Visiting Jacoby Run Falls 3.18.2015
The fourth time was the charm for me yesterday at Jacoby Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County. During 3 prior attemps last summer/fall I was met with nothing but bone dry conditions upon completing the 45 minute hike to the falls. Yesterday made up for all of that.
The drive up from State College took me about 90 minutes. Arriving right around 10:00 a.m., I parked at the Cotner Farm lot near the Jacoby Run Falls trail head (see map and photo below).
Cotner Farm Parking Area Map
Crossing a narrow boardwalk over a marshy area brings you to the trailhead. It's 1.5 miles 1-way to the falls, as indicated on the sign.
The trail itself is a rocky, undulating path through many the hemlocks along the base of Jacoby Mountain. The trail is well-blazed with yellow markers and at several points runs parallel to a pipeline right-of-way.
As you near the falls you will see an aerial observation panel marked "095" on the pipeline right-of-way. You can stay on the trail which will follow the left bank of Jacoby Run up to the base of the falls. Or you could follow the pipeline which would bring you out above and to the right of the falls, then pick your way down the bank to the falls if you wanted to.
I chose to stick to the yellow-blazed trail and go up the left side of the creek. In hindsight that was a good decision as the right bank was solid ice. Not that the left was significantly better, just less steep. I did have my microspikes attached to my boots, which made things marginally safer.
Turning the final bend in the trail and seeing the falls come into view, I was treated to a scene of great contrast. Bright white ice and dark blue skies. Fast moving water plunging over frozen boulders. It was a tremendous payoff for a strenuous hike and I took full advantage of it.
As with all my waterfall photography, I started at a distance and worked my way in closer, then explored the right and left sides. There was a great deal of spray coming off of the falls yesterday, which made it difficult to get useful exposures from close proximity, but I did my best. I spent a good 90 minutes here shooting still photos and video, then packed up and headed back to the car.
This was a day well spent. The hike was challenging but the falls were spectacular. You can check out a minute or so of video footage from the falls below.