Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tioga State Forest, PA - Bohen Run Falls and West Rim Trail

Tioga State Forest - Pennsylvania DCNR
West Rim Trail - Pennsylvania DCNR
Pine Creek Rail Trail - Tioga PA Visitor Bureau

GPS Coordinates 41.540598, -77.405224

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Rattlesnake Rock Parking Lot (with restrooms!)

West Rim Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR
I had this map printed out in my file from a while back and can't find it online - might be an older version of the PA DCNR West Rim Trail map which I like better.  The Mid-State Trail (orange) portion of this map is now called Bohen Run Trail and is blazed orange/yellow.

Bohen Run Falls and West Rim Trail - 9.25 miles
hiked in conjunction with
Gillespie Point - 3.5 miles

If I were to do this hike again, I would go in the opposite direction starting with the rail trail.  The rail trail is pretty boring - no water views for most of it - and there is no shade so probably best to get it out of the way first.  This hike is best done in the spring before the waterfalls dry up but I can imagine it must be pretty amazing in the fall, too!
The West Rim Trail starts directly across Route 414 from the Rattlesnake Rock parking lot.
The West Rim Trail is blazed orange, is very well blazed, well-defined and nicely maintained.
Lots of wildflowers along this route.
The West Rim Trail soon follows along scenic Lloyd Run.
Trail register.
Our trail register entry.
Dark-eyed junco.  So many birds in the forest!  Heard a barred owl but did not see him.
Looking back at the old dynamite shack along the trail.
Crossing West Rim Road ...
... 2.3 miles into the hike.
Some partial views through the trees as the trail follows along the top of the Allegheny Plateau.
And then the real views!  The mountain straight ahead is Gillespie Point, also known as the Pennsylvania Matterhorn, the second hike of the day.
Zooming in to the bridge below, you can see how the last part of this hike plays out.
The trail continues on cut into the side of the mountain.
This is referred to as the intersection of the West Rim Trail and the Mid-States Trail in books.  It appears the name was changed from Mid-States Trail to Bohen Trail in this area although the yellow blazes are painted so that the orange blazes of the Mid-States Trail still show.  This would be where to turn right to continue on the Bohen Trail, however, the map shows another view about .35 mile farther on the West Rim Trail so that is where we headed first.
Rock hop over Bohen Run to continue on the West Rim Trail which makes a sharp right on the other side.
The view a little more than 1/4 of a mile farther along the West Rim Trail.
There is a nice little rock ledge to sit on and we had just spread out to take a break when it started to rain so we had to pack up and head back to the Bohen Trail.
Spring is a little behind in these parts - many trees are just starting to bloom.
On the yellow/partial orange Bohen Trail.
The Bohen Trail descends along Bohen Run.
Bohen Run way down below.
A blue side trail ...
... leads down steeply to views of ...
Bohen Run Falls:
It's a beautiful trail with steep drops.
A campsite at the bottom where the trail begins to ...
... parallel Pine Creek.  Shortly after a second campsite the blue blazes and the trail fizzle out in an area of blowdowns.  The blue trail does connect back to the Bohen Trail but it was too hard to tell where to go next so I turned right and bushwhacked up the hill until I ran into the Bohen Trail, then turned left on the Bohen Trail.  There is almost no undergrowth so bushwhacking is easy.
The Bohen Trail leads to the top of Jerry Run Falls ...
...  and crosses over Jerry Run.
Shortly after crossing over, a ledge off the trail offers a great view of Jerry Run Falls.
The Bohen Trail continues down to Pine Creek ...
... and ends at Route 414.
Jump the guardrail, turn left, and ...
... cross the bridge on Route 414.  That is Gillespie Point up ahead and yes, the climb up is as steep as it looks but the views make it worth the climb.
View of Pine Creek from the Route 414 bridge.
Continue past the boat launch parking then turn right just past the yellow "road narrows" sign on the Pine Creek Rail Trail.  If you continue straight and follow the orange blazes of the Mid-States Trail, it will take to you to where you need to be for the Gillespie Point hike in about a quarter of a mile so both this hike and the Gillespie Point hike can be done as one for a total of about 13.5 miles.   On the right up ahead is a place that advertises food and drink for sale so maybe a nice spot for lunch on the way?  I had to go back to the car to give Shawnee a break before tackling Gillespie Point so I did it as two separate hikes.
Follow the Pine Creek Rail Trail 1.5 miles back to the parking lot.
Indigo Bunting
Once Pine Creek comes into view, almost at the end, some side trails on the left lead to views of Rattlesnake Rock.
Right here where the trail on the right leads to the parking lot, the trail on the left leads to Rattlesnake Rock.
View from Rattlesnake Rock.

[  0.00]  Cross Route 414 and start on the orange-blazed West Rim Trail
[  0.25]  Trail register
[  1.85]  Orange turns right on a footpath when yellow (Engle Trail on map) goes left on a woods road
[  2.10]  Cross woods road (Blackwell Trail on map)
[  2.25]  Dynamite shack on right
[  2.30]  Cross gravel West Rim Road
[  2.35]  Small footbridge over tiny creek
[  3.10]  View of Blackwell, Gillespie Point and Pine Creek
[  3.95]  Continue on orange West Rim Trail at intersection with yellow (and orange) Bohen Trail rock hop Bohen Run, trail veers sharply right
[  4.10]  Rock hop creek
[  4.30]  View; retrace
[  4.50]  Rock hop creek
[  4.65]  Rock hop Bohen Run, turn left on yellow Bohen Run Trail at intersection
[  5.50]  Turn left on blue trail with view of Bohen Run Falls
[  5.80]  After second camp site blue blazes and trail fizzle out, turn right and bushwhack uphill
[  5.85]  Turn left on yellow/orange Bohen Run Trail
[  5.90]  Blue trail comes in from left, continue on Bohen Run Trail
[  6.25]  Cross over Jerry Run at the top of Jerry Run Falls; view of falls on the left
[  7.25]  Hop guardrail at Route 404, turn left and cross bridge
[  7.35]  Turn right on Pine Creek Rail Trail
[  8.90]  Side trail on left to Pine Creek with view of Rattlesnake Rock
[  9.00]  Side trail on left to Pine Creek with 2 log benches
[  9.10]  Side trail on left opposite Rattlesnake Rock parking that leads to Rattlesnake Rock
[  9.25]  Back at parking lot


  1. Very pretty- would like to see that in the fall!. Spring looks several weeks behind there

    1. Spring is definitely a few weeks behind but the bugs are a few weeks ahead and I have the bites to show for it. I was slathered in Deep Woods OFF! but they bit mostly on the top of my head. Somebody needs to invent hairspray with bug repellent in it.


  2. It almost looks too early for bugs at all- wonder if it is the higher elevation??

    1. I ran into a man thru-hiking the Mid State Trail and he said in the past 17 days since he left Maryland I was only the 6th person he had run into. That area is very busy because of boating in Pine Creek but not so much with hikers so my theory is with human blood so scarce, the bugs are very, very hungry!