Added by Mike Servedio
Hike one of the most remote gorges in the Loyalsock State Forest to experience serene Frozen Run as well as vistas from both sides of the gorge.
One of the most remote hikes in the beautiful Loyalsock State Forest, this loop through the Frozen Run Gorge is a fantastic hike for an experienced hiker looking to see a place that few other hikers do.
There are no official trails through the gorge and this hike is a bushwhack. There are a couple of unofficial paths that make this hike easier, but you should be comfortable navigating without a trail and pushing through sections of dense brush. I've included GPS coordinates for most of the major landmarks on this hike at the bottom.
Bodine Mountain Road, which access the gorge, is not the best maintained road, particularly the last mile or so before the parking area. A high clearance vehicle is recommended.
From the parking area, head back along the road you just drove in on for close to a mile. There is another small parking area here (and can be used as an alternative if the road is too wet or muddy. Will just add a mile or so road walk to the end of your hike instead of the beginning though.) From this parking area, head into the woods to the east, or opposite the parking area. There is a feint path through the woods here along a dry stream bed, but just continue to move east where ever there is open forest.
The terrain will start to descend along the creek which begins to hold water as it goes down the hillside. This small tributary has a few sizable falls as you move downstream. This is a 50+ foot falls with a beautiful red rock amphitheater that has been a trickle the few times I have hiked this way, but is surely amazing in high water. Be careful navigating around this falls, there are some steep sections, but it can be done by skirting to the right (if looking downhill).
There is a feint trail to follow after the aforementioned falls that makes the hike a little easier through this section. It is still very steep and plenty of downed trees and brush to avoid. There is 15 foot falls closer to the bottom that flows much better and has an impressive plunge pool.
You will have to bushwhack about a mile or so to get to Frozen Run itself from where you enter the forest. There is a small bridge that crosses the run at the bottom. This bridge is the only real sign of civilization on the whole hike.
Once on the other side of Frozen Run, walk first downstream along an obvious path. There are a number of cascades and a few small falls. The trail runs out just shy of Frozen Run Road, which is on private land. Walk back up the trail the way you came from and in about half a mile to reach Boulder Falls. This is a scenic spot where a giant boulder is perched on top of a 15 foot waterfall. It will surely make some splash if ever falls.
From the falls, the real challenging part of the bushwhack begins. You will have to make your way uphill, hiking northeast away from Frozen Run. The terrain is steep and you will have to find your way around some large rocks and through high brush. We passed a giant cave close to the top. It is only about 3/4 of a mile from Boulder Falls to the top of the gorge, but it is a time consuming, difficult hike, take your time through here.
Once you pass the cave, you are again close to Frozen Run Road and very close to the top of the gorge. Start to head to the west from here. You will reach the top at an outstanding vista that overlooks the Frozen Run Gorge. The Pickenville Cliffs are visible and you can see the entirety of Frozen Run both upstream and downstream. This is one of the finest views in the Loyalsock and one of my favorites in all of Pennsylvania.
Enjoy the view from the vista and start heading west along the rim of the gorge. There is a feint path here. There are five or so more views down the gorge from rock outcrops as you walk west. Be VERY CAREFUL of rattlesnakes here. We saw a few on our hike and they seem populous in the rocks around the vistas.
After you reach the final vista, you will have to find a way back down to Frozen Run itself. If you reach the private property signs along the rim, you have probably gone too far. I don't recall the bushwhack down being a terribly difficult one.
Frozen Run is very beautiful upstream with many boulders and clear, cold water. When you reach the stream, walk upstream until you reach the private property line. Cross where ever you can (it's not hard with all the boulders and rocks). When you reach the private property line, start heading up the opposite bank of the run than from which you came. There are some big rocks here, but its not too much of a climb.
There are two more vistas to visit along the south rim of Frozen Run. There is also a feint hunter's trail that runs along the rim, making hiking a little easier. Again, be careful of rattlesnakes, I had a particularly agitated one rattle until I left the outcrop it was on.
After the second vista, follow the grade through the woods back to your car.
- Parking area at Bodine Mountain Road: N41 30.146 W77 00.506
- Walk back along road and enter woods: N41 29.802 W77 00.034
- Red Rock Amphitheater on feeder stream: N41 29.864 W76 59.513
- 15 foot falls and pool: N 41 29.999 W 76 59.114
- Reach Frozen Run at wooden bridge: N41 30.027 W76 59.285
- Boulder Falls: N 41 30.149 W76 59.538
- Frozen Run Vista: N41 30.299 W76 59.261
- Last North Rim Vista: N41 30.344 W76 59.770
- Two South Rim Vistas: N41 30.305 W77 00.053 & N41 30.259 W77 00.078
- Trekking poles
- Compass/GPS/Good map
- Long pants (snake gaiters)
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