Mid State Trail - Woolrich Region
The Woolrich Region covers the section of the Mid State Trail from the R.B Winter State Park to the town of Blackwell, PA. This region passes through the Tiadaghton and Tioga State Forests as well as the R.B. Winter, Ravensburg, and Little Pine State Parks. Here you will find the steepest sections of the trail as it ascends and descends the Allegheny Plateau on the banks of Pine Creek.
On day 2 of our hiking weekend in Blackwell, we decided to climb to the top of Gillespie Point on the Mid State Trail. The forecast was calling for rain, but when we left camp, it looked like the sun was trying to break through the clouds. After a sweaty climb up the Pennsylvania Matterhorn, a slight rain fell to keep us cool. Soon the rain became heavier and we had quite a wet experience as we finished out our hike down from Gillespie Point.
After hiking the Golden Eagle Trail the day before, Jody and I woke up on a cloudy Sunday morning wanting to do another hike. Since we were camping near Little Pine State Park, Jody suggested a hike on the Panther Run, Mid State, and Love Run Trails. He promised it would be a work out, with a decent vista, and would have us back to the car and on the road by lunch. So we parked my car at the Bald Eagle viewing lot and Mary Ellen dropped us off at the trailhead so we could begin our Sunday morning hike.
My old hiking buddy Mark was up from South Carolina for a visit this week. Couldn't pass up an opportunity to go for a hike with him while he was here, so a hike we did. Since he didn't come prepared for an overnight excursion we decided to head up Pine Creek and do a day hike somewhere. It seems that the road took us to Blackwell so we decided to take a short hike up the old Mid State Trail, now the Bohen Trail, and view some of the waterfalls found along the trail.
As the Mid State Trails makes its way across Pine Creek in Ramsey Pennsylvania, the trail would follow route PA44 for about three quarters of a mile. This section of PA44 was quite dangerous to hike along. In June of 2001, the Keystone Trail Association eliminated this dangerous road walking and rerouted the Mid State Trail to the top of Houselander Mountain. Since it's reroute in 2001, no one had an accurate representation of the exact location of the trail. Since I was assisting in producing the next generation of maps for the Mid State Trail, it was recommended to me to take a hike along this newly relocated section of the Mid State. So on what I thought to be the last nice weekend of December (temperatures were in the fifties), I took my GPS and headed out to hike the Mid State Trail near Ramsey.
Located in the Bald Eagle and Tiadaghton State Forests, between R.B. Winter State Park and Ravensburg State Park, is a collection of blazed trails known collectively as the Central Mountain Trail System. The trails in this section of the state forest are blazed red for use by hiker, horse back riders, and mountain bikers. It was in amongst this extensive trail system that we decided to do a small circuit hike on a relatively warm January day. The circuit hike that we decided upon was a little over 5 miles in length. It was composed mostly of the red blazed central trail system trails, but we also did some hiking on the Mid State Trail as well. The hike was located on the mountain tops to the east of Ravensburg State Park, in a relatively flat area known as Sand Spring Flat. There was a fresh coating of snow about an inch deep from the night before, and with the temperatures hanging around 40 degrees, we were looking forward to a a pleasant stroll in the woods.
Only a few miles shy of the northern terminus of the Mid State Trail (as of Nov. 2005), Gillespie Point looks down onto the town of Blackwell with amazing views both up and down the Pine Creek Gorge. Known locally as the "Matterhorn of Pennsylvania", Gillespie Point is located just south of the town of Blackwell. The hike to the top of Gillespie Point is well defined as the Pennsylvania Mid State Trail, at it's northern terminus, is routed so as to include the spectacular view from this fine vantage point.
A short climb up a steep mountainside will bring you to one of the most spectacular views you will find in northern Pennsylvania. Once you reach the top you will quickly realize that the strenuous climb was well worth all of the effort. Known locally as the "Matterhorn of Pennsylvania", Gillespie Point is located just south of the town of Blackwell. The hike to the top of Gillespie Point is well defined as the Pennsylvania Mid State Trail, at it's northern terminus, is routed so as to include the spectacular view from this fine vantage point.