Well, DC UL, it’s been a while. To make sure I still remembered how to pack my backpack, we opted for a low-mileage trip to Old Logger’s Path over the Fourth of July weekend. This 27(ish) mile loop is nestled in a corner of the Loyalsock region and (in my opinion) delivers highlights of all that’s enjoyable about hiking in Pennsylvania—dips into hollows, vistas over valleys, and what’s considered to be one of the prettiest streams in the state.
I’m sure some might look at the driving time and the mileage, and then simply do the trip over a typical weekend by driving up late on Friday. Sure, you can do that—we did that our first time doing this loop and had a nice time. I’d encourage our routing, though, which gives you a nice stretch of time to enjoy Rock Run Falls, a full day on the trail, and an easy walk on Sunday back to the cars.
Our first day on the trail brought us to a prime campsite next to Rock Run Falls and a glorious swimming hole. Michael splashed about in the swimming hole while I waded in the shallower end, slightly kicking myself for neglecting to pack a swimming outfit. Ev impressed everyone with her tarp set-up, and bear bag placement became the entertainment for the evening.
As both Kevin and Michael remarked at one point during the trip, there’s nothing like being able to wake up on the trail and know that you have a full day ahead of you. Sunday was that day for us. Old Logger’s Path meanders along former logging roads with mostly gentle climbs—aside from one or two short reminders that you’re in Pennsylvania when the trail briefly darts straight uphill.
We more or less spread out along the trail throughout the day before re-grouping at Pleasant Stream, our last reliable source of water before heading up to camp. Here, we opted for prudence and tanked up. Water levels were on the low side and no one wanted to gamble on the two streams ahead. (FWIW, those streams were running but were rather low.) Of course, that meant we had to haul water for the evening and into tomorrow morning for more miles, most of them uphill. Whatever makes you stronger, right?
Sandra went into power mode and charged up the hill. Kevin, Ev, and I played trail hopscotch as we made our way up. As we neared the top, I wondered why I had bad memories of that hill and then quickly recalled why I did—the last bit sidehills along an annoying stretch before rejoining the road that you could have followed.
One more descent and one more ascent was all that remained between us and camp. We had the Sprout Point Vista shelter all to ourselves. Ellen camouflaged her shelter in the trees while others took up residence in the shelter. Michael and I set up our hammocks close to the vista. Most of our group settled in and watched the sunset across the valley before retiring at backpacker midnight.
Sunday was an easy day – the tiniest bit of uphill left and then mostly flat before heading downhill to the cars. Mark had a stash of cold drinks waiting in his car at the trailhead and we all enjoyed some relaxation before making our way to Bullfrog.
All in all, it was a good weekend. I was pleased with our decision to walk it counterclockwise. Most online sources promote walking it clockwise so that you end with Rock Run—-we passed numerous groups walking it that way on Sunday—but we had the campsite practically to ourselves the first night and all to ourselves the second. We were also lucky with the temperatures. While humid, the overall temperature was not too bad. And, of course, how could any weekend that ends with the Bullfrog be a bad one?