|Mile 3.00 to 4.81||Mile 0.00 to 3.00||Mile 4.81 to 9.10|
|Mile 9.10 to 13.53 Mile 13.53 to 15.45 Mile 15.45 to 18.25 Mile 18.25 to 22.08 Mile 22.08 to 25.24|
|Mile 25.24 to 28.42 Mile 28.42 to 30.57 Mile 30.57 to 34.54 Mile 34.54 to 39.59 Mile 39.59 to 43.27|
|Mile 43.27 to 46.11 Mile 46.11 to 49.25 Mile 49.25 to 53.60 Mile 53.60 to 56.00 Mile 56.00 to 59.28|
Revised October 30, 2003
Mile 0.00 to 3.00, hiked west to east
then doubled back, September
Mile 0.00 to 3.00, hiked west to east continuing to mile 4.81, October 13, 2003
Route 87 Trailhead past Sock Rock onto Allegheny Ridge
Since we didn't arrange our
hikes in a particular order, we had actually completed two-thirds of
the LT before hiking the initial segment. Part of the reason was
avoiding the ascent to Sock Rock, which looked foreboding on the topo
map. After Maria was born, Aimee suggested we'd better finish climbing
Sock Rock before she grew too heavy.
The trailhead off PA Route 87 was not easy to spot. We had driven past it many times without noticing it. The LT initially climbed 135 ft to an old woods road and followed it to mile 0.21, illustrating the suggestion that you should always warm up before strenuous exercise; namely, climbing to Sock Rock.
The 28 minute ascent to Sock Rock took us up 600 ft vertically over three-eighths of a mile. Some parts were so steep that we had to grab at roots, branches, and saplings to pull ourselves up. Ironically, it took us even longer, 29 minutes, to descend the same segment on the return. Between the strain on our knees and worries about our balance, we found that steep descents typically took about as long as the corresponding ascents. Both Aimee and Mike resorted to scooting or sliding down a few times to avoid falling. Maria found these excursions amusing.
After Sock Rock, the trail ascended an additional 100 ft to the Laurel Flat area of the Allegheny Ridge, flattened out for about a mile, then rose a few hundred feet at a moderate rate to the crest of Allegheny Ridge. It followed the ridge line about a mile and a quarter with some interesting vistas to the south. We turned back at mile 3 with plans to do the short segment from 3.00 to 4.81 from the opposite direction on a future hike.
We moved away from Pennsylvania in 1998, but still return each fall for a hiking trip. Maria is now old enough to hike challenging segments on her own two feet. In October, 2003, eight-year-old Maria and Mike returned to Sock Rock. Beginning at the mile 0.00 trailhead, they climbed past Sock Rock to the Allegheny Ridge, then continued over the ridge and ended their hike at the Little Bear Creek ranger station where they had left another car.
Maria took great glee in stopping at Sock Rock and looking for evidence of Santa Claus. (See footnote below.) While we were stopped there, another hiker overtook us on the ascent and we talked to him for a few minutes. He said he was a local, from Williamsport, and liked to get out to the LT about once a week, climbing past Sock Rock and running on the plateau above it on Allegheny Ridge before descending back to his car.
Footnote: Our family has adapted the Santa Claus legend. We say Santa picks up our Christmas stockings at Sock Rock instead of the North Pole. Mike always tops off Aimee's stockings with a copy of the LT topo map showing Sock Rock, and one year they were stored inside a bag with the inscription "Mailed from zip code 17754."
Maria at mile 1, September 21, 1996. They look none the worse for wear
after ascending over 800 ft in the first mile, but that's because the
last 0.3 mile was on Laurel Flat.
from mile 1 to 2 is relatively flat. Mike looks fine but Maria is
starting to lean on his shoulder a little bit.
after mile 2, Maria fell asleep, and she was still completely out by
Aimee posing at Sock Rock. The
rock itself is nothing special, just a boulder the size of a room. It's
the getting there that makes it special.
Seven years after her first visit, Maria returned to Sock Rock, this
time on her own two feet rather than Dad's backpack carrier. She
posed on top of the rock and spent quite a bit of time speculating how
Santa could get inside the rock to pick up Christmas stockings.
She kept looking at cracks in the rock figuring that was how
Santa managed to get in.
Mike was hoping to make it to one of the vistas between miles 2 and 3
before he and Maria stopped for a snack. She wanted to stop
before that, so they made a second stop at this vista. Maria wore
a shirt promoting her favorite baseball team. She and Mike
thought they were about to win the NL playoffs later that evening;
sadly, that did not occur. Just another change from her previous
visit seven years earlier, when her favorite baseball team was also the
Cubs, but it was the Williamsport Cubs, not the Chicago Cubs.
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