What started out as a leisurely weekend camping in the woods turned into an opportunity to experience part of the Chuck Keiper trail and a beautiful area of Northern Centre County. Yost Run is a small stream that runs through the Sproul State Forest in northern Centre County and empties into the West Branch of the Susquehanna river. The Yost Run loop that is highlighted here is part of the western loop of the Chuck Keiper trail. There are many beautiful waterfalls to see on Yost Run and on the smaller runs that feed into it.
|Trailhead:||N 41° 10.61'
W 77° 52.93'
|Trail Length:||6.7 miles|
|Hike Time:||4.5 hours|
|Near:||On PA144 north of
Snow Shoe, just
past the Centre
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Yost Run is a small stream that runs through the Sproul State Forest in northern Centre County and empties into the West Branch of the Susquehanna river. The Yost Run loop that is highlighted here is part of the western loop of the Chuck Keiper trail. There are many beautiful waterfalls to see on Yost Run and on the smaller runs that feed into it.
This hike, as I mentioned above, started out as a weekend getaway for some camping in the great outdoors. After setting up camp we discovered that we had some time to kill, and decided to go on a small hike. It wasn't until some weeks after this hike that I was looking in Tom Thwaites "Fifty Hikes in Central Pennsylvania" that I realized that this was a named trail and that the hike we took was described in his book. Needless to say, this a well blazed trail and very easy to find and to follow.
You will find the trailhead for this hike on route PA144. This can be accessed going north on PA144 from the I-80 interchange. From this interchange you continue through Snow Shoe, staying on PA144, for a total of 18.2 miles. You can also reach the trailhead from the north on PA120 and turning onto PA144 in the town of Renovo. From the intersection of PA120 and PA144 in Renovo, continue south for 17.7 miles.
You'll notice on the larger map that I've indicated two places to park for this hike. The one parking area is along route PA144 (N 41° 11.07', W 77° 52.73') and the other is back a dirt road a short distance from PA144. We parked at the parking area off of PA144 as I was not aware of the other parking area until after our hike.
From our parking area, we continued down a dirt road. This is a very easy grade and you'll find it a nice stroll to start out your hike. You will pass the first of two camps on this road: Camp Bloom. On the day of our hike there were a number of people at this camp, performing spring clean up, I assume. They were very courteous and friendly, even offering us a soda to drink. We continued on down alongside Bloom Draft. The road was a little rougher here, but it was still a road, with plenty of space to walk side-by-side instead of in a single file. At the end of this road was the second camp and where Bloom Draft flowed into Yost Run.
We continued on down Yost Run, now traveling on a "real" trail, where you needed to walk single file and where, in some places, the trail was very narrow. You had to watch you footing in many places as the trail was wet and there was a steep descent to our left. After hiking about 1.5 miles we reached our camping destination.
I'm glad that we decided to continue on with the hike after setting up camp as the forest in this area was very lush and a pleasure to walk through on a summer afternoon. We continued on down Yost Run along the orange blazed trail. Again, there were parts of the trail where it was very narrow. It would be a very good idea to make sure you are wearing a good pair of hiking boots.
At the end of our descent along Yost Run, approximately 3.4 miles from the indicated trailhead, there is another nice camp site. During our inspection of this campsite we came across our first encounter with wildlife. It seems that the dogs discovered a small rattlesnake. When I say "discover", I mean that the rattlesnake was lying on the trail and they mindlessly ran back and forth on the trail, not paying any attention to it. After a few tense moments we got the dogs away from the snake with no incidents and headed upwards along Second Fork and towards the Eddy Lick Trail.
Once you emerge from the ravine that the Second Fork descends, you will be on the Eddy Lick Trail. From here back to the trailhead it's smooth sailing as the trail is now a road again and, for most parts, nice and level. Depending on the time of the year, there are some nice blueberry bushes along Eddy Lick Trail, but they weren't in season during our hike.
This hike is easily a day hike, but with the two campsites along the trail, you can do as we did and make it an overnighter. The Sproul State Forest has some very old and large tree growth that you can view and enjoy, and the walk along Yost Run, with all of it's waterfalls, was a nice way to spend a summer's day.