I hiked this trail January 16-18 2016. We started at the office and hiked clockwise. The initial ascent was a pretty good climb, but with fresh legs it wasn't bad. There was some snow and ice on the ground that made many parts of this trail just a little harder.
We camped at the first campsite at Sones pond on Saturday night. I would recommend the last campsite here. That one seemed a better protected from the pond. Especially if it is windy.
The Iron bridge is closed to vehicle traffic but as of now you are able to walk across it.
We stayed at the campsite right after Cold Run road. This is known as Devils Playground on some maps. There was a stream near the site. This area was very rocky and wet and it made for some difficulty putting up four small tents. Monday we woke up to a fresh layer of snow.
We were following three other hikers the whole time until we passed by them the last day. We had 5 runners pass us with saws. They were clearing the trail for an upcoming ultra-marathon. It was nice since they removed a lot of down trees along the trail. We seen 4 day hikers and 2 mountain bikers. So we did have some company while hiking but we never had to share a vista or a campsite.
All in all this was a nice scenic trail with a few decent climbs and descents. It was a very muddy trail in some parts. So be prepared to have wet and muddy feet most of the time during wet seasons. The LT was marked very well with the Link Trail only having a few spots where I questioned the direction the trail went.
We did this trail in reverse over Labor Day Weekend 2015- 2 nights and 2.5 days, using the Alpine Club of Williamsport Guide. The trail is well-marked and the guide was spot on. There were a few switchbacks: ascending from The Haystacks to the W&NB RR after the Register at mile marker 53; at Tom's Run/Alpine Falls. The water was hardly there anymore with it being late Summer.
As for the guide, the only thing I wish that could have been pointed out is the exact location of the Link Trail Entry point which was directly behind the World's End SP. It was a beautiful experience that I would do it again.
This is one of our favorite trails. We took our 3, 7 and 11 year olds and they did fine although I wouldn't recommend doing this one without a child carrier for the little ones ( I carried the 3 year old in the backpack) It's a beautiful trail with a lot of ankle to knee deep creek stomping for the kids. There are some pretty steep climbs and steep downhill areas on this trail but the beautiful waterfalls are worth it. Once you cross the creek you can turn right for an easier hike or left for the steep climb. I have also taken the right and hiked up and back the same way to avoid the steepest part of the loop to the left.