Loyalsock Trail
Mile 0.00 to 3.00 Mile 53.60 to 56.00 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 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 56.00 to 59.28

Revised November 25, 2006

Mile 53.60 to 56.00, hiked west to east, car left in middle, April 22, 1995
Mile 53.60 to 56.00, hiked east to west continuing from Mead Road trailhead, October 10, 2005
Sones Pond across Loyalsock Creek onto railroad grade

Our first and only hike of spring, 1995, continued our series of hikes in the eastbound direction from the World's End State Park area towards the end of the trail at US Route 220. We began at Sones Pond, where we had left off on the previous fall's last hike. This time, we knew Aimee was pregnant -- 6 1/2 months along -- so to spare her from excessive exertion, Mike dropped her off at the Sones Pond parking area, then drove the car down Rock Run Road to the parking area adjacent to the iron bridge over Loyalsock Creek at LT mile 55.33. Mike then proceeded to hike up the road to rejoin her at the pond so we could hike down. That way, Aimee only had to hike one-way, on a downhill segment with a 470 ft elevation drop.

The weather forecast for the day was partly sunny, but it was overcast and cloudy, and began lightly drizzling as we started hiking along Loyalsock Road and Rock Run Road to the trail crossing at mile 53.60. The first 3/4 mile was flat, then the LT began to descend first gradually off a ledge, then more steeply down into the Loyalsock Creek valley. By mile 55, the trail had descended about 400 ft and flattened out along a gravel road, old Haystacks Road, which led into Rock Run Road at mile 55.16. The LT continued along this road, in the opposite direction from the way Mike had hiked up to Sones Pond earlier, crossing Loyalsock Creek at mile 55.32.

That was the point where Mike had left the car, but Aimee agreed to continue since she'd hiked less than two miles at that point. The trail turned left off the road and began a slight upgrade that took us up only 65 ft in the first 1/3 mile. Then, following an old lumber road, it turned into a moderately steep climb, increasing 245 ft in the next 1/6 mile before flattening out onto an old railroad grade. We hiked as far as mile marker 56, so we would know where to stop on our next hike which we were anticipating would come in the opposite direction from the Route 220 trailhead.

Ten and a half years later, two of the three returned for a second experience of this trail segment.  Aimee had dropped Mike and Maria at the Mead Road trailhead -- which had not existed when they first hiked in this area in 1995 -- and the two of them were hiking just under six miles to their other car which had been parked at Sones Pond.  It really makes more sense to divide the trail segment at mile 55.84, where the LT diverges from (east to west) the old railroad grade and begins heading down to the creek level. 

Mike and Maria stopped at that trail junction point where they could sit on some flat rocks to eat lunch.  After lunch, they continued down to the creek, crossed the iron bridge on Rock Run Road, and followed that road for a short distance before turning right on old Haystacks Road.  Shortly after mile marker 55, the trail turned left uphill and wound its way up a moderately steep segment including one old logging skid to finally flatten out in the vicinity of the rock ledges near mile 54.35.  From there it was relatively flat and easy hiking, crossing Rock Run Road at mile 53.60 and then reaching the shore of Sones Pond in a wooded area at mile 53.47.  They hiked the short distance, about 1/10 mile, along the shore back to the picnic area and parking lot also off Rock Run Road.  This concluded what was for Mike and ten-year-old Maria, a relatively short and easy LT hike of just under six miles.

Footnote: Aimee's midwives at The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, had given her the OK to hike as long as it wasn't too lengthy distance or too strenuous uphill climbing. We figured on completing the LT to the Route 220 end very shortly, before it got much harder for Aimee. Unfortunately, when Aimee went for a routine prenatal checkup on May 9, her blood pressure was found to be high, and she was put on total bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. With Maria on the way, it wasn't clear when we'd be able to get back to the LT again.

Aimee in rain The weather forecast for April 22, 1995 was sunny, leading Aimee to question why it was cloudy and drizzly as we reached mile 54. As Mike's brother Mark would say, "The weathermen are a bunch of liars!"
Aimee about to descend Aimee, 6 1/2 months pregnant, about to descend off the edge of some rock ledges at mile 54.35. Mike had dropped her off at Sones Pond and left the car at the iron bridge on Loyalsock Creek so she only had to hike one-way, downhill, as a concession to her condition.
Aimee hikingLeft:  Aimee hiking along a rocky stream bed near mile 54.74. Although she hiked downhill, the terrain was still as rugged as typical for the LT.

Below right: 
Mile 56 was as far as we got before Maria was born. In a little under four months, Mike would be carrying Maria in the front carrier as we reached this point again, from the other direction.

Mike at mile marker 56
Maria with friends at lunch breakMaria's next visit to this area was made on her own two feet at the age of 10.  On October 10, 2005, Mike and Maria hiked from the new trailhead at Mead Road to Sones Pond.  They stopped for lunch at mile 55.84, where the LT turned off the railroad grade it had been following for over a mile.

In keeping with her tradition, Maria brought some "friends" along -- a couple of small cloth dolls.
Maria near rock ledges, mile 54.35Maria was quite a bit more nimble in negotiating the rock ledge area near mile 54.35 than Aimee had been ten years earlier.  Perhaps that was due to the fact that Aimee had been six months pregnant at the time!
Mike at Sones PondMike and Maria reached Sones Pond after nearly six miles of hiking past the Haystacks, the Iron Bridge, and the rock ledges.  Compared to the ten miles the two of them had covered the previous day, this was an easy hike.

Mike posed near the shore of the pond with the autumn color in the background.

Return to top of this page

Return to main Loyalsock Trail page

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