Rusty’s Weekly Recap 1.22.2017
My week started out with a Monday visit to R. B. Winter State Park in neighboring Union County. Since Hailee had the day off from school for MLK Day, I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to get her outside. Although we had almost no snow in State College, as you can see from the image above there was still a coating at the park.
We checked out some of the streams (above) and rock formation (below) in and around the park.
After hiking the perimeter of the lake that forms the core of the park, Hailee took a break on one of the swing sets, a perfect seat for enjoying the view.
One of my goals for this year is to try and visit at least one new-to-me trail or destination each week. I had a bunch of potential new sites to visit in the Quehanna Wild Area on my radar, but figured I'd be waiting until spring to visit them. But with the unseasonably warm weather we had the second half of the week, I made three trips there on three consecutive days to visit three of those sites.
Thursday I visited Table Falls, along Paige Run in the Elk County portion of Quehanna. Although I had been to this waterfall before (it sits roadside along Red Run Road), I had never hiked to it via the Teaberry Trail and down the headwaters. So that is exactly what I did on Thursday.
Soon after setting out on the Teaberry Trail from the parking area along the Quehanna Highway, I came to a vista overlooking the Paige Run gorge below. This is exactly why I wanted to explore new trails this year - what a spectacular view previously unknown to me.
From the vista, the Teaberry Trail descends sharply via several switchbacks down to Paige Run below, passing dozens of gigantic boulders along the way. Once I reached the stream, I went off-trail and started the bushwack to Table Falls downstream (the trail continues upstream). Paige Run is a seemingly endless series of magnificent cascades over moss-covered boulders. Not the easiest terrain to traverse, but worth the effort as you finally reach Table Falls about a mile downstream.
After backtracking to the trail head and my vehicle, I made the short drive to the Beaver Dam Shallow Water Impoundment. All was quiet and still on this afternoon as the surface of the dam is frozen over.
With the afternoon winding down, I decided to visit one last roadside waterfall in Quehanna, Wykoff Run Falls in the Cameron County portion of the Wild Area. This one was flowing nicely, as was the small but photogenic cascade just above it.
On Friday morning I returned to Quehanna, this time with my sights set on the Sevinsky Trail and the Foley and Gore Drafts along the way. This trail head is located along Wykoff Run Road, just above Wykoff Run Falls (but on the opposite side of the road).
As with Paige Run the day before, both Foley Draft and Gore Draft (shown above) were just one spectacular cascade after another. No big waterfalls to speak of, but oh-so-worth-it to spend an afternoon hiking this breathtaking trail.
Saturday was day number three-in-a-row for hiking Quehanna. I finished up the week like I started it, with Hailee hiking alongside me. On this day we took on the Laurel Draft Trail, also located along Wykoff Run Road in Cameron County.
Soon after we started up the trail we encountered an old foundation - fascinating how the old fireplaces always seem to stand the test of time as the rest of the house is reabsorbed by the Earth.
Continuing up the trail, we encountered many fine-looking cascades.
After hiking approximately two and a half miles up stream, we turned around and hiked back to the RAV4. For being eight years old, Hailee handled the five mile trek like a pro.
With three new trails under my belt, I felt like the week was a tremendous success. Tomorrow I'm headed to a completely new region of the state for me - the Allegheny National Forest. I'll be camping near Clarion for a few nights, so I look forward to sharing some great images with you next week!