2024 Old Loggers Path – Epilogue

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Start/End Location: Masten 27.3

The Old Loggers Path lived up to its name; the majority of the trail was on old logging roads and abandoned railroad beds, making most of the elevation changes comfortable. However, this made the woods and switchbacks seem steep by comparison. There are two shelters on the trail, Sprout Point Vista Shelter and Doe Run Shelter. Each shelter could easily accommodate a dozen hikers. Neither shelter has a privy, and there is no water at Sprout Point. Tent sites are limited near the shelters.

Overall, there was plenty of water. The trail seems to be set up for two nights, staying near the shelters. The Doe Run Shelter is ten miles from parking at Masten, while the Sprout Point Vista Shelter is six miles away, with about eleven miles between the shelters. The ideal location for camping is where Yellow Dog Run joins Rock Run. There are plenty of campsites, swimming holes, and waterfalls nearby. Bob and I hiked clockwise with wonderful views in the first half of the trail and waterfalls in the second half.

Hiking at elevation, most of the trail was 1,500 to 2,000 feet, in north central Pennsylvania during April provides variable weather. We had a cool sunny day, followed by a warm sunny day, and finished with a cool rainy day. Our high temperature was seventy, with our low being thirty. There was cell service for the first nine miles with nothing after. April provided us the opportunity to hike in solitude; we saw no other hikers and only one worker while on the trail.

Absolutely a must-see loop that comes highly recommended, brimming with fascinating sights to relish and enjoy!

Bob’s OLP Guest Blog

Well, Al and I had another great backpacking adventure. This was a “shakedown hike” in preparation for our June Appalachian Trail +200 mile hike through Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. A chance to test new equipment and new methods to lighten our load.

The Old Loggers Path trail was unique and a real treat. Being April and high up in the northern tier mountains there was no foliage so the forest was not so interesting. But one could see great distances through the trees. No other hikers to compete with. Abundant water throughout. Rock Run was as pretty as it gets. We stopped for lunch at a giant pool at the base of waterfalls that would be a wonderful swimming hole on a hot summer hiking day. However, climbing out of this gorge would be a real challenge, but worth it!

The Old Loggers Path trail is aptly named in that the defunct and overgrown steam train railroad beds and other haul roads we hiked on were clearly used for logging in the 19th century. It was almost impossible to imagine that this vast rail and road network was built by hand, without the benefit of mechanized equipment. Likewise, the lumbering was done by hand; the logs transported down the mountains by mules, horses, and steam trains. Unfortunately, in the late 1800’s the mountain sides were devastated; completely stripped of trees for fuel and lumber to build our great country. The trout streams were devastated too, by waste and silt.

Fortunately, nature has a way of healing itself. Loyalsock state forest has subsequently been well managed to provide terrific recreational opportunities for hunters, fishermen, and hikers like Al and me. However, unfortunately, this forest is now succumbing to different scourge, the invasive Emerald Ash Borer that is rapidly killing every ash tree throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. Look closely at Al’s blog photos and you will observe numerous ash tree that have crumbled to the ground, too often across the trail. On the plus side, this Chinese invasive apparently has benefited the woodpecker population. I am confident that Penn’s forest will once again, eventually, heal itself as new but different trees will replace those lost to a tiny bug.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Steve Raseman says:

    Looked like a nice tune up hike with plenty of nice streams and rock formations. Thanks for sharing!

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