along the river is the East Shore Trail.

See Friends of Prompton State Park for more information.

A visit from several years ago.

Hike to Windstorm Vista and Cottonwood Falls-Worlds End State Park

This loop hike at Worlds End explores a new vista created by a windstorm.  It also features hemlocks, views, ledges, and waterfalls.  It explores some of the less popular parts of the park and is a very diverse and scenic hike.  This hike begins and ends at the park office.  Begin by following the Loyalsock Trail (LT) and cross PA 154.  A steep climb under hemlocks soon follows up a ridge.  You can hear the rapids of the Loyalsock Creek far below.   Reach an area with many fallen trees from the windstorm and Worlds End Vista, offering a nice view of the creek and canyon below.

Continue up the trail and reach a juncture where the LT turns left; there is also a sign for the Pioneer Road, the original route through Worlds End.  Legend has it that the terrain was so steep along the road that travelers thought they reached the end of the world, or their lives.  Here, turn right onto the yellow Worlds End Trail as it climbs up the slope with more fallen trees and some views.  The Worlds End Trail then level along the side of the mountain. 

Watch for where the trail turns left and goes up the mountain.  Here, you want to go straight, off trail, keeping the same elevation to a large open area with a great view of Worlds End, what I call the Windstorm Vista.  As I enjoyed the view, I could hear the ice collapsing off of High Rock and then falling into the Loyalsock Creek.  I imagined this was what glaciers sounded like.  

I returned to the LT and followed it along the mountain, enjoying the peaceful forests and trickling springs.  Above were a series of cliffs and ledges and lined the mountain.  I reached a juncture with Pioneer Road, which is unblazed but easy to follow.  Here, I noticed some cliffs and an orange rock overhang above me.  I went off trail to investigate.  The overhang was unique and colorful, with the colors of rust and orange mottled along flakes of rock.  Sandstone ledges surrounded the overhang. I soon returned to the Pioneer Road which I followed to a seasonal stream and Worlds End Road.  I crossed and picked up the green blazed Double Run Trail.

This was a beautiful trail with cascades and rapids under hemlocks.  Cottonwood Falls was beautiful with its grotto of ice formations and deep pool.  More falls and slides were below.  I rejoined with the LT, crossed two footbridges, and continued on the green Double Run Nature Trail to a parking area along PA 154.  I crossed the road and followed the Link Trail along the Loyalsock Creek, on sidehill along a steep bank, on rock ledges above the creek, and under a rock overhang.  It is a beautiful trail to hike.  I soon returned to the park office, completing the loop.  While there, it is well worth your time to walk down to High Rock along the Loyalsock Creek to see the ice formations.

Parking is at 41.471624, -76.581951.   Windstorm vista is approximately located at 41.468511, -76.587605.

Winter Hike to Becker Brook and the Weeping Wall-SGL 57

This was a winter hike to Becker Brook to see the ice flows at the Weeping Wall.  I first hiked through here six year ago in the spring, we came upon a cove of ledges and cliffs from which many springs flowed.  I’ve always wanted to return to see what these springs looked like frozen.  This is a worthwhile hike anytime of the year with big rocks, waterfalls, cascades, caves, mazes and overhangs.  Being a winter hike, access is tricky.  The road is plowed to Parking 1, but not Parking 2.  If there is little snow, it is possible to reach Parking 2; it is best to reach it from PA 487.  it is generally not advisable to drive the road between Parking 1 and 2 as it is steep and rugged in places.  

Due to heavy snow, we had to make the longer hike from Parking 1.  Thankfully, the road had tire and snowmobile tracks, which made the walking easier.  At the top, however, we had to put on snowshoes to traverse the deep snow.  What a workout.  We dropped down to some large rock outcrops below Parking 2, which had some ice flows.  We crossed the one branch of Becker Brook, and headed to the main branch.  We dropped down to the creek at Becker Brook Falls, which were completely snow covered.  This is a beautiful spot with giant boulders and cascading waterfalls into a deep pool.  We then climbed to the rim of rocks south of the brook and hiked around the rim.  The giant rocks were beautiful and we passed one overhang with ice flows.  Animal tracks stitched the snow across the forest floor.

We reached a giant overhang with a cave, maze and chasms.  It was very scenic.  The tracks of a bobcat passed through a small cave.  The red rock was striking against the white snow.  The overhang had a variety of colors-black, green, silver, red and orange.  It was striking.

We headed south along the rim, passing more giant rocks, and soon reached the Weeping Wall.  The ice flows were beautiful with mounds, draperies, and walls of blue ice.  A narrow chasm with filled with silvery icicles.  Springs bubbled from the rocks.  A beautiful place.  We retraced our steps, the hike being much easier with a packed path in the snow.

This hike is off trail with no blazes or signs.  Red is the off trail route.  Yellow is an alternate route to see more of Becker Brook’s cascades and falls, although there are landslides and flood damage. Parking 2 is on the gamelands.  Enjoy this beautiful place anytime of the year.

Parking 1 is at 41.466884, -76.161423.

Parking 2 is at 41.455797, -76.197386.

Weeping Wall is at 41.445431, -76.200722.

Hike to the Windy Valley Vistas-SGL 57

This off trail hike leads to fine views over Windy Valley and Koerber Brook.  If you’ve ever parked at White Brook and looked across the valley to the cliffs on the other side, that is where the Windy Valley Vista is located.  It is a beautiful escarpment of rock outcrops with some fine views.  This hike is on SGL 57.  There are no signs or blazes.

Pull off parking for this hike is at  41.490798, -76.132794.  Cross the road and hike to Koerber Brook.  Turn right and hike up a narrow ridge or slope above the brook.  Hike the rim above the brook as it flows in a deep ravine.  There are cascades, slides and small falls.  Above the falls, there is a grade to the left, follow it.  Koerber Falls is just upstream and very much worth seeing if the creek is flowing well.  Follow the grade for a bit, but then climb up the ridge, following some deer paths.  The terrain steepens and there are rock ledges.  At about 1750 feet in elevation, work north and pick up the “goat path”, an obvious path across the mountain that is fairly well established.  This is the easiest way to the views.  Reach the escarpment of ledges and begin exploring, enjoy the views and unique rock ledges and outcrops.  The views across the valley and up White Brook are beautiful, there is even a view that looks up Mehoopany Creek.   Reach a private property line and turn around, follow the goat path back to the ridge.  The cliff with the views are located at 41.496181, -76.124201.

If you’d like to see Koerber Vista, hike up the ridge to a talus slope with a nice view looking down the gorge into Windy Valley.  The view is located at  about 41.494370, -76.120817.  Retrace your steps back down the ridge, to Koerber Brook, and your car.