Old Loggers Path is a 23.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ralston, PA that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
Great loop. Was rainy and wet when we did it, the trail was a river. Banged it out as an overnight. Not so many great views but great forest and numerous campsites. One tricky stream crossing late in the first day but probably wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't raining. Easily found a log to cross on.
Getting ready to do this trail April 15 2016. Any suggestions.
This is an amazing area. There are great day hikes, plenty of parking area, and several great lookouts and views. Take a minute to take it in and breathe in some nature. This entire trail is full of hills. The usual PA terrain. It's moderate to fairly strenuous, and isn't a leisurely hike. Wear sturdy shoes. Most sections had moving water for drinking in October, but the park office said the water levels were low this season. From the photos I've seen I could tell they were low. The trail is very well marked with orange blazes. Contact the park office (570-946-4049) to check trail conditions, and they even mailed me a trail map for free. Very helpful staff. If you hike the off season, October to the spring some time, you need to call the office a day or 2 prior to your hike to make sure you can have fires.
We drove in on Thursday night, and setup camp in the dark. If you come in from the north on Masten Road it will take you right to the parking area. There are 2 parking areas. One west, and one east in the ghost town. We parked at the west one, which has tent camping right across the road. Very convenient. If you look at the map (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20027896.pdf) it's the one labeled "Masten Ghost Town Start". Nice facilities.
Day1:(11.5 miles) Up Bright and early Friday morning. We brought extra car camping gear for that first morning, and left it in the car for our hike.It's nice to start out with a full, hot breakfast on a cool morning. We then packed up, and hit the trail.
We started from the camp site, and ended at mile 11.54 on the map going counterclockwise. There's a small area there with a fire pit. There are other larger areas at the 10.05mile area. Due to some confusion of mileage with a track I uploaded to my Garmin, which started at the ghost town, I was off by a mile. Which is why we ended at 11 miles versus 10. No big deal, but be sure you know which start point your directions start from. Day 1 was quite a long day, and we got to camp around 6pm. Fire, fluids, food, then hit the sack.
Day2:(9 miles) Started at 11.54, ended 20.5. Due to the extra mile on day 1, we had one less to put in on day 2. Good thing... I was toast. Another long section of hills and rocks. This section seemed like we covered so much distance, but as I checked we were constantly surprised by how slow we were actually moving. It feels like a fast hike, but you just don't make any distance. At mile 16.8 there's a "NO BRIDGE" on the map. This is where you see the photos of people crossing the river on the trees. We hiked quite a bit in both directions, but nothing looked good. Perhaps the nimble, sure footed hikers can take the packs across of the less steady hikers. If the water is a bit lower toss some rocks from the shore and make a path to cross. Consider your options. Wet feet? Fall off the log and get all wet and maybe injure something? Be ready for this one.
The camp spot at 20.5 is a fantastic site. nice area, great fire pit. Just hope it's available.
Day3:(7 miles) Camp at 20.5 back to the car. This page says 23.7 miles, but it's actually 27.3 miles. The last 7 miles out are quite nice, and if you get up and go end the day fairly early. Just keep an eye in that switch back hill climb at mile 22 that just seems to keep going and going. Once you clear that it's smooth sailing from there. You pop out at the ghost town, and have an easy mile back to the parking.