Loyalsock Trail
Mile 0.00 to 3.00 Mile 22.08 to 25.24 Mile 3.00 to 4.81
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 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 31, 2004

Mile 22.08 to 25.24, hiked west to east then doubled back, June 23, 1996
Mile 22.08 to 25.24, hiked east to west continuing from mile 30.57, October 17, 2004
Brunnerdale Road to Kettle Creek

Our second hike of 1996 extended our westward progress along the LT to the next segment beyond Kettle Creek. We began at Brunnerdale Road, in the Ogdonia Creek valley. To reach this point by car, we took PA Route 87 to Ogdonia, near Camp Lycogis, then turned right onto gravel Ogdonia Road. Approximately 3 1/2 miles down Ogdonia Road, it has a T or Y intersection with Brunnerdale Road to the left. The LT also intersects at this point and the trail markers are visible along Brunnerdale Road. In 1/4 mile, the road crosses Ogdonia Creek and there is a parking area on the left.

The weather this day was considerably more pleasant than it had been two weeks before, with temperatures in the high 70s and not very humid -- not a bad summer day for hiking. We began our hike here at mile 22.08, as the LT turned off Brunnerdale Road past the parking area and began following downstream along Ogdonia Creek. Our beginning elevation had been 1270 ft, and we dropped slowly to 1200 ft at mile 22.50, where the trail turned sharply right and ascended to a woods road at mile 22.63, 1275 ft. The LT then turned back left along the woods road and rose to 1420 ft at mile 22.79 before turning right and ascending again. This turn of events repeated another time at mile 22.94 where we turned left on another woods road, then right into a steep ascent at mile 23.00. At mile 23.26, elevation 1550 ft, we turned left onto a "Blue X" trail to gain access to Angel Falls.

We later learned that the LT had been relocated in the Angel Falls area in 1994. It had previously ascended along the falls but had been relocated to allow revegetation in the falls area. The side trail added 0.3 miles in each direction to our hike, taking us to the very top of Angel Falls, where Mike got as close as Aimee would allow to take some photos of the water cascading over the top.

After Angel Falls, we continued upstream along Falls Run, crossing it at mile 23.58, and ascended gradually but steadily to an elevation of 1930 ft near mile 24.15. From this point, we traveled steadily downhill, passing the side trail to Kettle Creek Vista at mile 24.70, elevation 1500 ft, and continuing along the LT as it descended along the hillside into Kettle Creek valley. At mile 25.24, elevation 1220 ft, we reached the same Kettle Creek crossing that we'd approached from the opposite side the previous fall.

Aimee was hoping Mike could find an alternate route for the return trip that avoided the climb. Unfortunately, this could not be done. Kettle Creek and Ogdonia Creek were separate valleys that did intersect, but it was several miles down one valley, almost back to Route 87, before reaching the other. The major benefit from this attempt at navigating was a classic pose of Maria reading the topo map over Mike's shoulder.

For whatever reason, the initial ascent to Kettle Creek Vista on the return trip wasn't as bad as we had been fearing. We stopped there for lunch, and Maria posed in a grassy area near the vista for several photos. At this time, she was still too young to walk, so there wasn't much danger of her making it to the edge and falling off.

On the other hand, the second part of the return climb, from the vista to the high point near mile 24.15, seemed worse than we were expecting from our earlier experience taking it downhill. Sometimes you just can't tell how strenuous a hike is going to be until you do it. Of course, when we reached the high point, almost all of the remaining nearly two miles was downhill. Some of the hills down from the Angel Falls area were a bit slow going, but we eventually returned to Ogdonia Creek for the final 0.42 mile back to the car.

This was the first hike Maria made in the backpack instead of the front carrier. It seemed to work well, as she enjoyed the view over Mike's shoulder. In fact, when we got near the parking area, she got so agitated with happiness at the bubbling rapids and small falls along Ogdonia Creek that when Mike took her out of the backpack at the car, he carried her back to the creek to look at them some more. Maria, two weeks short of her first birthday, had now completed over a quarter of the LT -- nearly 16 miles -- and Mike and Aimee had done a little more than 37 miles.

Fast forward to a bit over eight years later in October 2004.  Aimee had dropped off Maria and Mike at mile 30.57 on the High Knob plateau, and they had already hiked over five miles to reach the Kettle Creek crossing.  Completing the hike to Brunnerdale Road would mean a new personal best for Maria, about 8 1/2 miles in a single hike on her own two feet.

Crossing Kettle Creek was not too difficult.  There was a moderately large log spanning the creek, and although neither Mike nor Maria was confident enough to walk completely across the log a few feet above the water, both of them easily shimmied to a point where they could grab other branches and walk the rest of the way.  The creek was about ten feet wide in MIke's estimation.

As noted above, the uphill segment to Kettle Creek Vista did not seem extremely difficult.  One reason is that the trail followed an old woods road that wound gradually up the side of the hill.  A second reason is that the LT trail guide appears to have a typographical error.  It lists the elevation at mile 24.75 as 1600 ft  compared to 1500 ft at the vista side trail, mile 24.70.  In actuality, this segment is flat and both points are at 1500 ft as verified by the topo map.  So the total uphill climb from Kettle Creek to the vista is actually 280 ft, not 380 ft.

And yes, the uphill climb from the vista to the high point of this segment at mile 24.19 is 400 ft, not 300 ft.  That explains our comment above about the difficulty of this segment.

Mike and Maria skipped the 0.6 mile roundtrip on the "Blue X" side trail to Angel Falls as it was getting somewhat late and he was worried Maria might be tired after hiking over seven miles.  Maria commented a few minutes later that she wasn't even tired and it was too bad they couldn't hike some more... maybe another time...

The last obstacle they encountered was a temporary detour of the LT in the vicinity of mile 22.3. A road construction project had closed Brunnerdale Road including the LT segment running along the road from mile 22.08 to 21.82.  Instead of following Ogdonia Creek upstream to the mile 22.08 parking area, they were forced to cross the stream -- not exactly the easiest stream crossing of the day -- and follow a detour "Silver Dot" trail for what was probably the last 0.2 miles or so.  The detour actually saved about 0.3 miles in hiking distance and brought them out to the intersection of Brunnerdale and Ogdonia Roads at mile 21.82 where they had left a car.

Footnote: Another new road access, another driving shortcut. Instead of doubling back down Ogdonia Road to Route 87, Mike went left from the parking area and continued along Brunnerdale Road. When it passed along Hunters Lake, he knew he was going the right way, and sure enough, the road ended at an intersection with PA Route 42 between US Route 220 at Muncy Valley and Eagles Mere. Not only did this save us considerable mileage by giving us a direct route to Bloomsburg instead of making a corner at Montoursville, but it also allowed us an ice cream stop in Eagles Mere, well deserved after hiking up and down a 700 ft ridge then back again.  Unfortunately we could not take advantage of this driving short cut in 2004 and were forced to drive about 10 or 15 extra miles to get to PA Route 42.

Top of Angel FallsLeft: This is what Angel Falls looks like from the top. You can see the water cascading over the rocks as it begins the drop.

Top of Angel Falls

Right:  Another view of Falls Run as it begins to cascade over Angel Falls.  This is as close as Aimee would let Mike get because she was afraid he'd fall over with Maria.
LT relocation sign Left:  A new type of LT sign -- red coffee can lid with yellow lettering -- announces that the trail has been relocated to mile 22.50. The Bureau of Forestry closed the area around Angel Falls to allow revegetation of the disturbed site. To reach Angel Falls, it is now necessary to follow a "Blue X" side trail, not to be confused with a "Red X" trail or a "Blue" trail.

Maria looking at map over Mike's shoulderRight:  One of MIke's favorite hiking photos -- he has had it in his office for years -- shows Maria helping him read the topo map as they pause at Kettle Creek, mile 25.24.  Is there any doubt that this little girl is going to grow up to be a hiker?
Maria at Kettle Creek Vista Left:  Maria's in a grassy area where we stopped for lunch at Kettle Creek Vista, on the return leg of the day's hike from Ogdonia Creek to Kettle Creek.

Maria at Kettle Creek vista

Right:  Another view of Maria in the area we stopped for lunch, this time with the vista in the background behind her.
Wildflower Right:  An unusual wildflower we encountered along the LT on this hike. We were not able to exactly identify it, but it appears to be a type of orchid belonging to the genus Habeneria, perhaps the Round-leaved Orchid (H. orbiculata), Snowy Orchid (H. nivea), or White Fringed Orchid (H. blephariglottis).

Mike and Maria at mile 25Left:  Mike and Maria at mile marker 25, on the descent between Kettle Creek Vista and Kettle Creek.  Next time, use fill flash!
Maria crossing Kettle CreekRight:  Maria is about to complete her crossing of Kettle Creek on a log over the stream.  One we shimmied along the log for the first few feet, we were able to grab the nearby logs and branches to balance ourselves as we walked the rest of the way.

Maria at vista turnoffLeft: Here's Maria near one of the blue and yellow "coffee can lid" signs along the LT.  This sign points the way to Kettle Creek Vista at mile 24.70.

Closeup of Maria at Kettle Creek VistaRight:  Closeup of Maria at Kettle Creek Vista.
Maria at Kettle Creek VistaLeft: A great view of the fall color at Kettle Creek Vista, mile 24.70.  Kettle Creek lies in the valley 280 ft below.
Maria near trail detour signRight: As we approached the final flat segment within about 1/4 mile of the end, we encountered a trail detour.  It was expected since we'd seen signs at the other end of the detour near where we parked our car at the end of the hike.

Closeup of detour signLeft: Here's a closeup of the detour sign.  Presumably the construction project was completed and this detour is no longer in place.
Maria by silver dot detour trail
We figured this might be the only chance we'd ever get to see a silver dot marking on the LT.  It probably took us two or three minutes to proceed the 15 to 20 feet from the detour sign in the previous photo to this marker on the opposite sign of Ogdonia Creek.  Now we understand why the trail normally follows the creek upstream to cross at the road bridge.  It wasn't quite as dark as our flash photo indicated, but we were glad to get across the creek even if we did have around 50 ft of moderate climbing to do on this final fraction of a mile.

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