SGL 13 is known for its waterfalls and gorges. Dozens of waterfalls are found throughout these game lands. One such falls is on a relatively unknown stream called Bloody Run. I had been to these falls a few years ago. My initial plan was to hike up Bloody Run, see the falls, and find out if there were any more falls further upstream. However, my hike would end up being something very different.
I parked at a game commission parking lot along Mountain Road (41.306036, -76.428336). I followed a faint, unblazed trail that crossed Bloody Run, and I then followed a more established grade. This went to a very well established, wide grade, which I crossed. A grade continued up, but I decided to follow Bloody Run itself. I hiked up the creek, seeing some large 5-6 foot falls and cascades. As I continued upstream, there was extensive flood damage with landslides and fallen trees. Bloody Run Falls soon came into view, a nice 10 foot drop into a pool. Above was a grotto with another 6-7 foot falls. I pushed upstream, but I did not see anymore waterfalls. A little frustrated with my hike and the terrain, I turned around.
I then noticed out of the corner of my eye a couple walking, seeming to sail across the terrain. They were hiking a trail up the gorge. I had to check it out. I climbed and soon reached a well established grade with a trail. This trail climbed steadily up the gorge, keeping above the creek. I could see all the cascades below. The trail, which was unblazed but well established, climbed more steeply and entered a hemlock forest. At the top of the climb was an old thermometer stuck to the tree, an odd sight. The trail leveled in a beautiful hemlock forest with some old growth trees. The trail was very enjoyable to hike with the big hemlocks and great sense of isolation. I had no idea where this trail went, and the mystery deepened when I saw a trail, marked with yellow lids, on the left. I hiked this yellow trail out a ways, but turned around (I later learned it ends at a game commission road). I continued on the unblazed trail as it explored the top of the plateau with hardwoods and small meadows. The couple I was following soon disappeared into the forest; they sure seemed to know where they were going. I decided to turn around.
I followed the trail all the way back down. At the bottom, where it turned left, I followed a rocky grade to the right that brought me to the start of my hike up Bloody Run. If hiking Bloody Run, it is worth going off trail to see the falls, which are not very large. Be sure to follow the unblazed trail up the gorge and into the hemlock forest. It is a unique spot with great isolation and the sounds of the tumbling cascades of Bloody Run below. Someday I hope to return to explore more of these trails.
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Not finding anymore falls on Bloody Run, I was about to turn around when I saw two hikers on a trail above me. I climbed up to find a well used and maintained trail. The trail went up into a beautiful old growth hemlock forest. I passed a second yellow blazed trail along the way. I had to turn around, so I'm not sure where these trails went, but I'll return.