In northern Tioga State Forest there's a small wild area and
natural area that provide the setting for a challenging day hike. This is a
challenging unblazed trail with lots of bushwhacking. Take your compass! The hike
begins and ends at the Asaph Run State
Forest Picnic Area at the forks of Asaph Run.
While we were putting our hiking boots on a car driving by mentioned that
they had just seen a large black bear down the road from us. We hopped
in the Blazer and drove back down the dirt road (me with camera in hand) to
see the black wonder! No luck - it had already scurried back into the woods.
I want to see a bear in the wild so bad - I had my camera ready but it
wasn't to be on this hike.
To start the hike we crossed Asaph Run and headed up the unblazed Middle Ridge
Trail. At 1.5km we took the trail's left fork and farther along we kept to the right
at the edge of a clearing of old apple trees. We noticed too that on our last hike
and this one the Lady Bugs are plentiful! It's almost like a SciFi movie - the
"Invasion of the Lady Bugs"!
Ignore the well-used Big Tree Hollow Trail on your left. By
4.9km we were on an old railroad
grade. Ignore the well used Johnson Trail on
The old grade bends right onto a recent logging road. We followed the
blue blazes where they bear left off this road and reached the outlet from
Black Ash Swamp. Busy beavers have deepened the stream here.
On the other side we passed a trail sign and continued up the Cross Trail.
The blazes stop at 7.4km where we turned right on Asaph Road for 900 meters to a junction with Sand Road. Turned
left up Sand Road and then right on Hessel Gesser Road.
you'll come across an area of coarse sandstone. This is the site of the Hessel Gesser
Millstone marked by a large sign. We then continued on a gated Hessel Gesser
It opens into a clearing where we bared left on the signed Scotch Pine Hollow Trail. We
came across a small run across the trail toward Straight Run. We continued past Darling
Road Trail and descended into Scotch Pine Hollow. We continued the descent to Asaph Road,
turned right onto the road and walked a short distance back to our vehicle.