Thomas Run Falls and Little Schrader Creek-SGL 12


Black follows gravel or logging roads.  Red is off trail.  Yellow is an established trail up along Little Schrader Creek; it is not blazed or signed.

Southern Bradford County is home to SGL 12 and 36, vast public lands that feature remarkable natural beauty. Near the former logging town of Laquin, now a shadow of its former self with only a few homes and cabins, is an isolated hike to beautiful streams and waterfalls. Laquin was once home to 2,000 people, now, you will likely have this hike all to yourself.

From the game commission parking area, hike around the gate and simply follow the gravel road, which was once a railroad. After a half mile, cross Little Schrader Creek on a bridge and see a distinct path to your right crossing a small meadow. Remember this spot for your return from Thomas Run Falls, for it is the trail to the falls and cascades on Little Schrader Creek.

Continue hiking the road. Overall, it is a nice hike. One highlight are some large meadows which offer views, not to mention opportunities to see wildlife and birds. Reach a new logging road to your right (located at about 41.604664, -76.675140). Turn right and follow for a thousand feet until the road makes a sharp right turn. Here, go off trail to the left; there may be an old grade. You will soon reach Thomas Run. Hike off trail up the run. You will enter a gorge with cascades and boulders. Cliffs loom overhead. Thomas Run Falls soon comes into view and it is a beautiful setting. Counting the cascades just downstream, the height of the falls is 20-25 feet. What is unique is that you are gorged in, there is no safe way to hike above the falls as it is surrounded by cliffs. It is a truly beautiful, out of the way spot. The falls are located at about 41.606006, -76.681902. Return the way you came.

Back at Little Schrader Creek, take the path across the meadow, now on your left. The path has no blazes or signs, but it is well established. The path follows impressive old grades with huge stone retaining walls, some of which are collapsing. Enter an impressive gorge with rapids, cliffs, and cascades. The first falls is a narrow chute with overhanging ledges and a deep pool. The path continues across another meadow and into a second gorge with another falls and pool. It is hard to get good photos of both falls due to their position. Little Schrader Creek is very scenic and is well worth the hike. It is described in Hiking the Endless Mountains. Return the way you came.

Park at 41.624435, -76.659780. The hike is about two miles, one way, to Thomas Run Falls. No trails have signs or blazes.

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Thomas Run Falls, SGL 12.

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Hiking Mt. Tom-Tioga State Forest


Yellow is the main trail.  Red is the side trail, which has few blazes.

Mt. Tom is a landmark in the Pine Creek Gorge region. It looms over the north end of the gorge, reaching an elevation over 2,200 feet and 1,100 feet above Pine Creek itself. For those that like steep climbs, there is a linear trail to the summit where there is a view. A second, or side, trail provides a more gradual climb, but it is much longer.

Park at the Darling Run access for the rail trail and see a sign for the Mt. Tom Trail. It is blazed yellow. Climb up to PA 362 and turn right for a short distance and then cross the road. The trail soon enters the glen of a small stream. This is a beautiful section of trail with big pine trees and the babbling creek below. Continue to climb and then cross the creek. Follow an old grade and climb away from the creek. Veer right and reach an obvious, grassy old forest road.

Here, you have a choice to take the short and steep trail to the summit, or the much longer and gradual route to the right. We took the gradual route up, but it was still a good climb. The side trail is not blazed well, but it simply follows the old road. At the top there was a clearing and some confusion; the trail goes to the left and follows an old ATV trail. This was a nice, level stretch that would offer extensive views when the leaves are off the trees. We soon reached the yellow trail and the view was just to the right.

The view was a narrow cut in the trees but still provided a fine overlook up the Pine Creek Valley towards Galeton. This is a great view for sunsets. We then took the yellow trail down. It was steep in places, but I was expecting it to be a bit worse. There was no rock scrambling required. We reached the old forest road where the two trails first diverged and we retraced our steps.

Mt. Tom is a great hike, with the trail through the glen along the stream being a surprise. Next time, I think I would just hike the steep, main trail to the summit as the other trail is far longer and still required a steady climb.

Parking is at 41.736718, -77.429236.

Waterfalls of Satterlee Run-SGL 36


Yellow is the unblazed forest road down to Satterlee Run.  Short off trail hike is required to reach the falls.  Orange is an unblazed but established trail up to Split Rock Vista; the maze is nearby and just further to the west.

Satterlee Run carves a gorge down through Kellogg Mountain and where the two branches of the run meet, there are an impressive series of waterfalls.  In fact, you can look up both glens to see waterfalls.  This is a place of stunning beauty and a must visit for any waterfall enthusiast.

I first visited Satterlee Run a couple years ago, where I had an exciting bear encounter (click the link for other photos).  For that hike, I followed Satterlee Hollow Road from Kellogg Road, and then up an old woods road to the waterfalls.  While it was not posted on that hike, that route does appear to cross private land so it is not recommended.  This route is all on state game lands.

From Deep Hollow or Hatch Hill Road, follow the game commission access road to the first gate.  If the gate is closed, your hike will have to begin here.  If the gate is open, usually during hunting season in the Fall and Spring, drive to the next gate and parking area.  The road was in good shape during my visit and can be driven by a car.  From the second gate it is less than two miles, one way, down to the waterfalls.

Follow the road north where it can be grassy, and wet.  Where a road leaves to the left, take it.  It is a gravel road in good shape.  The road traverses the top of the plateau and then begins to wind down towards Satterlee Run.  As it descends, the road becomes more eroded.  Cross small streams along the way.

Once at the bottom, leave the road and hike off trail down to where the branches of Satterlee Run meet (the road does not directly pass or go near the falls).  This is place of great beauty.  Cross the creek as best you can and hike up the south branch first.  Be careful along the steep terrain.  The waterfalls are beautiful and there are four of them.  Even a small sidestream joins with waterfalls.

Return to where the two branches meet and hike up the main branch of Satterlee Run.  Generally, you will hike on the north side of the creek as the south side is steeper and higher.  There are four falls on this section, ranging from 15 to 30 feet tall.  Be careful along the steep terrain.  The third falls up has a unique stone retaining wall at the top, although part of it has been damaged from floods.  The glen is very scenic with moss, cascades, and smooth bedrock.  Above the third falls, the creek is mellow but as you go upstream a gorge forms again and there is a fourth falls, a steep and beautiful slide in an impressive grotto.  Return the way you came, back up the road and to your car.

SGL 36 is a beautiful place and I hope to explore more of it.  To the north are the impressive Kellogg Mountain vistas from cliffs of white rock.  I believe another vista may exist east of Satterlee Run.  Deep Hollow Falls and Split Rock are nearby and feature a view, rock maze, and a series of waterfalls.

I parked at 41.638086, -76.499098 (only accessible when gate is open).  If the gate is not open, this is as far as you can drive: 41.621888, -76.500854.

41.645424, -76.471889: where the two branches meet and where you will want to begin your exploration of the waterfalls.

Photos and video:

Waterfalls of Burgess Brook Gorge-SGL 57


Red is off trail.  Orange is old ATV trail.  Yellow are grades or old forest roads.  There are wet areas on the top of the plateau.  SGL 57 boundary extends further down Burgess Brook than shown on this map.  There are no bridges across streams.  Map is modeled off of one prepared by Ben Van Riper.

Burgess Brook is another of SGL 57’s beautiful places. When I first started exploring SGL 57 over a decade ago, the vista at the top of the brook was one of the first places I visited. I never considered exploring the creek below, thinking there weren’t any waterfalls. As it turns out, there are several beautiful falls in this rugged gorge. The beauty of this area does not stop.

Private land blocks the bottom part of the gorge, so a long hike from the White Brook parking area is required. The hike down into, and out of, the gorge is steep and rugged, although an old grade does provide access. Only experienced hikers should attempt this trek. Ryan joined me on this hike.

Like so many hikes in SGL 57, begin at the game commission parking area at White Brook, along Windy Valley Road. Cross a field to the northwest corner, hike up past some houses, enter a pine forest where the trail became steeper, and then reach the old grade above White Brook, which you should followed up. This hike has choices. Route A on the map is the easiest to navigate, but the climb is relentless. Route C is the most scenic, as it stays close to White Brook with its large boulders and cascades, although the grade can be a little hard to follow after crossing the creek and proceeding north to Route B. Route B is a fine route, offering a more gradual ascent with views down into the gorge of White Brook and a stream crossing with cascades. A good idea is to take C up and return via B. When crossing White Brook, expect erosion and steep slopes from recent floods.

At the top, reach a wet area and follow an old ATV trail as it climbs to the base of the Bartlett Mountain Balds. There forests here are scenic with fern meadows and spruce trees. The old ATV trail fades out and an easy bushwhack is required through open woodlands with spruce and large hardwoods. Wet areas return and another ATV trail makes an appearance, which I followed down to an obvious old forest grade or road. Turn left here.

We hiked out to the vista. Grades also provide access down into the gorge. The top two falls are nice, but can be missed. The remaining falls should not be missed. It is best to hike down the steep grade to the east of Burgess Brook to the bottom where there is a stunning 15 foot falls in a beautiful gorge. We went behind this falls. It is then best to hike off trail up Burgess Brook to see the other falls. Reach a falls with three drops, totaling about 50 feet. Above was a 30 foot falls. There were nonstop smaller falls and cascades. The beauty was incredible. Above the 30 foot falls was an old grade you can use to hike back out. There are two more falls above, one was inundated with trees, and the top falls was unique as it tumbled over a broad ledge, we were able to hike behind this one as well. Overall, however, the falls in the bottom half of the gorge are more scenic.

While enjoying the falls, surrounded by the roar of water. Ryan told me to look downstream where we saw a mother bear and three cubs crossing the cascades on a log. An amazing sight. They didn’t hear us due to the roar of the water. They ambled into the woods as the cubs seem to bounce along, exploring logs and stumps.

We made our way back across the wilderness of the plateau, our legs exhausted from the long hike, as the sun began to set. Once again, we were amazed by the hidden beauty in our backyards. Pennsylvania is an amazing state.

Park at: 41.496512, -76.131986

Burgess Brook Gorge is at: 41.518219, -76.178261

The hike is about 6 miles, one way.  The Loyalsock Creek USGS gauge should read 2.0 feet or higher as an approximate correlation for good water flow.

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Cascades on Burgess Brook, SGL 57.

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Bear Run Trail-Tioga State Forest


Trail is well established and blazed red, but blazes are infrequent.

At the historic site of what was the former mining town of Landrus is a surprisingly enjoyable trail, the Bear Run Trail. The trail begins along Landrus Road and there is a sign. The trail is marked with red blazes, but they are very infrequent. However, the trail is well established. I hiked this trail out of curiosity, not knowing what to expect.

I hiked up an old road and then the trail veered left. Bear Run soon came into view with cascades, rapids, and pools framed by large boulders. I was impressed with the scenery. I passed a ten foot falls I called Bear Run Falls. This trail offered incredible streamside hiking with great views over the rushing water and gorge. The trail climbed higher above the creek, offering more views on the non-stop whitewater. Ledges and cliffs rose along the slopes of the gorge and some hemlocks grew along the creek.

I was surprised this gem was not better known, although I’m sure it was when the town of Landrus existed. The trail crossed Bear Run, so I hopped across on rocks. I was treated to more cascades. The trail soon made another stream crossing. Here, I stopped and turned around but not before enjoying a cascade over a wide ledge beneath cliffs dripping with springs. I then returned to my car. While the trail continued, I hiked in a mile.

I did check out the east branch of Bear Run, but there were no waterfalls.

If you enjoy streamside hiking on an isolated trail, this is the hike for you.

Parking is at 41.641848, -77.207233.

Boone Run Falls-Tioga State Forest


Red is off trail.  Yellow is an old grade or forest road.  Orange is a trail to a rock climbing area.

Near the town of Blossburg is a glen of scenic beauty. Boone Run cuts down through the plateau in the Tioga State Forest, and at one point, has a beautiful glen with waterfalls and slides, not to mention a side stream with its own cascades. I parked at the abrupt end of Boone Run Road. There was a gated private drive with no trespassing signs, but the surrounding land was not posted. According to the maps, state forest land touches the end of the road. Just be aware of this when you begin the hike.

Go off trail and hike under hemlocks and cross Boone Run to an obvious grade.  Be careful crossing in high water. Turn left on the grade and hike upstream. You may notice a trail going up the hill marked with orange flags, that is a trail to a rock climbing area further up the hill, called the Boone Run Crags. Hike up the grade and enjoy the fine scenery along the creek. You will encounter wet and washed out areas, not to mention brush, but the grade is fairly easy to follow.

After a half mile, the grade climbs above a distinct glen in the hemlocks, you can hear the sound of the waterfalls. Descend to the left and reach the creek to enjoy the falls, slides, and pool. It is a beautiful setting and the total height might be 20 feet. A tributary cascades in from the side, making it even more scenic. Further upstream are some smaller bedrock slides, but nothing significant.

This hike is about .75 mile one way.  Overall, it is easy to moderate. I parked at 41.674237, -77.078512.  The falls are at 41.677378, -77.086527.

Sand Run Falls and the Gorges of Babb Creek-Tioga State Forest


Yellow are the unblazed but well established trails.  Orange is the Mid State Trail.

The eastern part of the Tioga State Forest is not as famous as the Pine Creek Gorge, but it has remarkable natural beauty. Here you will find impressive gorges and waterfalls. No hiker should miss Sand Run Falls and the gorges of Babb Creek.

Most people hike into Sand Run Falls along the Mid State Trail from SR 2016. While that is a great hike, there is a much shorter and arguably more scenic route along an unblazed but obvious trail from Landrus Road. The pull off parking is marked with a tree painted with a variety of colors. The trail starts just down the road and descends along switchback to the bottom of the valley. Hike through a grove of ironwood trees and reach Lick Run. You will need to make two stream crossings without bridges. Expect wet feet in higher water.

The trail continues up along Babb Creek and it is beautiful, passing under hemlocks and above the creek, which is often framed with cliffs and ledges. Climb gradually up the stream valley and reach thicker hemlocks and some wet areas. Babb Creek hides from view, flowing in a gorge.

Reach a place where the trail splits; I took the left trail which drops down a steep slope with a rope to Babb Creek. The beauty is amazing with gorges and cliffs, no more than 50 feet deep. Springs tumbled down the ledges. I hiked up along Babb Creek, passing an impressive grotto to the right with a falls. I continued and crossed Sand Run to take in the beauty of San Run Falls.

This is a gorgeous falls set in an impressive gorge with incredible campsites. The roar of water surrounded me, confined within the gorge walls. I felt as if I were within a hidden world. I climbed a trail up a steep slope on the north side of the gorge and turned left onto the orange blazed Mid State Trail (MST). The MST is an awesome hiking trail through this area, offering views down into the gorges. The trail descended to Babb Creek above a bedrock slide and waterfalls downstream. Do not cross here in high water. The MST climbed a ridge with views of another falls on a tributary. I hiked the MST to where it crossed the tributary, where I turned around.

Back at the Babb Creek crossing, I went off trail and hiked up Babb Creek. I highly recommend you do this if the water isn’t high. The beauty is amazing with several bedrock slides, pools, cascades, and gorges. This section has attracted the attention of whitewater kayakers (see the video below).

I then turned around and hiked the MST back the way I came. I stayed on the MST as it crossed above Sand Run Falls. I then hiked off trail up Sand Run to see more gorges, cascades, pools, and rapids. This area is incredible. I returned to the MST, hiked down it for a short distance, and then turned right off the MST and onto the unblazed trail.   I then retraced my steps back to the car.

This hike is about 1.5 miles, one way. It is moderate in difficulty and there are some steep slopes. Do not attempt in high water as there are no bridges.

I parked at approximately 41.653248, -77.193058.

Photos and videos:

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Sand Run Falls.

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From scott.martin.images: