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Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Road Trip Archive | 4 comments

Visiting Panther Hollow Falls

Panther Hollow Falls selfie, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

Before spending an afternoon parked in front of the television watching the AFC/NFC championship games, I decided to get in a few hours of hiking in the Sproul State Forest in northern Centre County Sunday morning. My intended destination was Panther Hollow Falls, located a few hollows downstream from Yost Run Falls along the Chuck Keiper Trail.

Chuck Keiper Trailhead Sign, Centre County, PA.

My hike started out at the Chuck Keiper Trailhead parking area, just off of Route 144, approx. 10 miles north of the village of Moshannon. I've given detailed directions to this parking area before which you can read about HERE if you are unfamiliar with it.

I made it down the snowy camp access road (past the Bloom and Brown camps) with relative ease, then made a right onto the much-narrower portion of the trail. I was happy to have my microspikes on as the footing along this portion of the hike was significantly more icy. Nevertheless, I made it to Yost Run Falls about 10 minutes after passing the Brown Camp.

As I had been here just a week earlier under similar conditions, I only shot a few frames at Yost Run Falls.

Yost Run Falls (side view), Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA
Yost Run Falls, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.
Yost Run Falls (downstream view), Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

After finishing up at Yost Run Falls, I continued down the trail about 200 yards to where the Kyler Fork Trail comes in from the left and meets up with the Chuck Keiper Trail. The trail sign is on the far side of Yost Run, but plainly visible from the Chuck Keiper Trail, as are Kyler Fork Falls themselves.

Kyler Fork Trail, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

I rock-hopped over Yost Run (there is no footbridge) onto the Kyler Fork Trail and made the short jaunt up the hill to Kyler Fork Falls. Again, having just been there a week earlier, I only shot a few frames.

Kyler Fork Falls, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

Crossing back over Yost Run, I headed down the Chuck Keiper Trail on virgin snow, the only footprints belonging to a lone coyote. This part of the trail is just gorgeous in all seasons as it winds through the laurel and hemlocks, but it is quite narrow, portions are very steep, and it should not be attempted in the winter without microspikes/crampons.

Chuck Keiper Trail, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

After 30 minutes or so of carefully picking my way along the path, I came to Panther Hollow. I was happy to see a moderate amount of water flowing across the Chuck Keiper Trail and made my way upstream about 75 yards to where I knew Panther Hollow Falls to be.

Panther Hollow Falls GPS Coordinates: 41.182094, -77.903958

Panther Hollow Falls is a modest 6-footer, more impressive after a heavy rain or during the spring thaw with ample snow melt fueling it. During the summer months it can be dry as a bone. On Sunday it was flowing nicely but certainly not at peak. The ice formations around it made up for the lack of flow, however, and using my imagination I could pick out some "ice shrimp", eagle's talons, and even the creature from Aliens.

Panther Hollow Falls, Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.
Panther Hollow Falls (top view), Sproul State Forest, Centre County, PA.

After spending 40 minutes or so at Panther Hollow Falls, I back-tracked my way to the trail head and home to State College, in time to see the Seahawks pull off one of the more improbable comebacks I've ever witnessed in an NFL playoff game. A good Sunday for sure.

Until next time, happy hiking!


  1. Really great information… I had been looking for something like this online but could not find too much. We want to stop here on our way back from Rickett’s Glen and wouldn’t have a ton of time but it sounds like we could at least make it to Yost Run Falls on a real quick trip.

    • Thanks. The hike from the parking area to Yost Run Falls would take you approx. 30 minutes one way. Hope that helps.

  2. It does help, thanks again.

    If you could only visit one of these (keeping in mind we only make it to this part of the state 3- 4 times a year) would you go to Yost Run/ Pather Hollow, or take a detour to Jacoby Falls? I have heard there are really interesting ice caves near Jacoby Falls this time of year.

    • Dina I apologize that I just saw this. My time would be spent at Yost. Jacoby Falls is so hit or miss, mainly miss, unless you catch it immediately after heavy rain/snow melt.

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