By Matt at Appalachian Outfitters
I had never heard of the Old Loggers Path until a few weeks before we departed. I was looking at places to go that incorporated a loop of some sort, was no more than five hours away, had scenic views, and most importantly, was away from people. I had already done quite a few trips on the East coast, so I knew I was asking a lot for a trail that I had never done before. I searched for trails in Pennsylvania since I knew they had a lot of them and I came across the Old Loggers Path. It sounded great! It was a twenty-seven mile loop that had some waterfalls, scenic views, was secluded, and only a five hour drive (from Kent). This backpacking trail was also moderately graded, which was great because I was taking my brother who had never backpacked before. I decided that this was the trail that we should do, so I called my two brothers and another friend and let them know the game plan.
Some people do the trail in two days but we decided to go ultra slow and opt for four days. The four of us just wanted to soak in the sights and take it easy. The first day was great. We started the loop counter-clockwise and only had about six miles to our first campsite. It was a nice spot next to a stream and a small waterfall. We set up camp and started making some dinner. My one brother had his Jetboil Flash and I had my MSR Windburner so we were able to get hot water for our freeze-dried meals quickly. We played some euchre around the fire that we had started. After a few games, we decided to get some sleep. I brought my Sea to Summit Spark sleeping bag. It was absolutely perfect for trips like this where it was only going to get in the high fifties at night. It weighs exactly one pound and stuffs down to the size of a Chipotle burrito.
The next day, we broke down camp and planned for around seven miles. We were going at a leisure pace. We stopped and took pictures anywhere that looked promising. At one of the outlooks, we took a lunch break. I was walking around the area and I almost stepped on a rattlesnake! Be cautious around these animals. I’ve encountered more snakes in Pennsylvania alone than all the other states that I have hiked in. I backed away and took some pictures at a distance. My brother actually saw another one on the way back up to our lunch hangout. I read that these were most likely pregnant females sun-bathing, so any disturbance to them could cause greater harm to the ecosystem. We found our next campsite a few hours later. It was supposed to be a clear night so both my friend and I left the rainfly off of our tents.
The third day ended up being hot and sunny. It was perfect because we had a water crossing. We had lunch at the crossing and soaked up the sun before we cooled off in the stream. My trekking poles helped get me across the swift current. We dried off and continued on our way. It was a few miles uphill to the next outlook. I was using my Deuter Futura Vario 50+10 on this trip and it performed great. I didn’t have any issues with it. I think my max load in it was around 37 pounds. A few hours later, we found our last campsite. We set up camp and made dinner. It was a crystal clear night. It was the perfect setting to end the summer solstice. I set my camera up to take some astro shots overnight.
The final day was only three miles back to the car. When we got back to the car, my brother that had never backpacked before had nothing but good things to say. The Smartwool socks and the Deuter Aircontact I let him borrow may have influenced his opinion, because he wants to go out again ASAP. The Old Loggers Path ended up being one of my favorite trails to do. It’s close to home and fits everything that most people look for in a good backpacking trail. Both experienced and beginner backpackers enjoy this trail. The trail is located in Loyalsock State Forest about an hour off of I-80.