Mountain Springs Loop

Small stream at Hall of Hemlocks

One of my favorite hikes is a combination of the Cherry Run and White Gold Circuit hikes, described as hikes nos. 27 and 29  in “Hiking the Endless Mountains”. This route follows the eastern part of the Cherry Run hike, and the western part of the White Gold Circuit hike.   This loop has it all- views, hemlock forests, cascades, streams, ponds and some history.  It is also moderate in difficulty and about 7-8 miles in length.

Hall of Hemlocks trail

I parked at The Meadows along Mountain Springs Road and entered the woods on the unblazed, unsigned Hall of Hemlocks trail.  The trail follows an old grade along the edge of the plateau, passing small streams and deep hemlock forests with ground pine.  It is very scenic.  The trail gets closer to the edge of the plateau with rock outcrops and partial views.  The trail moved away from the edge and climbed into a hardwood forest, this section can be a little hard to follow if there is snow or leaves on the ground.  It is likely easier to follow in summer.  I followed the trail back to the edge with more hemlocks and a small stream with a trickling falls.  The hemlocks continued as I descended to beautiful Cherry Run with its cascades.  Without a bridge, I made my way across the water using rocks.  I soon reached the yellow blazed Little Cherry Run Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park, where I turned left.

Little Cherry Run Trail

This is a gorgeous trail with two bridges as it closely follows Cherry Run with all its rapids and cascades in a narrow gorge.  It looks like this trail is becoming quite popular.  There is a large rock outcrop, pool and small falls at the bottom of the trail.  I then turned left on the red blazed Mountain Springs Trail, which followed an old forest road and also doubles as a snowmobile trail.  This was another scenic forest walk with more hemlocks, birch, and maple.  I could hear Bowmans Creek flow below.  I reached the end of Mountain Springs Lake, following the trail to the left.  The lake has been officially drained, but when enough water flows in, it does fill back up.  I was lucky to see the lake full once again.  The trail went along the north shore of the lake with many nice views.

Mtn Springs Lake

I reached the end of the lake and passed the dam, heading straight on the dirt road.  Old foundations for the ice industry were to the right.  I turned right, or straight onto an old grade where the dirt road turns left.  This obvious grade headed east, passing on the north shore of the wetlands of what once were Ice Dam No. 1.  I had not hiked this trail before and I enjoyed it.  Bowmans Creek meandered within this wetland with many beaver dams.  I reached the end of the wetlands at the remnants of the dam and deep meandering pools.  I turned left onto an old forest road and climbed up to the dirt road.  This was now a part of the White Gold Circuit.

Outlet of former dam of Ice Dam No. 1

I crossed the road and followed an obvious trail up a gradual slope back to the plateau. As I neared the top, huge boulders and ledges rose above me.  This is a beautiful trail.  The trail kept close to the edge with views through the trees.  The views opened up from cliffs and ledges of the lake and the streams that roared below.  This is a nice place for a sunset.  The trail left the cliffs, meandering through woodlands, and reached Beech Lake Road.  I turned left on the road, took the grassy grade on the right out to Beech Lake to see some ducks and geese.  To my surprise, there was no ice on the lake, which reflected the blue skies and white clouds.  I retraced my steps and returned to my car.

If you’re looking for a new place to hike, I highly recommend this superb loop.  While all trails are not blazed or signed, all trails and grades are well established and this loop is fairly easy to navigate.

On the drive home, I stopped by the Hayfields in Ricketts Glen State Park.  I never really hiked here, so I explored the meadows and wetlands, and enjoyed a sunset in the frigid breeze.  I also stopped by the former site of the lumber town of Ricketts, once home to 800 people, but now replaced by forest.  It is amazing all the lives that have come and gone in a place that is now so isolated.

More pictures.


Hiking this loop is easy, it is about 7-8 miles long.  Terrain is moderate with gradual inclines and declines.

1.  Park at the Meadows along Mountain Springs Road.  N41 21.574  W76 14.120

2.  Enter the unblazed Hall of Hemlocks trail into the woods and bear left onto an old railroad grade.  There may be some yellow or blue paint blazes, but they are infrequent.  N41 21.519 W76 14.138

3.  Cross some small streams and enjoy the hemlock forests.  N41 21.068  W76 13.920

4.  The trail moves closer to the edge of the plateau.

5.  Leave the hemlocks and enter a hardwood forest.  Trail may be a little harder to follow through here, especially if there is snow or leaf cover, but it is discernable.

6.  Trail moves away from the edge of the plateau, going off and then onto an old grade.

7.  Trail moves closer to the edge of the plateau with more hemlocks.

8.  Cross a small stream with a seasonal falls.  N41 20.522 W76 14.531

9.  Enjoy more hemlocks above Cherry Run and descend.

10.  Cross Cherry Run (no bridge) and meet the Little Cherry Run Trail, blazed yellow.  Turn left on this trail.  N41 20.815 W76 14.929

11.  Hike the trail down along Cherry Run, very scenic.

12.  Turn left onto the red blazed Mountain Springs Trail.

13.  Hike to Mountain Springs Lake, walk to the dam and parking area.

14.  Continue straight on dirt road.  Ice industry ruins on right.

15.  Where dirt road turns left and climbs, continue straight onto obvious old forest road.

16.  Hike above the wetlands of former Ice Dam No. 1.

17.  Reach four way intersection, turn left and climb to dirt road.  N41 20.828  W76 12.565

18.  Cross dirt road and follow obvious footpath as it goes through pickers and up an old grade.

19.  Trail bears left on an old grade, near edge of plateau.  N41 20.903 W76 12.800

20.  Trail turns right and climbs, levels below cliffs and ledges.

21.  Reach the top of cliffs with views of the lake.  N41 20.773 W76 13.509

22.  Trail meanders through woodlands and ends at Beech Lake Road.  N41 21.538 W76 14.005

23.  Turn right onto obvious forest road to Beech Lake.  N41 21.555 W76 13.822

24.  Retrace your steps and return to your car, which is nearby.


Vistas of SGL 207

View of Nanticoke

SGL 207 is southwest of Wilkes Barre, between US 309 and I-81.  I recently became interested in exploring this game lands, with its many ridges, rock outcrops, ponds, and wetlands.  I parked off of US 309 near Mountaintop, at a game commission parking area at the end of Brown St.  I then followed a gated railroad grade as it wrapped around the mountain above US 309; I believe this may become a rail trail in the future.  The old grade cut through the bedrock.  Below was Solomon Creek and the famed Ashley Planes which were inclined planes that brought coal up and out of the Wyoming Valley.  The overgrown planes still exist today and were an engineering marvel of their time.

At the second powerline, I turned left and then right, following another powerline swath.  The terrain was quite hilly as I went up and over ridges.  I was treated to some amazing views of Wilkes-Barre and I could see I-81 in the valley far below.   Large rocks and ledges adorned the forests.  I hiked around some wetlands embedded in between the ledges.  The trail followed the powerline and soon brought me to the southern ridge, with some nice views to the south.  Here, I began my bushwhack, heading northeast along an exposed ridge with non-stop views over the forests and ponds below, walking around seasonal wetlands and ponds.  I made my way back to the powerline and soon returned to the woods to a couple large boulders at the top of a ridge with some nice views.  SGL 207 also features several meadows with grasses over bedrock and bare soil.  I then retraced my steps to my car, passing several people hiking the old railroad grade.

SGL 207 was worth visiting and has some of the best views of Wilkes Barre.  I’d like to return to hike the rest of the old grade, although I doubt I’d hike the same route I did on this trip.

More photos.

Map of SGL 207.

Appalachian Trail: Hike to Knife Edge and Bear Rocks

View from Knife Edge

We recently returned to the famous Appalachian Trail (AT) in PA to hike one of its more scenic, and rugged, sections.  We parked off of Route 309 and soon began hiking north on the AT, passing small campsites and thickets of laurel.  The trail was nice, but became increasingly more rocky.   There were some nice views to the south over the rolling farmlands and distant ridges.

View from Knife Edge

The trail crossed a powerline with views and a cairn.  From there, the rocks began to take over as we reached the crest of the ridge with a fine view.  Further up the cliffs was a lone vulture, looking quite large as it enjoyed the sun.

Rock hopping soon followed as we passed several other hikers.  Large outcrops were to our right.  We followed the trail as it scrambled up the rocky spine of the Knife Edge and its superb views.  I could see the Pinnacle and Pulpit Rock in the distance.  We sat and got a bite to eat in the bright sun.

Scrambling the rest of the Knife Edge was fun and we were soon back in the woods, which featured more hemlocks and another good view to the south as we hiked across the rocks.

Soon, Bear Rocks appeared to the left and I followed the blue trail to the top, which requires some scrambling.  This is one of the best rock outcrops along the AT in PA as it towers over the trees and provides several views to the east and north.  I followed the spine of the outcrop, enjoying all the views and the scrambling, finishing with a view to the west.  I dropped from the rocks and returned to the AT, retracing our steps back to the car under a setting sun.

Peeling bark on dead tree

This is an easy hike in terms of elevation gain, but challenging due to the rocks, Knife Edge, and Bear Rocks.  There are several fine views.  It is about 3.5-4 miles one way.

More photos.

Cathy’s Trail and Long Pond Barrens

Over the last several years, vast areas of the Poconos have been set aside as preserves, many with trails.  The Poconos are famous for its waterfalls and gorges, but its plateau is home to extensive wetlands and streams that harbor incredible diversity.

Cathy's Trail

The Nature Conservancy has several parcels of land that make up the Long Pond Preserve.  We traveled to hike Cathy‘s Trail, a short two mile loop.  We parked at the Nature Conservancy visitor center, crossed a playing field to the right, and soon found the trail.  The trail is level as it explores scenic woodlands of maple, pine, spruce, and beech.  Parts of the trail do get wet from a nearby swamp.  We hiked near a small boulder field and returned through more open hardwood forests to a meadow, which we hiked around back to the car.  Overall, this is a nice easy trail that is good for kids.  I really enjoyed the deep spruce forests with the moss and ground pine.  We could hear traffic from I-80.

Next was a visit to the Long Pond Barrens.  Parking off of PA 118 is non-existent.  This preserve features an extensive selection of wide, mowed paths through fields of blueberry and stunted oak, with pitch pine.  It is easy to hike a variety of loops. No trails are marked or signed, we navigated them using the Google earth map on our phone.  Several areas are wet.  It was a unique place with the pitch pine rising over the stunted forest and brush.  While nice, it is not as scenic as the Eales Preserve.  I think the best time to see this preserve is a sunny day after a snowfall, or during fall foliage season when the meadows explode with color.

I hope to explore more of the Poconos.

More photos.

First Day Hike- Ricketts Glen State Park

Little Cherry Run Trail

Last year we began a tradition of having a First Day Hike, a concept that has spread across the nation over the last few years.  This year, we decided to keep the tradition alive.  Despite the frigid 9 degree temperatures, the bright sun provided some motivation to hike as five brave souls met me at the parking area in Ricketts Glen State Park.  While surrounding areas were free of snow, over six inches covered the trails in the park, giving the impression that this was in fact winter.

This hike was about 5 or 6 miles long and we began by hiking down to the breached Glen Leigh dam, an old, crumbling concrete structure that is odd for a dam since it is essentially hollow.  We passed above some frozen waterfalls and hiked along the headwaters of Bowmans Creek under deep green boughs of hemlocks.  Maples and birch trees with rolls of peeling bark rose through the forest.  The temperatures warmed a little since we were out of the wind.  The trail was beautiful as it explored peaceful forests and countless animal tracks across the snow.

Little Cherry Run Trail

We turned left onto the new Little Cherry Run Trail, the most scenic section of the hike.  Everyone loved this trail as it climbed up a gorge with a tumbling stream that had several small waterfalls and cascades.  Large rocks and boulders loomed overhead.  The gorge was draped in snow and ice flows.  Two bridges offered easy passage over the frozen stream as the sound of the falling water filled the gorge.  The water was reddish from the swamps upstream.  For those that tire of the crowded Falls Trail, be sure to hike the Little Cherry Run Trail.

Group on the Little Cherry Run Trail

The trail leveled off through a beautiful, deep, green hemlock forest as we crossed small meandering streams.  The frigid sunlight cast shadows across the snow.  We turned left onto the Cherry Run Trail and returned to the dam to complete the loop.  We retraced our steps back to the cars.  Join us for next year’s First Day Hike!

More photos.

The loop we hiked.



Allegheny Ridge and Graff Woolever Loop (Loyalsock Trail)



View from the Allegheny Ridge, Loyalsock Trail


One hike I’ve always enjoyed was the Allegheny Ridge loop along the Loyalsock Trail.  It offers a good view, ridgetop walking, small streams, and beautiful forests.  If you begin from PA 87, there is also a killer climb with some big rocks and a view, although I did not hike that section on this trip.

White pine tree, Loyalsock Trail

I returned to do a variation of the hike no. 52 in “Hiking the Endless Mountains”.  I decided to do a loop, beginning from the forestry buildings along Little Bear Creek Rd., and then returning via the Graff Woolever Trail.  I hiked part of the Graff Woolever Trail years ago and always wanted to complete it.

Loyalsock Trail up Pete's Hollow

I reached the new and very large trailhead parking area, where I followed the Loyalsock Trail (LT).  The morning sun was rising, sending shafts of light through the still forest and across the white snow.  The trail steadily climbed up a hollow with a small stream.  Large pine and tulip poplar trees towered overhead.  The trail steepened and the snow and ice made it slow going.  Again, the forests were beautiful with lots of birch, pine, and hemlock.  The trail leveled and veered right onto a snowmobile trail.  After a short climb, the LT turned left, leaving the wide snowmobile trail, and followed the crest of the ridge.  I was soon treated to a superb view looking south from the ridge.  Fields adorned rolling foothills as ridges rose in the distance.  It was a beautiful view in the bright winter sunshine.  I took a break to watch the cars and homes far below.  A campsite was nearby.  The trail continued along the ridge and then dropped into a valley, only to return to the ridge with some rock outcrops.  It was a great walk with some nice views through the trees.  The LT veered right and dropped from the ridge, following another snowmobile trail.  Hemlocks filled the dark forests as small streams meandered across the trail.

Graff Woolever Trail

The LT left the snowmobile trail to the left, I continued straight.  After a quarter mile or less, I turned left onto the Graff Woolever Trail, marked by a “GW Trail” sign and blue blazes.  The trail was in good shape although it may be brushy in summer.  It was a glorious woodland trail as it parsed laurel, pine, and hemlocks.  I soon heard a stream to my right.  The trail bent right at a triple blaze (avoid the footpath to the left) and dropped into a beautiful stream valley with more hemlocks and some large trees.  The blue trail continued downstream to a campsite with stone furniture and an elaborate fire ring.  What an awesome place to spend the night, I thought.

Cascades along Graff Woolever Trail

But the blue blazes came to a sudden end and I was unsure where the trail went.  I thought I saw some old footprints in the snow, which followed the creek.  I did the same.  The creek tumbled off the side of the mountain with many small cascades and the “trail” simply followed the creek.  There was no sign of the trail with the snow, and I began to wonder if I was following human, or bear, footprints.  The terrain was quite steep.  I began to wonder if I missed the trail somehow.  Then an obvious old skid trail appeared; it was clearly the trail with cut logs, but still no blazes.  While steep, it was a great trail as it closely followed the tumbling stream with many small waterfalls.  I could see the distinctive peak of Smiths Knob through the trees.  Near the bottom there were two stream crossings as rhododendrons crowded the trail, a nice treat since rhodos aren’t that common in the Loyalsock.  I reached the bottom a little ways behind a cabin.  The trail was indistinct, but I was close to the cabins and Little Bear Creek Rd.  The trail veered right and crossed Little Bear Creek without a bridge, but I used the footbridge for one of the cabins.  There was a sign for the Graff Woolever Trail along the road.  I then walked a short distance along the road back to my car.

Graff Woolever Trail

This was an excellent loop, 5-6 miles in length.  Scenic campsites at the vista and the Graff Woolever Trail make this a great little overnight loop.  The GW Trail is blazed and established well on the plateau, but its fairly steep along the creek, without blazes.  Except for a short section, it follows an obvious old skid trail along the creek.  Next time you are hiking this area of the Loyalsock State Forest, be sure to include the Graff Woolever Trail.

Graff Woolever Trail

Map of the state forest which shows the Graff Woolever Trail on the left side of the map:

Keep in mind the Graff Woolever Trail is on the east or south side of the stream, not the west side as on the state forest map.

Bottom of Graff Woolever Trail

More photos:

Trail map

The Keystone 49: Peakbagging in Pennsylvania (Climbing the Keystone State’s Beautiful Mountains and Vistas)



Gillespie Point


Many people enjoy climbing mountains, or peaks, whether it be for a specific elevation or the view at the top.  This is common in New York and New England, and to a lesser degree, the southern Appalachians.

Pennsylvania is an odd state for “peakbagging”, because it doesn’t have many peaks.  Most of the terrain in this state is defined by ridges and plateaus with fairly consistent elevations.

Regardless, the views in Pennsylvania are still impressive, and the climbs can be very challenging.

This list is based upon mountains with features at or near the summit, such as a view, firetower, or rock outcroppings.

The focus is not on the high point itself.

There generally must be a vertical climb of at least 500 feet that is feasible for a hiker to do from a lower elevation.

Some climbs are off trail.

All climbs are on public land, or land where the public is allowed to hike.

Some peaks are reached by a road. Access via road does not count.

Summits or mountains close to each other and along the same route are described together.

Focus is on those mountains with significant views, as compared to narrow views through trees.

People may be surprised to learn that vertical climbs in Pennsylvania reach 1,600 – 1,700 feet, comparable to some mountains in New York and New England.

Summit elevations and vertical climbs are estimates.

For some off-trail or little-known vistas, GPS coordinates from Google maps are included.


Eastern Pennsylvania

 1.  Mt. Wismer

Elevation: 1,900

Vertical climb: 500

Route: Trails from T602, off of PA 447.  This is a conservancy property opened to the public.

Feature:  Views of Pocono foothills with view through the Delaware Water Gap.

Location:  North of Canadensis, Monroe County

Road to summit: No

See through Delaware Water Gap


2.  Camelback Mountain

Elevation: 2,100

Vertical climb: 800

Route:  Trails from North Rd.

Feature:  Extensive views from the summit

Location: Big Pocono State Park, Monroe County

Road to summit: Yes


3.  Mt. Minsi

Elevation:  1,400

Vertical climb: 900

Route:  Follow Appalachian Trail from Mountain Rd.

Feature:  Views of Delaware Water Gap

Location:  Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Monroe County

Road to summit: No


4.  Panther Hill

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 600

Route:  Off trail hike from Highbridge Rd.

Feature:  Expansive views to the northwest

Location:  Pinchot State Forest, Lackawanna County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.278315, -75.620957

View from Panther Hill


5.  Dunmore Pine Barrens/Gravity RR Preserve

Elevation: 1,900

Vertical climb: 700

Route:  Trails from Dunmore Reservoir No. 1.

Feature:  Expansive views from an exposed ridge and High Rock cliff.

Location:  Near Dunmore, Lackawanna County.  Located on a private preserve, but public hiking is allowed.

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.407102, -75.576065.  High Rock cliff at 41.404844, -75.575886


6.  Mt. Pisgah

Elevation: 2,200

Vertical climb: 1,100

Route:  Trails from Mt. Pisgah State Park

Feature:  Good views to the west.

Location:  Mt. Pisgah State and County Parks, Bradford County

Road to summit: Yes

View from summit of Mt. Pisgah


7.  Kellogg Mtn.

Elevation:  2,100

Vertical climb:  1,000

Route:  Hike gated game commission road to the summit.  View is located almost a mile south of the summit.  Gate is open during hunting season.

Feature:  Superb view to the east from cliffs.

Location:  SGL 36, Bradford County

Road to summit: Yes, but not to view.  Road only open during hunting season, gated at bottom rest of the year.

GPS: 41.663149, -76.474702


8.  Pole Steeple

Elevation:  1,300

Vertical climb:  500

Route:  Trails from Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Feature:  View of Michaux State Forest

Location:  Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Michaux State Forest, Cumberland County

Road to summit: No

Michaux State Forest


9.  Sunset Rocks

Elevation:  1,400

Vertical climb: 500

Route:  Trails from Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Feature:  Views

Location:  Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Michaux State Forest, Cumberland County

Road to summit: No


10.  Chimney Rocks

Elevation:  1,900

Vertical climb: 900

Route:  Appalachian Trail, other trails from Old Forge Rd.

Feature:  Views

Location:  Michaux State Forest, Franklin County

Road to summit: No


11.  Lehigh Gap

Elevation: 1,400

Vertical climb:  900

Route:  Appalachian Trail from PA 248

Feature:  Extensive views with exposed climb and scrambling

Location:  South of Palmerton, Northampton County

Road to summit: No

The descent into the Lehigh Gap along the Appalachian Trail; the trail crosses the bridge


12.  The Pinnacle and Pulpit Rock

Elevation: 1,600

Vertical climb: 900

Route:  Appalachian Trail from Reservoir Rd.

Feature:  Extensive views over farmlands and mountain ridges.  Cave beneath the Pinnacle.

Location:  Northeast of Hamburg, Berks County

Road to summit: No


13.  Hawk Rock

Elevation: 1,100

Vertical climb: 700

Route:  Appalachian Trail from Inn Rd.

Feature:  View of deep gorge cared by Sherman Creek

Location:  Duncannon, Perry County

Road to summit: No



14.  Lehigh Gorge/Glen Onoko

Elevation:  1,500

Vertical climb:  900

Route:  Trail up Glen Onoko, at top turn right on forest road to view of gorge

Feature:  Waterfalls along Glen Onoko, views of the Lehigh Gorge

Location:  North of Jim Thorpe, Carbon County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  40.898021, -75.757914


15.  Flat Rock

Elevation:  2,000

Vertical climb: 1,200

Route:  Trails from Colonel Denning State Park

Feature:  Impressive view across Cumberland Valley

Location:  South of Colonel Denning State Park, Cumberland County

Road to summit: No


16.  Canyon Vista

Elevation: 1,800

Vertical climb: 700

Route: Trails from PA 87, loop hike is possible.

Feature: View of the Loyalsock Canyon and unique rock outcrops are behind the vista.

Location:  Worlds End State Park, Sullivan County

Road to summit: Yes

Canyon Vista


17.  High Knob

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 1,100

Route: Trails from Dry Run Road and the ranger station

Feature:  Impressive view.  Pass a pond on the hike up.

Location:  Loyalsock State Forest, Sullivan County

Road to summit: Yes

High Knob Overlook


18.  Bartlett Mountain

Elevation: 2,300

Vertical climb: 1,300

Route:  Mostly old forest grades (no blazes or signs) with short bushwhack

Feature:  Views, bedrock balds, spruce forests, rock features, boreal or subalpine-like setting

Location:  SGL 57, Wyoming County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.513064, -76.166374

The balds


19.  Flat Top

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb:  1,000

Route:  Old forest or logging grades, no blazes or signs

Feature:  Fine view looking up Mehoopany Creek gorge.

Location:  SGL 57, Wyoming County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.480635, -76.148518

View from Raven Rock



View north from Hemlock Mtn

Central Pennsylvania


20.  Blue Knob

Elevation:  3,146

Vertical climb: Between 1,546 and 846 vertical feet depending on route taken.

Route:  Along various trails from Forest or Park Roads

Feature:  View at summit from ski area.  PA’s highest peak and second highest mountain.

Location:  Blue Knob State Park, Bedford County.

Road to summit:  Yes, but is gated before it reaches the top.



21.  Sharp Top

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 600

Route:  Use the Old Loggers Path from Pleasant Stream Road.  No bridge across Pleasant Stream, do not attempt in high water.

Feature:  Beautiful view that is largely undeveloped.

Location:  Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: Yes


22.  Smiths Knob

Elevation: 1,900

Vertical climb: 1,000

Route:  Loyalsock Trail from Little Bear Creek Road

Feature:  Great views from a peak

Location:  Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


23.  Allegheny Ridge

Elevation: 1,800

Vertical climb: 1,000 or 900

Route:  Loyalsock Trail from PA 87 or Little Bear Creek Road.

Feature:  Views of rolling farmlands to south with distant ridges

Location:  Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


24.  Sullivan Mountain

Elevation:  2,100

Vertical climb:  900

Route:  Old Loggers Path from Pleasant Stream Road.

Feature:  Views to the south and west from cliffs.

Location:  Near Marsh Hill, Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


25.  Big Mtn.

Elevation:  2,400

Vertical climb: 1,100 from Cowans Gap or 1,600 from PA 75

Route:  Trails from Cowans Gap State Park or PA 75

Feature:  One of PA’s finest views over valleys surrounded by rugged ridges

Location:  South of Cowans Gap State Park, Fulton County

Road to summit: Yes


26.  Throne Room Vista, Hall of the Mountain King, and Butler Knob

Elevation: 2,300

Vertical climb: 600 from Jacks Mtn Rd.  1,700 from Mapleton, a long, challenging hike along the Standing Stone Trail.

Route:  Along the Standing Stone Trail

Feature:  A series of remarkable views from talus slopes and ledges

Location:  South of Mapleton, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: No, but a rough road does reach Butler Knob

Throne Room Vista



27.  Jacks Mtn. and 1000 Steps

Elevation: 2,300

Vertical climb: 1,700

Route:  Standing Stone Trail from US 22

Feature:  Incredible staircases of rock steps, non-stop views, historical features.  Last view is at Shorb’s Summit.

Location:  Between Mapleton and Mt. Union, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: No

Shorbs Summit


28.  Sausser’s Stonepile (Stone Mountain)

Elevation: 2,100

Vertical climb: 1,100

Route:  Standing Stone Trail from Frew Rd.

Feature:  Extensive ridgetop vistas, finest is at Sausser’s Stonepile

Location:  South of McAlevy’s Fort, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: No

Sausser's Stonepile


29.  Stone Valley Vista (Stone Mountain)

Elevation:  2,000

Vertical climb: 1,000

Route:  Standing Stone Trail from Greenwood Furnace State Park

Feature:  Vista

Location:  Rothrock State Forest, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: No

Rising sun at Stone Valley Vista


30.  Broad Mtn.

Elevation:  2,380

Vertical climb:  1,400

Route:  Standing Stone Trail from Alan Seeger Natural Area or Greenwood Furnace State Park

Feature:  Firetower that has superb views if it is open.

Location:  Rothrock State Forest, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: Yes


31.  Indian Wells Vista (Tussey Mountain)

Elevation: 2,400

Vertical climb:  600

Route:  Trails from Bear Meadows Natural Area, including the Mid State Trail

Feature:  One of PA’s finest views

Location:  Rothrock State Forest, Centre County

Road to summit: No


32.  Mt. Nittany

Elevation:  1,900

Vertical climb: 600

Route:  Trails on the Mt. Nittany Conservancy

Feature:  View of State College

Location:  State College, Centre County

Road to summit: No


33.  Hyner View

Elevation: 1,950

Vertical climb: 1,200

Route:  Garby and Donut Hole Trails

Feature:  One of PA’s famous vistas

Location:  Hyner View State Park, east of Renovo, Clinton County

Road to summit: Yes


34.  Wolf Run Bald

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 1,300

Route:  Along the Bob Webber Trail

Feature:  Great views of Pine Creek Gorge

Location:  Tiadaghton State Forest, south of Slate Run, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


35.  Ravenshorn (Raven’s Horn)

Elevation: 1,500

Vertical climb: 700

Route:  Golden Eagle Trail.  While the view is not near the top of the mountain, it is impressive.

Feature:  Impressive view of Pine Creek Gorge region.

Location:  South of Slate Run, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No



36.  Half Dome

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 1,300

Route:  Steep trail.  Use trails from Naval Run Rd.

Feature:  Views of Pine Creek Gorge.  Some claim to be one the largest drops from the mountain directly down to Pine Creek itself.

Location:  Slate Run, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


37.  Hemlock Mtn.

Elevation: 2,100

Vertical climb: 1,400

Route:  Trails, including the Black Forest Trail, from Naval Run Rd.

Feature:  Summit features three vistas, one looking south is particularly impressive.

Location:  Slate Run, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No


38.  Gillespie Point

Elevation: 1,900

Vertical climb: 1,000

Route:  Mid State Trail from Blackwell

Feature:  A peak that features superb view of Pine Creek Gorge and Blackwell

Location:  Blackwell, Tioga State Forest, Tioga County

Road to summit: No


39.  Lookout Rocks

Elevation: 1,500

Vertical climb: 800

Route:  Use trails from Camp Susque.  Public is allowed to use trail from Camp Susque, but sign in first.

Feature:  Impressive view looking down the Lycoming Creek Valley.  View is not near the top of the mountain, but its impressive nonetheless. 

Location:  Trout Run, SGL 133, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.409228, -77.032117


40.  Rattlesnake Rocks

Elevation:  1,800

Vertical climb:  1,100

Route:  Trail from PA 14.  Most of this hike is in the Loyalsock State Forest, but check in with Camp Susque first.

Feature:  View of Lycoming Creek Valley

Location:  Trout Run, Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.425028, -77.034629


41.  Hammersely Meadows/Twin Sisters Vista

Elevation: 2,300

Vertical climb: 400 from Red Ridge Rd.  800 from Susquehannock Trail along Hammersley Fork; this is a bushwhack along a ridge with many impressive views.

Route: Easiest route is along Twin Sisters Trail from Red Ridge Rd.

Feature:  Mountaintop meadows with stunning wilderness vistas.  Stars are incredible at night.

Location:  North of Cross Fork, Susquehannock State Forest, Potter County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.551859, -77.847247


42.  Tuscarora Mtn (The Lockings)

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb:  1,400

Route:  Tuscarora Trail from Furnace Rd. to top of the ridge

Feature:  Several vistas from talus slopes and ledges, some are a short distance off trail

Location:  SGL 124, Franklin County, near Yeakle Mill

Road to summit: No

GPS:  39.762247, -78.060930


43.  Coot Hill

Elevation: 2,484

Vertical climb: 1,100

Route:  Bushwhack from Raver’s Gap Rd. up Ravers Run to summit. 

Feature: Vistas are from talus slopes near summit, looking north.  Vistas are undocumented.  Additional vistas on west flank of ridge.

Location:  SGL 73A, Bedford County, north of Yellow Creek

Road to summit: No

GPS: 40.169375, -78.318488


44.  Pine Island Vista

Elevation:  1,650

Vertical climb: 700

Route:  Established, unblazed trail from Pine Creek Rail Trail where it crosses Pine Island Run.  Very steep climb.

Feature:  Phenomenal vista of the PA Grand Canyon/Pine Creek Gorge.  Vista is not at the top of the gorge.

Location:  Tioga State Forest, north of Blackwell, Tioga County

Road to summit: No

GPS:  41.616002, -77.410153


45. Windy Vista (Jacks Mtn)

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 1,400

Route: Standing Stone Trail south from Mapleton

Feature:  Beautiful vista looking west over tiers of ridges

Location:  South of Mapleton, Huntingdon County

Road to summit: No



Western Pennsylvania


46.  Rimrock Overlook

Elevation: 2,000

Vertical climb: 650

Route:  Trail from Kinzua Beach Picnic Area

Feature:  Views of the Allegheny Reservoir and National Forest.  Impressive cliffs and rock features.

Location:  Allegheny National Forest, east of Warren, Warren County.

Road to summit: Yes



47.  Mt. Davis

Elevation:  3,213

Vertical climb: 400Route:  Trails from South Wolf Rock Rd.

Feature:  Observation tower with views.  Highest point in PA. 

Location:  Forbes State Forest, Somerset County, west of Salisbury

Road to summit: Yes


48.  Baughman Rock

Elevation:  2,000

Vertical climb: 700

Route:  Baughman Trail from Ohiopyle

Feature:  Superb view of Youghiogheny River Gorge

Location:  Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County

Road to summit: Yes


49.  Martin Hill

Elevation: 2,700

Vertical climb: 1,600

Route: trails from Sweet Root Natural Area, including the Mid State Trail

Feature:  Views, highest point in the ridge and valley region of PA.

Location:  Bedford County, PA, south of Rainsburg.  In the Buchanan State Forest.

Road to summit:  Yes

GPS:  39.835850, -78.545388