Loyalsock Trail
Mile 0.00 to 3.00 Mile 30.57 to 34.54 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 22.08 to 25.24       Mile 25.24 to 28.42       Mile 28.42 to 30.57       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 April 29, 2006

Mile 30.57 to 34.54, hiked west to east then doubled back, September 2, 1995
30.57 to 34.54, hiked west to east continuing to Double Run Road, October 9, 2005
High Knob Exit Road to Jack's Window
After the success of our initial hiking trip with Maria when she was six weeks old, we returned to the LT two weeks later on Labor Day weekend. Since we had just reached the Route 220 end of the trail on the previous hike, we began working in the opposite direction from the last spot we'd reached in the middle of the trail, which was Jack's Window at mile 34.54. Maria had just turned eight weeks old, so we planned to hike "eight miles at eight weeks," accessing the LT from High Knob Vista exit road at mile 30.57.

The road to High Knob Vista, also known as Shanerburg Road, is well signed off Double Run Road, about halfway between World's End State Park and PA Route 42 near Eagles Mere. It's a little over a mile south of the LT crossing of Double Run Road near Coal Mine Road, and not quite a mile south of Coal Bed Road. High Knob Vista is to the west from Double Run Road, and Canyon Vista can be accessed by turning east at the same point. Approximately two miles west on this road, there is another right turn onto the High Knob Vista access road, and this road eventually becomes a one-way loop to High Knob Vista. The LT crosses the entrance road at mile 29.95 and 3/10 mile further on the road is High Knob Vista. We stopped there and then continued on the exit road portion of the loop to where the LT crossed it at mile 30.57, parking on the side where the trail entered the woods.

The elevation was 1980 ft at this point, and the trail descended very gradually over the first half mile to an elevation of 1800 ft at mile 31.11. Here, the LT made a right turn and began a steeper descent of about 300 ft in about 0.4 mile, into the valley formed by Cape Run. We crossed the West Branch of Cape Run at mile 31.52 and spent about 1/2 mile in a relatively flat area before crossing the East Branch at mile 31.97, then ascending quickly about 300 ft in 1/4 mile to near the top of Nettle Ridge at mile 32.22, elevation 1920 ft.

Staying on or near the top of this ridge for the next 0.7 mile, we passed through a rock formation called Split Rock at mile 32.48. We had hiked about two miles at this point and were about halfway to Jack's Window. Maria had been sleeping for nearly all of it. The motion of being carried in the front carrier lulled her to sleep shortly after we began.

At mile 32.91, the LT made a sharp left onto an old woods road and began descending. This descent was gradual, for the most part, and lasted continuously for almost a mile and a half to Lee Falls. Along the way, we crossed the West and North Branches of Ketchum Run near mile 34, saw the remains of a splash dam at mile 34.22, and signed a trail register in the same area. Maria woke up right at this point.

The low point of the hike, elevation 1355 ft, occurred at the top of Lee Falls on Ketchum Run at mile 34.35. Red X Trail RX-4 continues down the falls as a shortcut to the vicinity of Rode Falls, but we followed the LT which turned right, steeply uphill, ascending 265 ft in the next 1/10 mile. Although we were nearly to our goal of Jack's Window, all of us were getting hungry, so we stopped at a convenient spot in the woods -- I don't remember if it was a flat rock or a log -- and everyone had lunch.

After lunch, we immediately reached a railroad grade and began a short descent to Jack's Window, mile 34.54, which was only 1/10 mile beyond our lunch stop. Aimee and Mike had last reached this point from the opposite direction almost exactly a year earlier, on our monumental ten-mile roundtrip from Double Run Road. A year and a half later, we would repeat part of that hike to return Maria to this spot so that she could complete one of the LT segments we had done before she was born. Maria was still awake at Jack's Window, but by the time we reached Lee Falls on the return trip, which was only 2/10 mile and nearly all downhill, she was asleep again. Guess she liked her lunch!

Maria slept nearly the entire return hike to the car. Aimee and Mike wished they could have done the same. The gradual climb up from Lee Falls along Ketchum Run then up to Nettle Ridge and Split Rock -- well, that may have been gradual but it seemed like it would never end, coming as it did after we'd been hiking around 5 or 6 miles already. That was followed by the descent into and rather steep climb out of Cape Run, occuring over 7 miles into the hike. We were quite happy and pretty exhausted by the time we hit the flat woods road segment on top of High Knob to complete the last half mile. Unlike Maria's first hike, her diaper change couldn't wait until we got to a convenient spot in town. She was ready when we got back to the car.

Mike and Maria rehiked this segment as part of a planned nine mile hike from Dry Knob access road to Double Run Road on October 8, 2005.  When Aimee dropped them off that morning, Mike was pretty confident they would be able to make the hike; however, in the days just prior to their trip there had been a large amount of rain.  So he really wasn't sure what stream flooding conditions they might encounter.  The worst case contingency plan -- if the trail proved impassable -- would have been to hike back to the road and walk along the road instead to the point where their other car was parked.

From the beginning it was evident that there was more water than normal along the trail, but the only minor problem they encountered was at mile 33.91.  The west branch of Ketchum Run had swelled to about 15 or 20 feet wide, quite a bit different from the small creek they probably had jumped across in 1995.  Not wanting to soak their boots with six miles left to hike, Mike spent about 10 minutes tossing large rock slabs into the water to construct a stepping stone bridge to an "island" in the middle and then again to the opposite bank.

After that exertion, they were ready for a lunch stop at mile marker 34.  Following lunch, the subsequent stream crossings at miles 34.03 and 34.11 were relatively uneventful even with the higher than normal water.  At least it didn't take ten minutes to get across.  They continued following Ketchum Run downstream to the top of Lee's Falls at mile 34.35.  At that point, red X trail RX-4 branched off to follow the stream over the falls, but Mike and Maria ascended 265 ft on the LT in about 1/10 mile, reaching Jack's Window shortly thereafter.  Unlike the 1995 trip where the three of them doubled back to the car at High Knob exit road, this time Mike and Maria continued on the LT, not quite halfway to their planned destination of Double Run Road at mile 39.59.  Their other car was waiting near that point ... or so they thought ...

Footnote: Almost as much of an adventure as hiking the LT was finding our way around the back roads of Sullivan and Lycoming Counties. Mike thought he could short cut back in a westerly direction to Williamsport without having to go back east to Double Run Road then to Eagles Mere. Give him credit for getting one right. When we reached the bottom of the High Rock Vista access road, instead of turning left to double back on Shanerburg Road, we turned right. The road condition shortly degraded, then it improved and the name magically changed to Dry Run Road. About four or five miles later, we emerged onto PA Route 87 between Hillsgrove and Ogdonia.

High Knob Vista

View from High Knob Vista, which is not on the LT itself but is found a short distance up the road from the point we began hiking on September 2, 1995.

Mike and Maria at mile 33 Mike and Maria at mile marker 33. In her early hiking days, the best way to pose her was for Mike to turn sideways and lean forward so the front carrier would stick out enough to make her face visible. The two of them had hiked about two and a half miles at this point.
Maria at mile 34.44 Aimee's holding Maria at the point we stopped for lunch, near mile 34.44 on an uphill segment between Lee Falls and Jack's Window. This was just before the halfway point of the day's hike where we'd be turning around, but we were hungry at this point.
Aimee and Maria at mile 34.44 Another view of Aimee and Maria at the point we stopped for lunch, near mile 34.44. By the end of the afternoon, Maria would have completed a hike of "Eight miles at eight weeks."
Mike and Maria at Jack's Window Mike and Maria are posing at Jack's Window, mile 34.54, the turnaround point for this day. Aimee and Mike had reached this point one year before, hiking from the opposite direction. Maria came from the opposite direction on March 8, 1997, on one of the hikes made after Mike and Aimee had completed the entire LT. These extra hikes enabled Maria also to complete the entire LT, in May, 1997, before her second birthday.
Maria napping at mile 34 Maria must have liked her lunch. We only needed to hike 1/10 mile to get to Jack's Window, then we turned back and by the time we descended another 2/10 mile to Lee Falls, she was asleep. We reached mile marker 34 shortly after that. Mike is leaning forward to show enough of Maria's face to indicate that she's napping.
At Split Rock Mike with the still sleeping Maria passing by the Split Rock formation at mile 32.48, with a little less than two miles left to hike.
Maria at Split Rock, 2005A much older Maria hiked ten miles at the age of 10 on October  9, 2005.  In keeping with her tradition, several stuffed animals accompanied us in the backpack.  Here she poses with them at Split Rock.
Flooding on West Branch Ketchum RunI'm pretty sure we just stepped across the west branch of Ketchum Run when we hiked here in 1995.  But after some recent rains in 2005, the stream was about 15 or 20 feet wide.  Mike spent about 10 minutes tossing large slabs into the water to make a stepping stone bridge and eventually he and Maria got to the opposite side without getting their feet wet.
Maria at Splash Dam site, mile 34.22Just after eating lunch at mile marker 34, Mike and Maria arrived at the Splash Dam marker, denoted by a blue and yellow painted coffee can lid at mile 34.22.  Ketchum Run is seen in the background as it continues downhill toward Lee's Falls at mile 34.35.
Maria at RX-6 marker near top of Lee's FallsIt's not every day that you encounter a Red X marker, even on the LT.  This location near the top of Lee's Falls, mile 34.35, marked the point where RX-4 branched out the main LT to follow Ketchum Run downstream toward Rode Falls.  Mike and Maria were headed in that direction, but the main LT took them over a 265 ft rise and back down in order to get to the same point.

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