Loyalsock Trail
Mile 0.00 to 3.00 Mile 34.54 to 39.59 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 30.57 to 34.54      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 34.54 to 39.59, hiked east to west then doubled back, September 3, 1994
Mile 34.54 to 39.59, hiked west to east beginning from High Knob Exit Road, October 9, 2005

Double Run Road past Alpine Views and Rode Falls to Jack's Window
After our initial hikes during 1992, we got involved with buying another house, then with gardening, yard work, and house work. As a result, we didn't get back to continue hiking the LT until nearly two years later, on Labor Day weekend, 1994. Our third hike was a continuation of the east to west segments begun at World's End State Park and completed through Double Run Road on the previous hikes. Although it did not change elevation as frequently as the segment from the park to Canyon Vista, the total elevation change was nearly the same, and the round trip distance was over 10 miles. This was one of the last times we did over 10 miles in a single hike until Maria got big enough to walk that far on her own. It's hard to believe we used to regularly hike 12 to 14 miles in Michigan's Porcupine Mountains -- one time we did 16 -- but despite the lofty-sounding name, they weren't nearly as steep and difficult as the LT. 

There's an "unofficial" parking area on the east side of Double Run Road where Coal Mine Road comes in from the west, a few hundred feet south of the point where the LT crosses Double Run Road. We hiked west up a gradual to moderate rise, crossing Coal Mine Road almost immediately, and eventually gaining about 240 ft of elevation to the top of a flat plateau. The next three miles were quite flat, with one steep but very short climb over rocks at an old coal mine at mile 38.04. Crossing Coal Bed Road at mile 36.76, we came to Alpine View at mile 36.45, elevation 1740 ft -- exactly the elevation at our starting point on Double Run Road -- thinking that this hike was a relatively easy one so far. 

Alpine View, or Upper Alpine View, was a wonderful vista overlooking Route 87 and Loyalsock Creek in a westerly direction, between Hillsgrove and Forksville. The subsequent descent was treacherous and difficult, dropping nearly 300 ft in a quarter mile. (The ascent as we doubled back on the return trip was equally trying, especially coming as it did after over 6 1/2 miles of hiking.) Reaching Lower Alpine View at 1440 ft, Mike was surveying the rocky overlook for photo potential when he noticed a timber rattlesnake sunning on the rocks. This was the only poisonous snake we have ever encountered in several hundred miles of hiking, at least as far as we've noticed. 

The 340 ft descent from Lower Alpine View to the low point of the hike at Ketchum Run did not have quite the steepness of the first descent. Reaching Ketchum Run at mile 35.23, we began following an old woods road upstream and immediately reached the intersection with Red X trail RX-5 and Rode Falls. Climbing the 16 ft ladder at Rode Falls was not as difficult at the presence of the Red X alternate suggested, and on the return segment, we regretted taking the somewhat steep RX-5. 

After Rode Falls, the remainder of the hike to Jack's Window at mile 34.54 covered about 5/8 mile with an elevation gain of 430 ft. Some of this was on a not too steep railroad grade, although there were some switchbacks toward the end. Reaching Jack's Window, we stopped for a lunch break and enjoyed the view overlooking Ketchum Run upstream from Rode Falls in the vicinity of Lee Falls, though the falls themselves were not visible and the stream barely was. 

The downhill return from Jack's Window to Rode Falls wasn't bad, but after that we had the pair of 300 ft climbs to the Alpine Views. The second one to Upper Alpine View was especially taxing, and by the time we reached the old coal mine at mile 38.04, even that short descent over rocks was brutal. Thankfully the remainder of the hike was the relatively flat part we'd done at the beginning, and the last 1/2 mile or so was the gradual downhill to Double Run Road. This may have been the hike where we initiated the tradition of stopping at the ice cream parlor in Eagles Mere to celebrate surviving another segment of the LT!

By 2005, Mike was ready to attempt this segment for the third time, but the first time that Maria accompanied him on her own two feet.  Yes, first Mike and Aimee hiked the whole trail between 1992 and 1996 ... then in 1997 Mike insisted on rehiking the segments they had done before Maria came around so that she could complete the entire trail (in the carrier) ... and beginning in 2002, Mike and Maria began rehiking the entire trail, one segment at a time, so that she could complete it on her own two feet. 

On the October 9, 2005 hike, Mike and Maria completed this segment as the final piece of a one-way west to east hike from High Knob exit road to Double Run Road.  There was some high water that day as the region had experienced some heavy rains just a day or two before.  Aside from a short delay to construct a stepping stone bridge across the west branch of Ketchum Run at mile 33.91, the two of them hadn't had major difficulties because of the water.

The only additional problem, again a minor one, occurred as they approached Rode Falls in the downstream direction.  As the LT followed the stream just before the top of the falls, they found the normal path inundated at a place where a relatively steep rock wall hugged the streambed.  Their simplest possible solution was to grab small trees and saplings growing out of the rock and scoot along the rock face for about 10 feet.  Once this was accomplished, the remaining stretch to the falls, including the descent down the ladder, was uneventful.

One of the features of hiking with Maria is that the pace is considerably slower than it used to be.  When Mike and Aimee hiked by themselves, they used to aim for a pace of 2.5 to 3 miles per hour on all but the most extreme terrain.  With Maria, 1.5 to 2 miles per hour is more typical.  One of the benefits of the slower pace is that the steep climbs don't seem as bad as they used to be -- even being over 10 years older!  This was the case with the ascents from Rode Falls to Lower Alpine View and then up to Alpine View.

One thing turned out worse than expected.  In recent years, Mike had gotten into the habit of picking up a rental car to use as a second car for the hiking trips.  He would drive the rental car to the endpoint of the hike, then Aimee would shuttle him and Maria back to the beginning point and drop them off there to begin.  (At which point she would drive back to town, since as she put it, "I already hiked this part once -- why do I need to do it again?")  Well, when Mike parked the second car in the morning, he thought he was about a hundred feet from the trail crossing of Double Run Road at mile 39.59.  After hiking nine miles on the trail, he certainly didn't want to have to walk any further than necessary to the parking location.

Well ... after descending from the LT to the road, he and Maria started uphill and found ... nothing!  That's because instead of parking at the intersection of Coal Mine Road and Double Run Road, he had parked at the intersection of Shanerburg Road and Double Run Road, an additional mile away, and in an uphill direction.  So the planned nine mile hike became ten miles, nine on the LT and one on Double Run Road.  Next time perhaps he will check the map more carefully instead of relying on memory since he's driven by there dozens of times...

Footnote: We swore we'd never do it again -- then Maria came around, and Mike wanted her to have the experience of finishing the LT. On April 5, 1997, against Aimee's wishes, the three of them drove down Coal Bed Road -- almost as scary as the hike itself -- and redid the segment from mile 36.76 to 34.54. Aimee did not want to go, but insisted that the segment was too dangerous for Mike and Maria to do alone. By this time, having hiked the entire LT and being able to read "the lay of the land," Mike returned them from Jack's Window nearly to Lower Alpine View via an old woods road, bypassing 300 ft of descent to Rode Falls and ascent from it. Two days later, Aimee dropped the two of them off at the same point on Coal Bed Road, drove back to Double Run Road, and waited for them to hike out, which took Mike and Maria just under an hour. That short (2 3/4 mile) hike established the feasibility of Mike and Maria solo hiking the remaining segments of the LT that Maria needed to finish the trail.

Aimee at mile 39 Aimee at mile 39, September 3, 1994, about 1/2 mile west and about 200 ft up from the beginning of our hike on Double Run Road. Mike insisted that Aimee should point out the mile 39 marker. Should anyone doubt that we actually hiked the LT, we have a rather complete set of photos showing one or the other of us, sometimes with our daughter Maria, at LT mile markers.
Lower Alpine View in the FallVista from Lower Alpine View, taken on October 9, 2005. Several ridges are visible in the distance, and in front of them is the Loyalsock Creek valley and PA Route 87.
Timber RattlesnakeOur photo from Lower Alpine View might have turned out better if we hadn't been trying to avoid this timber rattler that was sunning itself on the rocks. The snake was about 3 feet long and as thick as Aimee's forearm.
Aimee at Rode Falls
Aimee posing at Rode Falls, mile 35.17. The trail ascends and descends via the 16 foot wooden ladder visible behind her. If you look near the upper left of the ladder, you can see the red color of the old style LT trail marker.
Maria descending Rode Falls ladderLike mother, like daughter ... Maria descends the ladder at Rode Falls, mile 35.17, on October 9, 2005.  The LT guide calls this a 16 foot ladder -- perhaps 10 feet would be more accurate?  This descent was easy compared to the previous 1/10 mile where the flooded stream had inundated the normal path.
View of Rode Falls at high waterIt's not often that a person gets a chance to see Rode Falls at high water, so enjoy!  (Compare to the relative trickle in the 1994 photo with Aimee, above.)  In recent years, Mike has been making more of an effort to take some scenic photos without people "to prove we were there."  This was a result of being contacted by author Gary Letcher.  He was writing a book on waterfalls and requested the rights to use some of Mike's nature photos in his book, "Waterfalls of the Mid-Atlantic States: 200 Falls in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania".  Perhaps this photo will make it into the 2nd edition!
Ice at Rode FallsHere's what the Rode Falls area looks like in the winter. The three of us rehiked part of this segment on April 5, 1997, so that Maria could experience it. What you see behind us is not the falls themselves, but ice that formed opposite the LT across Ketchum Run where water dripped from the rocks bordering the pool at the bottom of the falls.
Mike at Alpine View, October 9, 2005Now that Maria's confident with using the camera, Mike manages to get some pictures of himself again without resorting to the timer.  This shot was taken with Alpine View behind the tree -- of course Mike seemed more intrigued with getting the "coffee can lid" in the photo to "prove he was there!"
Maria at mile 37When Maria posed leaning against the mile marker 37 tree, we had about two and a half miles to go, or so we thought.  Unfortunately, when we reached Double Run Road, Mike discovered that he had mistakenly parked the second car NOT a few hundred feet up from the trail but instead a good mile from the trail -- in the uphill direction of course.  Maria was a good sport and didn't complain even though their nine mile hike turned into ten miles by the time they reached the car.
Maria descending rocks near old coal mineOnce beyond Alpine View, the remaining route is relatively level and easy, except for this spot at mile 38.04.  The LT guide states, "Descend over rocks at old coal mine ..."  Maria is attempting to do just that.

Return to top of this page

Return to main Loyalsock Trail page

Return to Mike, Aimee, & Maria's Home Page