It was a pleasant fall day when we made our second
hike on the Loyalsock Trail. Beginning from
the vicinity of World's
End State Park on PA Route 154, we drove to Canyon Vista and parked
there at LT mile 43.27. The view from the vista showed the beginning of
fall color in the hills. We headed in the westbound direction on the
trail since we'd previously hiked to Canyon
Vista from the east. (Actually, because of the convoluted path taken by
the LT in this area, our
compass direction was close to due south. It made perfect sense to
Mike, having grown up in Chicago where the Dan Ryan Expressway, running
due north and south, is labeled as Interstate 94
west and east.)
After our experience with the steep climbs and drops between World's
End State Park and
Canyon Vista, this hike began with a mercifully flat segment that
followed an old woods road
for about 1 1/3 miles. After that, we descended about 200 ft into the
headwaters of the East
Branch of Double Run, about a mile upstream from the LT, RX-8, Double
Run nature trail bridge crossing at mile 44.59. This segment was
especially spectacular on the return trip when we were
climbing upstream toward the waterfalls located here.
The trail guide described a point of interest called Mineral Spring at
mile 41.58. We probably would have missed it except for the identifying
sign consisting of a blue coffee can lid
with yellow lettering. The sign, incidentally, read "Mineral Springs"
rather than "Spring." The
spring appeared quite stagnant compared to other springs we'd seen in
our travels but there was no question about the mineral content. The
color of the water was similar to what you'd get if
you left a coffee can full of water to rust for a long time.
Leaving the Mineral Spring area, we climbed over 400 ft to Winner Nob,
1943 ft, over the
next 0.71 mile. Most of the climb was gradual although the segment
close to Winner Nob was a bit steeper. The top of Winner Nob was a bit
of a plateau, then the trail dropped steadily to
the West Branch of Double Run, elevation 1620 ft, before climbing up to
the level of Double Run Road at 1720 ft, where we turned around and
returned to Canyon Vista.
Footnote: After Maria was born in 1995, Mike wanted her to have the
experience of completing the Loyalsock Trail, so he retraced several
segments, including this one, with her in
the backpack. Aimee declined the repeat hike, but she performed a
valuable service by dropping
the two of them off at mile 39.59 on Double Run Road so that they only
needed to hike one-way.
In April, 1997, Mike and Maria hiked both this segment and the
subsequent one from Canyon Vista
End State Park,
in about three hours, stopping for a lunch break at Canyon Vista.
In an amusing twist, Aimee figured she'd surprise the two of them by
starting to hike up from
the park just before they were expected to arrive. But due to the
confusing direction of the LT in the park area, she started hiking
eastbound before realizing her mistake and turning around.
During that time, Mike and Maria arrived at the park and started
looking for her near the car and
Loyalsock Creek, so they missed connecting. An hour later, just as Mike
was reporting her as a
missing person at the park office, she returned to the park office
intending to make the same report about the two of them!
Mike at mile 43, October, 1992, about 1/4 mile from
Canyon Vista where we began hiking that day.
|Mike at Mineral Spring, mile 41.58. This point of
interest was typical
of many of the named points along the LT. It consisted of a natural
feature we probably would not have noticed
if it hadn't been mentioned in the trail guide, and a nearby tree
bearing a coffee can lid painted blue with yellow lettering (compare to
the old style trail markers -- soup can lids painted red with yellow
lettering). The coffee can lid read "Mineral Springs" in contrast to
the trail guide and nearby Mineral Spring Road.
Don't adjust your monitor -- our JPEG gives an accurate reproduction of
the rusty colored water in the spring.
|Considerably more scenic than
Mineral Spring, in our opinion, was the
rocky stream gorge just east of it across Mineral Spring Road. Here
Aimee poses against a stone wall.
|The trail wound its way along the rocky gorge past
this waterfall. The
stream is not identified
in the trail guide but the topo map and state park map indicate it is
part of the headwaters of
the East Branch of Double Run, which is encountered again at mile 44.59
of the LT.
This segment of the trail, though not particularly steep nor a lengthy
climb, was a bit tricky. Parts of the path traversed a narrow wet stone
ledge that was a bit slippery.