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Old Loggers Path: Hiking the Northern Section

The Old Logger's Path is located in Loyalsock State Forest, in the upper right hand corner of Lycoming County. The land use to be owned by the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company. The trail follows many of the old logging railroad grades and makes for a very easy hike. The entire trail is a little over 27 miles with the trailhead proper being at the old ghost town of Masten. Mark and I decided to do this hike, kind of at a last minute, and opted for a shorter hike instead of the entire 27 miles.

Trailhead: N 41° 31.60'
W 76° 49.87'
Total Elevation: 4123'
Trail Length: 15.1 miles
Hike Time: 9.5 hours
Hike Type: Shuttle
Difficulty Rating: 68
Near: Masten Ghost Town,
Lycoming County.

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Our hike began about 2 miles north of Masten, where the trail crosses Ellenton Ridge Road. We would hike counter clockwise for approximately 8 miles the first day, making camp along Doe Run. The second day we would hike about 7 miles, ending our hike along Pleasant Stream Road at the point where the trail crosses over Pleasant Stream.

As I mentioned earlier, the trailhead proper for this circuit hike is at the ghost town of Masten. We decided to trim 2 miles from our hike, avoiding an uphill scramble, and begin our hike at the point where the trail crosses Ellenton Ridge Road. There are a number of ways to reach this trailhead, but I will give details on the way that we got there. The reason we chose this approach is because this was to be a point-to-point hike and we needed to drop a car off along Pleasant Stream where we planned on completing the hike.

To reach the trailhead that we used for this hike you will need to make your way to route US15. If coming from the east or west you will first need to get on route US220, and get onto route US15 at its intersection near Williamsport. From the intersection of route US220 and route US15, head north fro 12.3 miles until you reach to town of Trout Run and the intersection of route US14. Exit here and continue north on route US14 for 8.6 miles. Here you will be in the town of Marsh Hill, and once you see the sign along the road, keep your eyes open so that you can make the first right on Pleasant Stream Road. We continued on Pleasant Stream Road for 6.9 miles and parked a car just after we crossed Short Run. At 9.5 miles after leaving route US14, you will be at the ghost town of Masten. You will turn left here and drive for 1.4 miles until you reach Ellenton Ridge Road. Turn left on Ellenton Ridge Road and continue for 0.5 miles. The road bear to the right, but there will be a gated road to your left. Pull off here and park your car as this is the trailhead for this hike.

We started this hike after work on a Friday afternoon, so we had a kind of late start. We were a little hesitant about trying to hike 8 miles and not starting our hike until 4:30, but with it being the middle of summer, it stays light until almost 9:00PM.

From the trailhead we probably hiked on Ellenton Ridge Road for about 200 feet before the trail left the road to the right. We continued to hike northward and then at 0.4 miles made a sharp left to continue along an old railroad grade. After 1.7 miles of hiking we came across our first stream. We paused here for a moment so that Storm could get a drink.

At about 2.25 miles we got our first glimpse of Rock Run at the bottom of the ridge to the right of the trail. We couldn't get a good look at the stream but it did seem to be full in its banks and flowing swiftly. We continued our gentle descent for another 1.25 miles before began to climb away from the stream. Luckily this was only a short climb that we followed for about 0.2 miles before we continued our descent to Rock Run. We reached the banks of Rock Run at 4 miles into our hike but we didn't really get a good view and an opportunity to appreciate the stream until we came to its intersection with Yellow Dog Run.

From the trailhead we had hike 4.4 miles without really taking a break and removing our packs. At this point we were at the location where Yellow Dog Run flowed into Rock Run. We decided to take a 20 minute break, remove our packs, and enjoy our surroundings. Where Yellow Dog Run flows into Rock Run there is a small waterfall. Rock Run itself is a beautiful stream. The stream flows swiftly and it cuts through the surrounding rocks and the rocks that make up the stream bed. The stream reminded me of a water park. It cut through the rock making smooth chutes and slides that invited you to grab your inner tube and go for a ride. These chutes and slides would then end in a large, calm pool before continuing on through more chutes cut into the rock.

After our short hiatus along Rock Run we put our packs back on our backs and began our first real ascent of the hike so far. The hike along Yellow Dog Run was an climb of 600 feet in just a little over a mile. After our little climb we found ourselves on Yellow Dog Run Road at 5.9 miles into our hike. We had a little bit of road walking to do here, but we were back on the trail at 6.2 miles. There was a trail register here, so we stopped and scribed our names onto its pages.

The remainder of the hike this day was once again on old railroad grades. The trail stayed just a few hundred feet back from the edge of the ridge where there was a steep descent to the valley floor below. At 7 miles there was a short blue-blazed side trail that we followed for about 200 feet that took us to a nice vista. This was our first vista of the hike and I was glad that we took the time to leave the main trail to enjoy the view.

It was now well past 8:00PM and at about 8 miles we caught our first glimpse of Doe Run. We knew we were close to our campsite, and as we followed the banks of Doe Run, we came across another group of hikers camped at a very nice campsite. They welcomed us to camp with them but we decided to continue on to see if we could find another campsite. We crossed a small tributary of Doe Run and continued for about another 0.1 miles where we finally came upon Doe Run. Just alongside the stream was a small campsite with a partial fire ring. Since I had a hammock and we only had to set up Mark's tent, the campsite was plenty big for the two of us. We set up camp and soon had a campfire going. Mark, Storm and I spent the next 3 hours just relaxing around the fire and finally headed off to bed sometime after midnight.

The next day we started out on a hike a little after 10:00AM. One of the disadvantages of staying up late around the campfire at night is that you don't get on the trail as early as you'd like. After breaking camp we continued along the trail, still hiking on old railroad grades. At 9.5 miles into our hike we crossed Buck Run. This would be the last stream we would come across until Long Run, which meant we would have about 3 miles of hiking without water. This wouldn't be a problem, but we had to make sure that we paused more often so that Storm could get a drink.

One half mile after crossing Buck Run we left the old railroad grades behind and began a short, but steep ascent to the top of Sullivan Mountain. We approached Sullivan Mountain from the north and once we traversed around to the southwest side we were greeted with some very nice vistas to the south. There were three vistas on top of Sullivan Mountain and we paused at the last vista to take a short break. Storm, as well as Mark and I, needed something to drink and Mark wanted to bandage a blister that was forming on his one foot.

At 10.75 miles we began our short, and at times, steep descent from Sullivan Mountain. Once we were completed this descent, we had an easy hike of 1.2 miles with only a small ascent of about 200 feet.

After this short climb be began our last and final descent. This would be a descent of about 800 feet over 1.8 miles. The descent was noticeable but not all that steep. If we were hiking in the opposite direction, and this descent were and ascent, I don't think it would have been too difficult. Along this descent we came upon Long Run at 13 miles. We then followed Long Run for the next mile, where it intersected with Pleasant Stream Road and Pleasant Stream itself.

The last mile of the hike was again on an old railroad grade. This railroad grade followed the banks of Pleasant Stream. After 15.1 miles of hiking we were back at Mark's car where we had parked it along Short Run.

The Old Logger's Path was a quite enjoyable trail to hike. There were moments where your heart rate would increase as you climbed up and away from various stream sides, but all-in-all the trail was very kind. Since it followed old railroad grades, ascents and descents were gentle. I would say the highlight of this hike was Rock Run. I'd love to head back and camp at the campsite where Yellow Dog Run flows into Rock Run. It was so peacefully and inviting there.

Mark and I would like to finish this circuit hike sometime this year. It seems that we go out and hike a portion of a trail but never seem to complete it. If we do complete it, most times it is either the following year, or even the year after that. Maybe this year will be different and we can complete the Old Logger's Path the same year that we started it.

The trailhead for this hike was just off of Ellenton Ridge Road.

The trails for this hike were very easy to hike, with only a few obstacles on the trail.

Mark and Storm take a break at the intersection of Rock Run and Yellow Dog Run.

The trail is marked with orange blazes, and where appropriate, orange arrows showing you which way to go.

We really only had two ascents on the entire hike. This was our first climb as the trail followed the banks of Yellow Dog Run.

Our first vista. We came across this one about a mile away from our campsite.

This was our campsite along Doe Run. I finally had a chance to try out my Hennessey hammock.

This was our second climb of the hike. This climb took us to the top of Sullivan Mountain for some nice vistas.

One of the vistas from atop Sullivan Mountain. We rested for about 15 minutes on the rock outcroppings here, enjoying the views.

Almost done with our hike. We just finished a descent and now stood along the banks of Long Run.

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