Sunday, July 8, 2012

Worlds End State Park, PA - Loyalsock Canyon


ABOUT THE PARK:
Worlds End State Park - PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 41.471834, -76.581711
(The GPS might get confused as to where to turn to get to the park office parking lot so just follow the signs - you will drive through day use parking to get to the park office parking.)

View Larger Map
Parking at the park office - the Loyalsock Trail, where this hike begins, cuts through this parking lot at an angle.

TRAIL MAP:
Worlds End State Park Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR
The kiosk at the park office was well stocked with paper copies.  The restrooms at the park office are accessible from the outside if the park office is closed.

HIKE DISTANCE:
Loyalsock Canyon Loop - 7.85 miles
was hiked in conjunction with
Butternut and High Rock  - 3.75 miles

THE HIKE:
Facing the park office, turn right following the red "LT" on yellow circular markers, cross Route 154 to the yellow-blazed Worlds End Trail which runs together with the LT (Loyalsock Trail).
After going through a picnic area, the trail becomes more rugged as it ascends.
Is this the end of the world?
Worlds End Vista
Pioneer Road
The green-blazed Double Run Nature Trail leads to West Branch Double Run
West Branch Double Run
This bridge is not on the map - it crosses Double Run where there are two bridges on the map that cross West Branch Double Run.  This bridge needs to be crossed for this hike after crossing one of the other two bridges.
Remember the stone wall at this intersection after crossing the bridge not on this map as this hike meets up with this intersection again towards the end of this hike.
Red X on yellow Link Trail runs along scenic Double Run.
Lots of pretty cascades in Double Run.
Double Run
Every time you think there will be no more cascades, around the next bend there are more.  This is a gorgeous area.
Combined red X Link Trail and blue-blazed Canyon Vista Trail.
Coming up on Loyalsock Canyon Vista
Loyalsock Canyon Vista - you can see why they call this the Endless Mountains.
From the vista cross the parking lot towards the sign...
... for a quick tour around the Rock Garden.
Huge boulders in the Rock Garden.
You can walk between the boulders or on top of them.
The blue-blazed Canyon Vista Trail leads through another boulder area.
After the second boulder area, the blue trail descends VERY steeply (indicated as "STEEP" on the map - not a rock scramble but loose gravel/dirt) down to Loyalsock Creek.
Taking a dip in Loyalsock Creek.
Where the blue-blazed Canyon Vista Trail along Loyalsock Creek is smooth and easy, the red X on yellow Link Trail has some rugged rock scrambles along the creek.
Rock Art

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  Facing the park office, turn right following red LT on yellow discs, cross Rt. 145 and continue on combined yellow-blazed Worlds End Trail/red LT on yellow Loyalsock Trail
[  0.35]  Worlds End Vista
[  0.40]  Turn left on Loyalsock Trail/Pioneer Road then yellow Worlds End trail goes straight
[  0.90]  Keep straight on unmarked Pioneer Road when the Loyalsock Trail leaves to the left
[  1.15]  Pioneer Road ends at creek; turn left down path, cross SR 3009, turn left and walk a few steps to the end of the guardrail, turn right on the green-blazed Double Run Nature Trail
[  1.30]  Trail turns left at West Branch Double Run and parallels creek
[  1.50]  Footbridge crosses creek - EITHER keep straight on green to second bridge and cross there to continue hiking along creek OR cross this bridge, ascend steps, climb mountain through woods and descend meeting up in vicinity of the second bridge  (NOTE:  Either way it's the green-blazed Double Run Nature Trail.  I turned at the first bridge which results in more mileage which is reflected here - taking the second bridge would be shorter.)
[  2.10]  Whether coming down the mountain from crossing the first bridge or crossing the second bridge, proceed to the bridge crossing Double Run that is not shown on the map
[  2.15]  Stone wall around tree at intersection - turn right on combined LT and red X on yellow Link Trail; at Y-intersection to right on red X on yellow Link Trail when LT goes left
[  2.25]  Cross small footbridge
[  2.60]  Cross gravel Mineral Springs Road slightly to the left; trail switchbacks up steeply with a few short rock scrambles
[  2.95]  Blue-blazed Canyon Vista Trail joins in from the left; keep straight on combined red X on yellow/blue
[  3.10]  Loyalsock Canyon Vista; cross through parking lot to Rock Garden
[  3.45]  Back at Loyalsock Canyon Vista after exploring Rock Garden; continue right on red X on yellow and blue trail
[  3.50]  Keep left on blue at fork when red X on yellow goes right
[  3.90]  Keep straight on blue when the Loyalsock Trail crosses over
[  4.55]  Trail goes through second scenic boulder area
[  4.60]  After boulders trail turns left and descends very steeply
[  5.25]  Keep right at fork when unmarked goes left
[  5.35]  Cross straight over Route 154
[  5.45]  Blue trail turns left and follows along left bank of Loyalsock Creek
[  5.75]  Blue trail follows Route 154 briefly then leave to the right back into woods
[  6.10]  Blue trail crosses Route 154 at campground
[  6.20]  Cross gravel campground road following blue blazes, continue on trail at Canyon Vista sign
[  6.65]  Turn right on red LT on yellow Loyalsock Trail at intersection when blue continues straight
[  6.90]  Cross gravel Mineral Spring Road
[  7.05]  Turn right on red X/LT when LT goes right
[  7.10]  Stone wall around tree at intersection from beginning of hike - turn right on the green-blazed Double Run Nature Trail
[  7.25]  Double Run Trail ends at picnic tables; turn left on Route 154, cross bridge, turn right to cross Route 154 and continue on red X on yellow Link Trail
[  7.65]  Link Trail meets up with Route 154 - stay on right side of guardrail and continue to park office
[  7.85]  Back at parking

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