Old Loggers Trail
May 31, June 1 & 2, 1997
Location:  Masten, PA
Length:  27.8 miles
Total trip elevation gain:  3340 ft.

Day 1 - 10.2 miles
Started from the trailhead at 1:50pm.  This was the first time I had my new pack on fully loaded and actually planning on hiking with it.  As a matter of fact, this was my first backpacking trip and first experience with
My first backpacking trip! wearing a full backpack. 

Going up the first climb I was very apprehensive...in my mind I was saying, how can I do this.  But after making a few minor adjustments as I walked, the pack gradually became one with me.  It felt right and I became very confident wearing it.  I was just so excited to get my first trip under way.  Our first mile we were a little confused.  We knew we were on the right trail but the map and description mentioned several things that we didn't notice...one being a trail register and a fallback campsite that was no where to be found.  After a few minutes we decided to keep hiking and look for the next landmark...you really can't get lost following the orange blazed trail.  

Rock RunThe first mile was a challenging hill climb (at least for me). We crossed several small streams. About 4 miles in we came across an area called Rock Run...accurately named.  This area is beautiful.

We saw 2 deer on this section of the trail. There wasn't a problem filling water bottles as streams and mountain springs were very abundant. Around the 8th mile in we came across a challenging hike crisscrossing a pipeline swath.  I had a struggle doing the up-hills in this section.  Still finding my hiking legs.

We had brief showers off and on during the day but with the heavy forest foliage we hardly felt a drop. We reached our campsite at 10.2 miles @ 7:25pm. 1st camp site

It calls for 6 hours to reach camp so we shaved off a 1/2 hour...not sure how we did that!  We stopped a few times on the up-hills to refuel with water and power bars/power gel (not bad stuff).  The campsite was beautiful right along a natural spring.  

Once there, we scurried to pitch the tent for fear of heavier rain.  I filled water bottles while Dave got the Whisperlite going for our meal.  Then it was into a clean shirt - what a wonderful feeling!  It's the little things in life :^)   Just as we cleaned up from our meal the rain started and we had a downpour all night. 

Day 2 - 10.4 miles
After a light breakfast and refilling the water bottles, we broke camp and headed out about 11:10am (late start - no meetings to attend). The trail criss-crossed up the mountain onto an old logging path and onto an old Allegheny Plateau vistarailroad bed several times.
There was a steep climb up Sullivan Mountain where there was an extensive view of the Allegheny Plateau...well I'm sure it was breathtaking.

Due to off and on showers throughout the day it was very overcast and we were unable to see the view.  I took some photos anyhow. It was a good opportunity for a rest.

Around mile 16 the trail switchbacked down the mountain. Saw 2 snakes on the trail...they moved so quickly I was unable to get a good look at them...so I moved quickly too :^) Due to the overnight rains, the majority of the trail was mud, mud, and more mud.

We reached Pleasant Stream @ mile 18...here it was every man/woman for themselves. It was a c-o-l-dC-o-l-d Pleasant Stream stream crossing without a bridge. Wouldn't you know I would pick the deepest part of the stream to cross.  The difficult part was crossing on all the small stones and trying to keep your balance. The further I walked the deeper it got until it was up to my =8^0 yep, and it was cold!!!

After we both made it to shore we decided we'd cook a little lunch since we had all day to get to the next campsite. There was a light rain but as warm as we were, it felt good. We plopped the packs under the trees and sat on the stream's shore to eat lunch and to tend to some pretty nice blisters. 

After regrouping we climbed the mountain to another vista which, again, there was poor visibility...took photos anyhow. Now it's downhill to the next campsite at Wallis Run.   Several nice areas to choose from along the stream. We made it to the camp site @ 6:35pm and pitched the tent again in a hurry for fear of heavier rains than we were having all throughout the day. It was to take 6 hours to do this 10.4 miles of the trail but we added an hour when we stopped at the stream to cook a meal and regroup ourselves.

Again, same as the night before, I refilled the water bottles while Dave got the meal started. And ahhhhh, yesssss...my nice clean shirt! The heavy rain started @ 8pm and never did stop!

Day 3 - 7.2 miles
Due to the heavy rain we had to cook our breakfast in the vestibule. It was going to be a very muddy day! After breaking camp and donning raingear we headed out @ 10:20am. What I found amazing all throughout the trip was a very low bug population which made the trip that more pleasant. It's early in the season for those little critters yet. Anyhow, we climbed up a steep grade to Sprout Point Vista...again, poor visibility with the heavy rains.

The trail headed slightly downhill onto an old logging trail crossing several small streams.  Because of all the rain, the trail was a mud march.  We walked along Burnetts Ridge for @ 2 miles before heading onto an old railroad grade for several miles which eventually took us back to our vehicle at 1:35pm.  On the drive out we saw 3 more deer and also passed a man and woman just starting their 2nd mile crossing one of the logging roads. They had traveled 4 hours from Lancaster to do the trail. Unfortunately, they won't see dry weather during their trip.

This was also the woman's first backpacking trip. I told her it was mine too and we wished them well. They seemed in good spirits despite the weather.

I picked up some knowledge on reading maps. I'm no good if someone tells me how to do it, I need to grasp bits and pieces and learn by applying it. The rain really didn't bother me, we had fairly mild temps throughout.  I'm glad I got to experience different conditions on the trail.  Despite a few blisters and some aches and pains...I'm ready to head back out! This was truly a challenging, and rewarding experience for me.   I'll always remember this, my first trip!

September 19/20, 1998
Also hiked this trail on July 10/11, 1999
Location:  Masten, PA
Length:  7.1 miles
Total trip elevation gain:  3340 ft.

Day 1 - 17.5 miles
We made it to the trailhead by 10am. We decided to do the hike in reverse since we already did it the otherTaking a break way in '97. It only took us 2.25 hours to hike in to the campsite that we camped at last year on our 2nd night (at 7.2 miles).

We took our first break here and cooked lunch. We then proceeded along the trail and climbed steeply up to Sharp Top Vista. Same scenario as last year, poor visibility so we took photos anyhow and took a lunch break. At 10 miles in we started the long descent down Butternut Run.

At the bottom we crossed Pleasant Stream. We had a difficult time last year crossing almost up to our =8^O thighs but with low water levels we were able to find some stepping stones to cross on without getting wet. Because of the lack of water on the trail we stopped here for a break and refilled our water bags. We then walked along Pleasant Stream for a mile or so before heading up Sixth Bottom Hollow and picking up Crandaltown Trail for a bit.

Taking a lunch breakAlong this stretch we passed a group of 3 guys and then 1 other man doing it solo. We then hiked steeply up Sullivan Mountain and descended on the other side along Ellenton Ridge.

We then hiked along Big Rocks and made camp at Doe Run which was our first campsite last year so we did in 9 hours what took us 2 days last year to do! Cool!  We met two other hikers who were camping in the same area...they walked in a short distance to one of the vistas and backtracked.  It was nice to finally get the packs off. We set up camp and had dinner. It gets dark much too early now. We had lights out by 9:00 - we were pooped.

Day 2 - 10.5 miles
We left camp at 9:30 right behind the 2 folks who were camped across the stream (that was dry) from us. We followed the ridge for a good 1.5 miles and descended Yellow Dog Run crossing an underground pipeline several times. At 21 miles we walked along Rock Run. This is the most beautiful spot I've seen in PA! Beautiful waterfalls...great trail! We then started the climb up Rock Run to the intersection with the Sharp Shinned Trail.

At 25 miles we intersected the Ellenton Ridge Road and started the descent down the mountain along Schoolhouse Hollow and back to our vehicle at Masten.

June 9, 10, & 11, 2000
Location:  Masten, PA
Length:  27.8 miles
Total trip elevation gain:  3340 ft.

Sarah, Bill, Andy, Dave, Cosmo, and
me starting out on day 3.

Me taking a break!

Day 2 - Bill, Sarah, Andy and Cosmo
(up close) crossing Pleasant Stream.
Campsite on day 2 - Andy, Sarah and
Bill making dinner and singing
jingles - Sarah knows them all!   ☺

Bill, Sarah, me, and  Andy having dessert...toasted marshmallows!

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This site was last updated on 04/28/04.