Loyalsock Trail
Mile 0.00 to 3.00 Mile 9.10 to 13.53 Mile 3.00 to 4.81
Mile 4.81 to 9.10       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 29, 2006

Mile 9.10 to 13.53, hiked east to west circling via RX-3 and RX-4 (no longer blazed), October 27, 1996
Mile 9.10 to 13.53, hiked east to west beginning at mile 15.45 and ending at mile 4.81, October 8, 2006
Blue trail B-3 junction near Long Ridge Fire Tower to Red X junction at Red Ridge

With Maria getting heavier every week, this was the last "long hike" for us on the LT. Somehow, Mike later completed hikes of similar length and worse elevation changes on the Black Forest Trail when Maria was nearly three and weighed nearly 30 lbs.

Our starting point at the Long Ridge Fire Tower was not easy to locate by car. The topo map indicated that we could get there by continuing on Little Bear Creek Road for about five miles beyond the ranger station at mile 4.81. Hoping to avoid six miles of slow driving on a gravel road, Mike was successful at navigating a route from the vicinity of Genesee Road and Mountain Road not far from LT mile 15.41 and accessible from PA Route 864 by turning north on a paved road at Huntersville, then left on a gravel road about a mile north of town but a little more than a half mile before the Y where Mountain Road splits from Genesee Road. This road made a sharp left curve nearly immediately, then continued past a T intersection on the left about a mile down, to a crossroad about 1/2 mile further. Turning right at the crossroad takes you about two miles up a narrow steep road until it ends at Little Bear Creek Road. At that point, we turned right and reached the Long Ridge Fire Tower at the end of the road in about 1/2 mile. About 1/10 mile before the tower, the Red X trail RX-4 intersected the road and continued along it to the tower.   NOTE: The Red X designation was changed in 2005.  The trail is now blazed with light blue circles designating Blue trail B-3.

After parking, we continued beyond the tower on RX-4 (now B-3) for 0.35 mile to its intersection with the LT at mile 13.53. Turning left on the LT, we encountered an intersection with white trail W-2 at mile 13.08, where the LT turned left and began slowly descending into the valley of Big Grand Dad Run. At mile 12.54, we crossed the run at elevation 1820 ft, about 200 ft below our starting point. Following portions of the Big Grand Dad Trail, Brushy Ridge Trail, and Little Grand Dad Trail for the next 1.21 miles, we ascended 85 ft then descended 240 ft to Shingle Run at mile 11.33, elevation 1660 ft. The next 1 1/3 miles consisted of alternating ascents and descents that took us as high as 1860 ft before descending to 1600 ft to cross Snake Run at mile 10.05. The lengthiest and steepest climb of the hike then took us back up to 2040 ft in about 2/3 mile before ending up at the Red X intersection at mile 9.10, elevation 2005 ft.

This marked the lunch stop of this hike. For the return trip, Mike plotted a route that stayed on top of the flat ridge to avoid the ups and downs we'd encountered on the way. The LT topo map suggested following RX-3 southward from LT mile 9.10 about a mile to a point where the trail turned right onto another trail. At that point, we turned left and followed that unmarked trail a little over 1/2 mile to an intersection with a woods road. Turning right on the woods road, we followed it about 2/3 mile where it merged with RX-4, labeled as Old Barbours Road on the map, at a Y junction. About a mile down RX-4, we reached the gravel road we'd driven earlier and completed the last 1/10 mile to our car parked at the fire tower.  Note: The side trails have been changed and this segment of RX-4 is no longer blazed.

Of course, once Maria got old enough to hike on her own two feet, then long hikes became possible again.  In October, 2006, Mike and Maria rehiked this segment in the middle of a ten-mile hike which allowed Maria to complete her last segment of the LT.  When we arrived at the mile 13.53 trail junction, we noticed that the Red X blazes had been replaced with light blue blazes indicating Blue trail B-3.  Mike let Maria add her own entry to the trail register at mile 12.54 near Big Grand Dad Run, well, actually he told her what to write.  "Today I finished my last segment of the LT trail.  Maria, age 11."  The two of them stopped for a lunch break near mile 11.75 and again for a snack near mile 10, to get some energy just before climbing the 400 ft from Snake Run back up to the ridge.  The tree growing out of the rock near mile 9.75 was even more spectacular now that it was ten years older and bigger.

Footnote: This was the first time Mike took the bold step of following an unmarked trail on the basis of the topo map. Aimee was not as confident, but when we reached the gravel road via RX-4, she was pleased we had short cut the way we did. Until then, even though RX-4 was marked with Red X discs, she kept questioning whether we were going the right direction on it. Just short of 16 months old, Maria was able to identify the Red X markers, reinforced by Mike's singing of the Sesame Street song "X marks the spot ... X marks the crossroads ... Two straight lines crossing over in the middle is the letter you must see to find the treasure or the clue ..."  Nowadays, with the unblazing of the former RX-4, a topo map is definitely needed to follow the route we took in 1996!

Near Big Grand Dad Run Mike and Maria at mile 12.54, October 27, 1996. The arrow indicates the LT makes a sharp left at this point to follow and then cross Big Grand Dad Run. Maria is alertly staring at the water in the stream next to the tree. A mile plus of hiking is certainly enjoyable when someone else is carrying you.

Sleeping Maria at mile 12 Maria found the hike both enjoyable and relaxing. At mile marker 12, a half mile after the last photo, she was napping. The only problem with sleeping in the backpack was trying to keep her head from bouncing as Mike walked. Leaning slightly forward usually helped her lay her head on his shoulder.
Sleeping Maria at mile 11 What a peaceful view of a sleeping Maria at mile marker 11. This time, she's holding her head at a diagonal to rest it close to Mike's neck.

Sleeping Maria at mile 10 A still sleeping Maria at mile marker 10. How much longer could our luck hold out? Only a 15-month-old could sleep while being jostled in a backpack for over two miles.

Tree growing from rock By mile 9.75, Maria had awakened and was once again experiencing the wonders of nature while hiking the LT in Mike's backpack. Here, the two of them are posing in front of a large rock formation that has a full size tree growing out of it.
Vista near mile 13On October 8, 2006, this was the first vista we encountered along this segment and probably the best one.  This view is to the right along the trail just before reaching mile 13, perhaps mile 13.02.
Maria with trail register at mile 12.54
Maria at trail junction, mile 12.33Left:  At mile 12.54, just before we crossed Big Grand Dad Run, we signed the trail register.  Maria wrote in her own handwriting, "Today I finished my last segment of the LT trail.  Maria, age 11."

Above Right: Maria near sign at junction of Big Grand Dad Trail, mile 12.33.
Mike and Maria stop for lunch near mile 11.75Just after turning off of the Brushy Ridge Trail onto the Little Grand Dad Trail, Mike and Maria stopped for lunch in the vicinity of mile 11.75.  Mike had been promising a lunch stop for a few minutes as they had already hiked over 3 1/2 miles.  It was just a matter of finding a convenient log for sitting.
Maria crossing Shingle Run11 year old Maria at mile 11Right:  Maria using stepping stones to cross Shingle Run at mile 11.33.

Left:  11 year old Maria poses at mile marker 11 on October 8, 2006.  Yes, she did notice that she hiked past mile 11 when she was 11.  Mike noticed that she was a lot more awake than she had been 10 years earlier when she was 1.
Maria near tree growing out of rockTree growing out of rockLeft:  Maria poses in front of rock formation with large tree growing out of it, near mile 9.75.

Right:  Closeup of tree taken from below at base of rock formation.

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