Mid November is not the prettiest time of year in Pennsylvania. The leaves are mostly down and brown, the sky is frequently gray, and there is not yet any snow to brighten up appearances. Stretch and I decided to get out for a few days any way. I convinced her to try car camping instead of backpacking. You can still hike during the day, but you can also be lazy if you so choose. It’s all about the eating and drinking. We settled on Worlds End State Park since neither of us had ever been there before and it was supposed to have some good trails and views.
We arrived in the afternoon on Tuesday, set up camp, and chose to be lazy for the day. It was Stretch’s birthday so I brought some decorations.
We started the campfire before dark, scavenging firewood from the surrounding empty campsites’ fire rings and from the surrounding woods to supplement the wood bundles I’d bought. The temperature dipped into the 30s so we were glad of the heat in addition to using it to cook potato boats, hot dogs, pizza camper pies, and s’mores.
In the morning, we drove up to check out the Loyalsock Canyon Vista and the Rock Garden. The vista overlooks Loyalsock Creek just downstream from where the campground is. The Rock Garden is a small area of large boulders that would be fun for kids to climb around on.
After lunch, we actually went for a hike. The Loyalsock Trail (LT), a 60 mile trail running through the Loyalsock watershed, goes through the park and many of the park’s trails run along it. We started up the Worlds End Trail / LT to see the Worlds End Vista, which looks back down to Loyalsock Creek. It’s a steep and rocky trail; I’m definitely back on the east coast. The trail was made slightly slippery by the deep layer of leaves. It’s hard to know what’s under each step.
We followed the LT as it leveled out along Pioneer Road and then stayed on Pioneer Road until it hit the Double Run Nature Trail. We followed that narrow and partially eroded trail as it traveled next to the west branch of Double Run. There were many swimming holes, small cascades, and one waterfall, Cottonwood Falls. This area would definitely be worth a revisit in the summer.
The Double Run Nature Trail returned to the LT and then we hopped on the Link Trail to head back downhill and along Loyalsock Creek.
Next we climbed up the other side of the valley on the High Rock Trail, even steeper and rockier than the first climb. High Rock Vista looked back down to Loyalsock Creek, and then the trail joined the LT and climbed still higher, only to immediately drop steeply down the other side, only leveling out at the very end.
The campground had a water tank implode the day we arrived and the drinking water there was not drinkable at the moment. It was, in fact, very brown. I went over to the office to see if we could move to a cabin for the second night, where the water was still potable, and the rangers said they’d give us a full refund and give us a cabin for the night for the inconvenience. Wonderful! So we got to check out the cabins in addition to the campground.
The cabin we picked slept four and had an outside fireplace on the porch in addition to a wood stove inside. We decided to keep the fire inside to heat the cabin, but were still able to cook dinner and snacks in the wood stove. They are “rustic cabins” but they have electricity, refrigerators, and stoves, just no running water.
It rained overnight so it was nice to just pack up inside the cabin and not have to put away a wet tent. We left without any more hiking since we can choose to not hike in the rain now.