The Loyalsock Trail, Mile by Mile

In this post, I break down the Loyalsock Trail into 25ths, providing a description of what your in for at each part of the trail. Check out my first Loyalsock Trail post for more general info about the hike.

This list was derived by memory, and also by reviewing the Alpine Club’s Guidebook, which my boyfriend’s dad purchased. You can order your own by downloading the order form here (they’re $4 each).

Guide to The Loyalsock Trail

Please note, we do the trail backwards. So this guide starts at mile 59.2 and works toward mile 1.

  • Mile 57.23, The Haystacks: Park your car at the trail head and then you got a 2-mile hike to get to the haystacks, an interesting rock formation in the Loyalsock creek. This section of the trail is relatively easy. It has a few slight downhills, but is mostly flat.
  • Mile 55.32, Iron Bridge: from the Haystacks, you’ll cross the Loyalsock creek on an old iron bridge.
  • Mile 53.47, Sones Pond: Nice Uphill until it levels out and you get to Sones Pond, which is a nice place to camp, if you’re ready to stop for the day.
  • From here, it’s a leisurely 7-8 miles of moderate hiking (not much uphill) leaving Sones Pond and going forward, you’re at the top of a high plateau, so it’s flat.
  • Mile 47.61: You start to descend into Worlds’ End State Park.
  • Mile 45.98, World’s End State Park: At mile 45.98, you’ll find the park office for Worlds End State Park. This is a great time to go to the park office and fill up on water, before you cross over the Loayalsock creek again by way of a large concrete bridge, which supports a paved road where cars are driving.
  • Leaving worlds end, cross route 154 and then you’re going to take a series of switchbacks and uphills for the next 2.5 miles, pretty steep uphill, series of switchbacks and uphill.
  • Mile 43.27, Loyalsock Canyon Vista: Very nice view. Stop for a break! After that, you’ll have 6.5 miles of leisurely hiking, just a bit of up and down, but fairly easy
  • Mile 36.45, Alpine View: A nice vista. From here, you’ll have a very steep downhill section into a stretch of the next 2-3 miles. This is tough hiking, rugged terrain with lots of up and down.
  • Mile 35.17, Rode Falls: Pretty waterfall, good place to break, good campsite, you’ll have to climb a ladder to get over the falls. It’s on the left! Leaving the falls, you have a 2 mile stretch that is uphill and rigorous. As you make your way out of the ravine, you’ll come up to split rock.
  • Mile 32.48, Split Rock: Another interesting rock formation. You’ll walk through two rocks that look like they’re split in half. Hiking difficulty is moderate, a little up and down, but nothing too crazy.
  • Mile 29.95, High Knob Road: Cross the road on top of the mountain. If you followed our advice about parking a third car at the midway point, this is where it is! From here on, keep your eye’s peeled for timber rattlers! In the past, every time I’ve seen rattlesnakes, it’s been between here and mile 1. Leaving high knob, is a steep downhill, no switchbacks. Once you reach the bottom, it’s fairly level hiking for the next 4 miles.
  • Mile 26.66, Cross a Road: and begin a descent until you bottom out at
  • Mile 25.24, Kettle Creek: No camping here. Very low elevation. From here, you’ll be climbing for the next mile, it’s a pretty steep uphill to get out of Kettle Creek. This is followed by a long, steady downhill until you reach
  • Mile 22.08, Good Break Spot: Next to a road. Altitude is 1,270.  Your feet are probably tired, and you have a long uphill coming up, to the highest point on the trail at mile 19.92. You’re going to be going up a long, steep, never-ending uphill.
  • Mile 21.14, Private Land Begins.
  • Mile 19.92, Highest Point on the Trail: 2,140 feet. Trail turns to the right, and you reach a long, beautiful meadow, trail is now a dirt road. Follow for about a half mile until it takes you back into the woods. At this point, you’ve passed mile 21.14, which begins an area that is privately owned, so no camping between there and 14.82.
  • Mile 18.85, Return to the Woods: The long meadow ends here. Go back into the woods until the woods clear out again, and you’ll see a bar/restaurant at the top of a hill.
  • Mile 18.25, Highland House Club: You can’t get a beer! It sound delicious right now, I know. But this is a private club, and only members can eat at this place. Bart says that he and his dad tried to get a beer twice. The first time, they were turned away. The second time, someone was kind enough to sign them in. Last time I did this hike, two guys drove by in a car and gave us each a cold blue gatorade and a room temperature can of Busch Lite. Awesome!  Anyway, at this point, you’re on a long gravel road that’s going downhill. Follow this road until mile 16.1.
  • Mile 16.1, Gravel Road Ends: Turn right off of the road, back into the woods and onto the trail. Be careful, this is easy to miss! The next 2 miles will be gradual uphill until you reach mile 14.82.
  • Mile 14.82, Private Land Ends: You can start looking for a spot to camp for the night. At this point, you’re on the last leg of your journey. For the next 4 miles, it’s relatively flat and slightly downhill at some points.
  • Mile 10, Gentle Ups and Downs: Starts some gentle climbing and descending.
  • Mile 6.65, Smith’s Knob: Smith’s Knob is rough. It’s a very steep hike up to the overlook, and then a very steep hike down after that. From the top of Smith’s Knob down, you’ll lose 12,000 feet of elevation.
  • Mile 4.81, Ranger Headquarters at Little Bear Creek: No camping here.
  • Mile 4.6, Peter’s Pathway: Steep, narrow, rocky uphill path. From here, you’re gaining back the 12,000 feet back until you reach mile 3.38.
  • Mile 3.38, Crest of Alleghany Ridge: The home stretch! Traverse over Alleghany Ridge (about 3 miles). Hang in there!
  • Mile .58, Steep Downhill to Victory: a very steep downhill until you reach highway 87.

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