Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tioga State Forest, PA - Gillespie Point

Tioga State Forest - Pennsylvania DCNR
Mid State Trail - MSTA

GPS Coordinates 41.556161, -77.376160

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I had read that there is parking across from where the Mid State Trail enters the woods from Big Run Road, which is to the left of my car.  Can't quite call this a parking spot and certainly would not park there during the week if lumber trucks are using the road!
Alternate Parking:
GPS Coordinates 41.556147, -77.381816

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This is also referred to as "Blackwell Boater Access" and is about .3 mile from where the MST enters the woods on Big Run Road.  It would add .6 mile to the hike.

Mid State Trail - Blackwell to PA 287 - MSTA
Gillespie Point is shown at the bottom of the map.  This is the only map I could find that shows the woods road I took (black dashes) not knowing that was not where I wanted to be based on the copy of a map I had from a book.  The woods road takes you to where you need to go but it cuts off a part of the hike.

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

The orange-blazed Mid State Trail leaves Big Run Road to the left at the curve.
The climb up is not all that steep yet but relentless.
After a sharp turn to the left, the trail becomes steeper heading towards the top.  The picture does not capture how steep the trail is along this part.
Almost at the top looking back down.
Pretty flowers just before the top.
At the top, looking down Pine Creek towards Rattlesnake Rock.
A great spot for a break.
Continuing on the MST down the other side.
At the time of the hike, because I did not have a good map, I was not sure if I should turn on this woods road or not.  The turn was to be on Big Run Road but I did not know if it eventually turned from gravel to dirt or not and if this was Big Run Road.  Since it was getting late, I decided it was best to turn here.  Having found the better map after the fact, I see now where I should have crossed over and continued on the MST, that this was not Big Run Road.  But it does  ...
... lead directly to Big Run Road and isn't a bad walk.  I actually liked walking on the woods road better than on the gravel Big Run Road.
Bug Run Road - a smooth descent but not as pretty as the woods road.
Back at the car, which fortunately was not stuck in the ruts!

[  0.00]  Turn left on the orange-blazed Mid State Trail where Big Run Road bends to the right
[  0.60]  Trail makes a sharp left and continues uphill
[  1.10]  Gillespie Point Overlook
[  1.70]  Turn right on woods road (or keep straight to follow the MST along Brill Run to Big Run Road)
[  2.70]  Turn right on gravel Big Run Road at the gate
[  3.50]  Back at car if parked on Big Run Road

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