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VMO: PA Loyalsock Trail (59 miles, 12,000 feet of gain)

  • Oct 17, 2013 · 1:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

And now for a classic - The Loyalsock Trail 59.2 miles of beautiful single track running through Worlds End State Park.  The trail is located just northeast of Williamsport, PA.

Maps for this hike are available from the Alpine Club of Williamsport and may be available at REI or EMS.  General information on the trail and address of ACW:  

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_002939.pdf

Great web site with loads of information on the Loyalsock and other PA backpacking trails:

http://www.georflf.com/lt.htm

Google Earth file of Loyalsock Trail (and side trails):

http://files.meetup.com/1502009/loyalsock-pahikingtrails.kml

The plan at this point is to complete the trail in three days starting at the western terminus with rough splits 5/20/20/14.  We would hike the first climb after shuttling the cars Thursday night.  We should complete the trail by early afternoon on Sunday.  I will coordinate a stop on the return trip for dinner.

If I can get another person from PA to join me, we can even provide the shuttle and meet all the DC folks at the start, although this may require eight people with gear to cram into a Honda Odyssey minivan built for seven.

• Shuttle Update: I contacted the person who now runs the shuttle service (Mark Wilson) and scheduled us for Thursday, October 17th at 5 P.M. If we leave promptly, we should have about one hour of light for the initial climb - it's a steep one!  The cost of the shuttle is $30 per person.

• Looking more closely at the maps, we may want to try approximate mileage splits of 2.5/21/21/15 with the following camp sites: Thursday night along the ridge after the climb (Riffle Run at 1.75 miles may or may not be running); Friday night near Angel Falls spur trail (.3 miles to base of falls); Saturday night near Double Run before entering Worlds End State Park (Loyalsock Link trail crosses LT here); Sunday we will hike through Worlds End, complete a steep/rocky climb, hike by several nice falls, tour Sones Pond, cross Rock Run Road bridge, swim (Brian?) by the Haystacks in Loyalsock Creek, and finally check out Dutchman Falls just before heading to the parking lot.

• For dinner and refreshments after the hike, I found a brew pub with excellent reviews that is right on the way back to DC:

http://www.selinsgrovebrewing.com/

• The restaurant/brew pub does close at 8 P.M. on Sunday and the drive from the Loyalsock terminus is about 1:20.  If we get an early start on Sunday, we should have no trouble finishing by early afternoon.  The last section of the Loyalsock is fairly easy except for the climb out of Worlds End.   

Water Access on the trail (longest stretch without water 6.6 miles):

(MM) Description (1.6) Riffle Run (may be dry)(4.6) @ Little Bear Ranger Station (7.5) Painter Run (9.6) Snake Run (maybe low) (10.7) Shingle Run (15.1) Lauel Run (21.7) Ogdonia Creek (22.5) Angel Falls (0.3 off trail) (24.4) Kettle Creek (26.5) Dry Run Falls (27.5) Cross Dry Run (30.4) Cape Run (31.9) Ketchum Run (branch) (32.8) Ketchum Run (34.0) Rodes Falls (38.2) Double Run (39.9) Mineral Springs (water fall) (42.0) Cold Run (42.8) Double Run (44.2) Worlds End - Loyalsock Creek (44.5) High Rock Waterfall (45.2) High Rock Run (45.5)  High Rock Waterfall (47.3) Big Run (48.3) Tom's Run (48.9) Tamarack Run (50.7) Sones Pond tributary (51.1) Sones Pond (53.0) Loyalsock Creek (53.9) Small tributaries (54.7) Waterfall (rock wall) (54.9) Haystacks (Loyalsock Creek) (56.7)  Dutchman Falls

Angel Falls, Loyalsock Trail about 23.5 Miles:

If you are not classified as a Veteran Member (VMO), Michael Martin will make the determination whether or not you can join the trip.

Thanks, John Callahan

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  • Mike K.

    Would someone please let me know how to find the trip report? I don't see it.

    October 26, 2013

  • John C.

    Great photos MikeVW! I need to get a new battery for my point and shoot Cannon - big difference between a smartphone and a real camera.

    October 21, 2013

    • Daniel

      Ditto...I really enjoyed the photos.

      October 21, 2013

    • Brian

      @Eeyore - Did you take these with your Sony or your Canon?

      October 25, 2013

  • Daniel

    A fun and beautiful trail to walk...add fall colors, a full moon, and waterfalls and you get a memorable and delightful weekend. As usual, the company made the trip-- plenty of dementedness and laughs along the way. Thanks to John for putting this together, to the shuttle drivers, and finally the Highland Lake Manor for hosting us hungry hikers.

    1 · October 21, 2013

  • MikeVW

    A great group for a tough trail; my feet are definitely smarting after 3 days' hard climbing. The fall colors were at their peak, and the views rivaled those on the Mid-State and BFT. Thanks to John for organizing, and getting us merit badges for completing this trail!

    1 · October 21, 2013

  • Mike K.

    Thanks for a great weekend John. This was a trip to be remembered for a lifetime for me.

    2 · October 21, 2013

  • John C.

    Thanks everyone for driving up to PA for a fun and challeneging trip - excellent group of backpackers. I've wanted to hike the Loyalsock in the fall for awhile and it did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone out on the trail more frequently in the next year.

    October 21, 2013

    • Will

      Gorgeous hike in Fall colors, and I loved the waterfalls everywhere. The rain was brutal - but all worth it! That hand dryer was a life saver :) Thanks again for the LT patch! I think I'm going to break with all UL tradition and stick it on my pack.

      October 21, 2013

    • John C.

      Sweet!

      October 21, 2013

  • Alison

    Ultra-awesome weekend! John - 1-star rating was an empty threat. Thanks M&M for driving. Really it's trips like this that remind me how special DCUL is

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Will

    Awesome and challenging adventure with a great group! Thanks for the trip John!

    October 20, 2013

  • Denise M.

    I'm sorry. Something has happened that I have to take care of before I can go anywhere...I was really looking forward to this trip & apologize for the late notice & any inconvenience it's caused.

    October 17, 2013

  • John C.

    O.K. - we're on for 5:30 meeting time at the Mead Road lot. Mark Wilson is providing two vehicles for the shuttle.

    See everyone this afternoon!

    October 17, 2013

  • John C.

    Denise - need final confirmation that we're meeting at 1:45 pm tomorrow at Capital City Mall near Harrisburg, in front of stand alone Toys R Us store.

    October 16, 2013

    • Brian

      Since she now has her own tent, Alison is bringing the tent that she's been borrowing from me for Denise to use.

      October 17, 2013

    • MikeVW

      Gotcha. I'll leave mine at home, then.

      October 17, 2013

  • John C.

    Not sure if we have 6 or 7 at this point. The shuttle can take 6 in one vehicle but need two for seven. I made the call to reserve two vehicles for $35 per person instead of $30 so we don't have to cram everyone in one minivan with gear. The people living in the area of PA where we will be hiking are by no means rolling in cash - hope no one has an issue with the increased cost.

    October 17, 2013

  • Mike K.

    DC crew, should we bring dinner for tonight or are we stopping somewhere?

    October 17, 2013

    • Mike K.

      An FYI to DC crew, I spoke with VW and we will stop to grab a sandwich on the way.

      October 17, 2013

  • Michael M.

    I think Congress purposefully did this to spite us. If I hadn't backed out already, I would've been forced to, like Miles and Brian.

    October 17, 2013

  • Miles

    Shutdown restart woes. :(

    October 17, 2013

    • Will

      Curses!

      October 17, 2013

    • John C.

      Sorry, man.

      October 17, 2013

  • Mike K.

    I'm a driver but don't have directions to the park. Would somebody please confirm that they have them? Thanks.

    October 16, 2013

    • Will

      Are we still meeting here abouts? http://goo.gl/3vxkSi­

      October 16, 2013

    • MikeVW

      yeah, although I think the parking lot is a little closer to US 220. I have two copies of driving directions for when we meet up.

      October 17, 2013

  • Brian

    I'll have to see how I'm feeling by tomorrow/Wed, but I may have to pull a U-Turn too. The SST hurt! I may just opt to hike the Loyalsock wounded anyway.

    October 14, 2013

    • Brian

      I think I'd have to be carrying a jug of whiskey along with me in one hand to pull off this trip. The SST took it's toll, and I'm going to have to call it. Tendons and ligaments don't relinquish their soreness as quickly as the muscles do.

      October 16, 2013

    • John C.

      Sorry you can't make it - hopefully see you later this fall or winter.

      October 16, 2013

  • John C.

    A couple questions for EVERYONE scheduled for this trip:

    1. Will everyone be on time to leave the DC Metro station by 1 P.M. to make the 5 P.M. (4 hour drive time without stops) shuttle rendezvous? If not, I would like to know so I can inform the shuttle service so they are not waiting in the lot.

    2. If the governement is funded, I know Brian and Miles are most likely out - is everyone is still O.K. to go?

    Please reply here.

    October 16, 2013

    • MikeVW

      Mike, I can help you with the pitch, although Fri might be easier for instruction than Thursday night. Dan also said he was ok with 12:30 for a meeting time. Just waiting on Brian!

      October 16, 2013

    • John C.

      Thanks everyone - hope Brian and Miles can join us.

      October 16, 2013

  • John C.

    Dan - as a DOJ employee, are you good for the trip or will you have to work if the shutdown is resolved? Would anyone else besides Miles have to withdraw? I told Mark Wilson he would get the the final count for the shuttle by 9 A.M. Thursday morning since currently they require two vehicles.

    October 15, 2013

    • Daniel

      John, I'm good for the trip regardless.

      October 16, 2013

    • John C.

      @Priya - sorry but at this time, I don't want to add another person to the trip. We're dealing with a bit of turmoil with the government shut down coordinating the DC car pool.

      October 16, 2013

  • Michael M.

    OK ... so ... car logistics ... If we roll north from DC with my car (+3) and MikeK's van (+5), with Brian, Dan, Alison, Will, and MikeVW riding, we could meet John (with Denise, still +2), and Miles (+3) at the trailhead. If the commercial shuttle falls through, then we could get everyone in Mike's van and one of the cars and still make the shuttle happen, even if it's a little tight. Agreed?

    So the four cars we'd be using for this would be mine, Mike's John's, and Miles'.

    Thoughts?

    October 7, 2013

    • Daniel

      Mike, can I get a ride from you? Of course I'll help with the drive as needed.

      October 14, 2013

    • MikeVW

      Dan, shouldn't be a problem taking you with me. Any lingering soreness from the SST? Sounded like a tough trail!

      October 15, 2013

  • Miles

    An annoying FYI:
    I work for NPS. If I get un-furloughed pre-trip, I'm gonna have to bow out. We have so much to catch up on that heading right out the door would be very frowned upon.

    October 15, 2013

    • John C.

      I'd be bummed if you missed the trip - hoping for a slight extension of government dysfunction.

      October 15, 2013

  • MikeVW

    So with U-Turn bowing out (though he may change his mind by Thursday! ;)), we'll need to rearrange logistics just slightly. I can certainly drive if need be, but I also saw that Will offered up his car in an earlier post. Will, are you still game to drive? Also, would it maybe be possible to meet up at 12:30 instead of 1? It's exactly 4 hours to the trailhead from Grosvenor excluding stops and traffic, and if our shuttle is coming at 5, we'll still have to get our gear sorted beforehand.

    October 14, 2013

    • Michael M.

      Will is coming back from the Old Loggers Trail, where I believe his SUV had an issue.

      October 14, 2013

    • Will

      We managed to get things patched up, and I plan on getting a transmission flush. Should be good to go but I will update if anything changes.

      October 14, 2013

  • Denise M.

    Alright - I'm going to divulge a secret to you all because I know you'll be the only ones to understand, however, I just spent at least 2 hours on the net 'shopping' for gear I totally DO NOT have the money for just yet. Lol!! Hours. Brian, I'm going to go for the Notch a.s.a.p. Have to hold off just a little bit longer. Well, now that I feel all goofy for staring at UL gear for hours, I should crash. The bug has really bitten me this go around. I can't wait for some winter backpacking!! ;)

    October 11, 2013

    • John C.

      I will debut my new Sawyer Mini Filter and a pair of Brooks Cascadia's in hot lime green and neon yellow ($65 at Holabird Sports). I need to find an app that limits access to backpacking and sports gear sites in general!

      2 · October 11, 2013

    • Denise M.

      I LOVE the Notch. It has treated me rather well, it's so light and not too difficult to get up - obviously I've got little skill compared to Brian's 5 second set up time. Lol! My MAJOR problem is NOT having the money to spend on what I NEED, and I actually do need a couple things. ;) ABSOLUTELY!

      1 · October 11, 2013

  • Will

    Hoping some things slide into place so I can do this one, just in case a spot opens up!

    October 3, 2013

    • Michael M.

      Let me get back to you on that, Alison. We have two "swagger wagons" in play, so that could simplify things. ;)

      October 4, 2013

    • Will

      I'm happy to help with self-shuttling if needed, or driving people up from DC (room for five total plus gear).

      October 4, 2013

  • Michael M.

    I see we're going to get started off with a 1,300 foot climb! Excellent. BTW, if you guys haven't ordered the trail book, you should do so (http://www.pahikes.com/trails/loyalsock-trail). It is one of the better produced trail guides I've seen.

    October 4, 2013

    • MikeVW

      *meant to say site, not price

      October 4, 2013

    • Michael M.

      It's much less than Cedar Run. If you start at the base of Cedar Run and climb to the top of Hawksbill (as you did on that trip), you're gaining almost 3,000 feet. Leading Ridge is only about 1,700 feet, by comparison, but it is a very steep mile.

      October 4, 2013

  • Michael M.

    BTW, I hereby resolve that John cannot leave this trip without a trail name.

    October 3, 2013

    • Denise M.

      I'm so excited!! I just had to put that out there... :)

      October 4, 2013

    • Michael M.

      You should be able to get a 2 here, I'd think.

      October 4, 2013

  • Daniel

    When might folks leave from the DC area on Thursday? I will need a ride, as usual.

    October 1, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    I'll have to get some info from you lot after you do this trail. This has been suggested as a good location for my goal of back-to-back 30 mi days.

    September 25, 2013

    • John C.

      I would say that Loyalsock is the harder trail. Why not just jump to back to back 40's on the STS?

      September 25, 2013

    • Michael M.

      John, please don't egg Beast Mode on. ;)

      1 · September 30, 2013

  • Denise M.

    I'm still on for this trip, so please don't take me off the list, ok?

    September 25, 2013

    • John C.

      Denise, if you are leaving from Gettysburg, I can give you a ride from the Harrisburg area to the trail head. I looked at the map and if you are heading up Route 15, you could park your car at the Capital City Mall. Let me know and I'll send you more details via email.

      1 · September 30, 2013

    • Denise M.

      Ok, that sounds good, just swing me an e-mail. I'm not familiar with Harrisburg, but I'll figure it out. :)

      September 30, 2013

  • John C.

    A water access section was added to the trail description - longest stretch without water is about 7 miles. The mileage markers are a bit short since the GPX file most likely did not account for elevation.

    September 24, 2013

    • Denise M.

      Thanks, I'm so excited about this. Clearing my schedule tonight at work to ensure no issues with coming. Looks beautiful & challenging. I'm in Gettysburg, so, I'm not exactly sure what to do to meet up with you all...

      September 28, 2013

    • John C.

      I'm going to be driving from West Chester, PA to Harrisburg and the north towards the trail head northeast of Williamsport. I'm not sure the route from DC for Michael and company. I could give you a ride from the Harrisburg area. Let me know your preference.

      1 · September 28, 2013

  • Mike K.

    Hi John. Would you please keep me in mind on a waiting list? Hope all is well.

    September 19, 2013

    • John C.

      Hi, Mike - I opened another spot for you for this trip. Nab it!

      September 19, 2013

  • John C.

    I forgot to add the shuttle cost to the trip description: $30 per person.

    September 11, 2013

  • John C.

    Updated information on the shuttle and mileage splits have been added to the Loyalsock trip description. Google Earth file of the Loyalsock Trail:

    http://files.meetup.com/1502009/loyalsock-pahikingtrails.kml

    September 10, 2013

    • Michael M.

      John, this is looking great! I'm sure those splits will be perfect!

      September 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sure, I understand. I might run into you guys on the trail. Still planning to go, its my birthday treat, and will probably make it 5 days. Was hoping I could finally join you guys. But let me know if you need any shuttle assistance. Happy Trails

    August 13, 2013

    • Michael M.

      What's your plan for doing it in five days? We could work something out. I'm still waiting on my book, so I'm a little behind-hand.

      August 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Could you put me on a waiting list for this trip. I have the maps and was planning to do this trip that very same week, but was going for 5 days. Im in PA so I could provide some additional shuttle service. Let me know if anyone cancels. thanks, g

    August 13, 2013

    • Michael M.

      Hey Ginger! We'd love for you to join us, but we'd like to do a trip or two with you before you come out for such a long and demanding route. Any chance you could do one of the various low mileage (LM) trips we have on the schedule in the coming weeks?

      August 13, 2013

  • Michael M.

    I knew this would fill up.

    August 13, 2013

    • Brian

      Yeah, I knew I was going to have to get my RSVP in quick for this one.

      August 13, 2013

  • John C.

    I'm thrilled that there is so much interest in this trip, and I am glad we have two women on the team.

    August 13, 2013

  • MikeVW

    Is the 1 PM meeting time on Thursday set? Still waiting on my class schedule, not sure if I'd have to try for two days off instead of 1...

    August 10, 2013

    • Dan

      @Michael - haha! I wish I could, but there are a few factors working against me. My wife and I will have a 2 month old baby by then, so my hiking permission will probably be revoked. On top of that, I'm only an applicant. Haven't earned my place on a VMO hike yet. I commented once and receive emails from Meetup every time there is a new comment.... I find it hard not to annoy you all with my 2¢ every now and again...

      August 13, 2013

    • Michael M.

      @ Dan ... Congratulations on the new baby! I'm sure we'll get you out some time. We do love going up to PA. And we appreciate your good information! I sometimes have the tendency to plunge in!

      August 13, 2013

  • MikeVW

    Tentative at this point, but wanted to express interest before it filled up!

    August 13, 2013

  • Denise M.

    I think by this time I'll be good to go physically - I'm working hard on it, & I should have a job as of later today & want to be able to let them know the days I need off, immediately, so as not to cause problems. These trips are all filling up so fast I'm scared to hold off on securing a position. I can meet anywhere you need me to, even where everyone is parking at trail's end...PA!! :)

    August 13, 2013

  • Brian

    Here's to hoping my director lets me take off the end of the week twice in a row during the busy time of year. You just had to pander to Michael with changing the dates, didn't you!?! :)

    August 9, 2013

    • John C.

      Sorry about that Brian - I hope you can make the Loyalsock. I tried to schedule it two years ago at the peak of fall but a design review got in the way. If I was able, I'd take the entire month of October off every year!

      August 10, 2013

  • John C.

    @Michael - I called Connie Wilson who runs the Loyalsock shuttle service. Her husband told me that eight (or more) hikers is not an issue. They will use two mini vans. The shuttle charge is $30 per person but she will most likely give us discount for a large group - her husband thought we were Boy Scouts! I checked out the daylight situation for October 17 and civil twilight begins at 6:54 A.M. and ends 6:52 P.M. The eastern terminus parking lot coordinates are [masked],[masked] Mead Rd lot) and the shuttle takes about 45 minutes of driving time (think local fair carnival ride). It's about a 4 hour drive from the metro station listed and just over 3 hours for me from Exton, PA. to the Mead Rd lot.

    August 8, 2013

    • Michael M.

      And we're no boy scouts!

      August 9, 2013

    • John C.

      I think it would work best if we parked at the end (eastern terminus) and shuttled to the beginning at the start of the trip. Parking at the start is limited (side of the road), and the end has a decent size parking lot off Mead Road.

      August 9, 2013

  • Michael M.

    Yay, Covergirl!

    August 9, 2013

    • Alison

      Haha...turns out I just need a day off of work to catch up on all my personal priorities. I'm super jazzed for this one though, glad it see John wasn't just dangling a carrot a few months ago about arranging this!

      August 9, 2013

  • Michael M.

    Just so everyone knows ... The book is here ...

    http://www.kta-hike.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=506&Itemid=104

    As always, DC ULers should obtain and bring along with them a copy of the best map available!

    Mine is in the mail!

    August 8, 2013

  • Dan

    If my memory is correct your proposed day one split wouldn't give you any camping options... Mile 5 puts you at a road/stream crossing and a DCNR heavy equipment storage area. It is at the bottom of a slippery, rocky descent and leads directly into the next climb. I definitely don't remember any campsites so early in the trail (at least not that would support a group of 8). If you hike "backwards" (east-to-west) there are a lot of decent campsites at Sones Pond around Mile 6.

    August 8, 2013

    • Dan

      True. If I ended on that far western hill, I'd probably end up rolling all the way down to the car haha. The last day at loyalsock canyon vista, sones pond, and haystacks would be far more satisfying.

      August 8, 2013

    • Michael M.

      I need to order the book and maps. That first night we're just going to pitch and collapse, anyway, so we can cope with a sucky campsite. There will be good ones on subsequent days, I guess.

      August 8, 2013

  • Michael M.

    Hey John, I'm in so long as it's Friday I need off, not Monday!

    August 7, 2013

    • Michael M.

      @ John ... Yes, let's see about paying for a commercial shuttle. It would be easier. Even if she would just meet us and take the drivers back to the cars (if we exceed her capacity), that would simplify the shuttle greatly. And, besides, we at DC UL do like characters. :)

      August 7, 2013

    • Denise M.

      Yes, I'm afraid to sign up just yet but am highly interested & am hoping to be in excellent shape by this point. :) I definitely want to see how I do with the Super Hike, & I'm on a 5 mile run the middle of this month. Plus I'll be hiking as well.

      August 7, 2013

6 went

  • John C.
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (The Look,DOC) (WFA) ('17), Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Daniel
    Veteran Plus Member (3!@) (Heavy D) ('17), Assistant Organizer
  • MikeVW
    Veteran Plus Member (2!) (Eeyore) ('17), Assistant Organizer
  • Mike K.
    Veteran Plus Member (3) (Beaver Slayer), Assistant Organizer
  • Alison
    Veteran Plus Member (3) (Pretty Good Cover Girl) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • Will
    Veteran Plus Member (4!@) (Savage) (WFA) ('17), Co-Organizer

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