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backpacking
13 days ago

Hiked this with a friend the last weekend of September (2018). There was a lot of rain leading up to the trip, then great hiking weather. Waterfalls everywhere. Everywhere! It was absolutely beautiful. Trails were water logged and muddy, waterproof boots recommended. First backpacking I did in 21 years, so we took our time and spread it out over four days. Day one, Dutchman Falls to Sones Pond. Sones Pond to Worlds End. Worlds End to Haystacks. Haystacks to Dutchman Falls. Could have easily completed it in three days, but why bother. Because we went slow we added on the Butternut Trail loop and a section of Pioneer Road to Cottonwood Falls which were worth the views.

Make sure to visit the nature center at Worlds End. The people there are super friendly and accommodating. We met a woman on the board who wrote the trail guide and blazed many of the trails. Learned some fun bits of history from her. The nature center also has a small fortune in taxidermy worth checking out.

If you're planning on repeating our trip, don't camp at Haystacks your last day. The camping there isn't great. There is a great site we passed on the link trail right before the trail connects to PA-154 (near Pole Hill on the map). It's quite private from the road because of the elevation. We wish we camped there.

Will likely do this loop again. Or maybe rent a cabin and bring the family.

My family and I just returned from hiking the Letchworth Trail at Letchworth State Park. The previous/below reviews about this trail are all very accurate, so I'll try not to repeat the same information. This trail is very beautiful for its gentle up/down topography, frequent river crossings, and beautiful forests. It is, however, not what I expected in terms of views. I thought I would see a lot of overlooks of the gorge, waterfalls, and river. It does not offer that. The photos you see in brochures and websites of the upper, middle, and lower waterfalls are easily viewable by car/overlooks on the west side of the park . . . and are a must-see. Granted, we saw the falls at what must have been the hight of their water levels, and they were a rushing, spewing, fantastic display of nature. Better than Niagra Falls.

Due to high water levels (there was a three-hour rain storm prior to our hitting the trail, perhaps that caused it?), many of the river crossings were difficult. I mean like "should-we-turn-back" difficult. One crossing was so dangerous, we needed to shimmy on our butts across a large fallen log. Afterward we laughed about how filthy our pants were, but honestly we were not prepared for all the water crossings. I would guess there are 50-75 crossings in total (about 4-5 per mile), many of which you could either hop right over, or have to place just one foot in the river. But there were at least 15 crossings that we were mid-calf deep. So be ready for hiking in soaking feet for long distances. We all wear WrightSox, so we didn't get any hot spots or blisters, thank God.

The lean-to's also were clean inside, fire pits were perfect, picnic tables were great.

But come to this hike well-prepared. We saw one other person the whole time we were there. You will be on your own. The Park Service staff is of no help. Even though you can reach them by phone at certain points on the trail, they are not at all familiar with the trail. We needed help with directions at a couple of key points on the trail and they said "I don't know what to tell you." The Mount Morris Visitor Center Rangers, however, were very helpful and knowledgable.

The yellow hashes painted on the trees and the mile markers are very well done. The trailhead signage is non-existent. After 30 minutes of searching for a trailhead in Portageville, we ended up hitching a ride with the fire department vehicle about three miles up the road and found a way into the park. Unfortunately, we missed a good chunk of the Southern part of the trail.

We did this trail counter-clockwise which I think makes it much more challenging given the heavy packs we had. We were running a little behind schedule and decided to follow a trail shown on the map running diagonally from the NW corner of the trail to the SW. There was a trailhead sign, but the trail completely disappeared and we had to bushwhack and travers a ridgeline which was pretty scary for my hiking partner who was very new to all this.

It's a beautiful trail, but keep yours ears and eyes peeled for rattlesnakes especially on the rocky outcroppings!

Nice and flat out to Judy Springs from the trailhead. Plenty of camping options along the way.

A lot of these reviews are not the Letchworth Trail, they are of Letchworth State Park which is not the same. The Letchworth Trail is a portion of the much longer Fingerlakes Trail (about 500 miles long) that runs from one end of Letchworth to the other on the east side of the Genesee River (the opposite side of where you have access to the lower, middle, and upper falls). Can be started from either end and is roughly 23 miles long. There are no bathrooms/water refill areas but they have 2 lean to shelters to reserve if you were to make a 2 day backpacking trip to complete the entire trail which my husband and I did. That is all that is out there. If you plan on staying overnight at the shelter(s) you need to call the park and request a permit and reserve the shelter you want for that night. You need to also get permission from the Mount Morris Dam to park your car there overnight- very easy. We started at the Mount Morris end and came out at the Parade Grounds in the Park. The trail is very well parked with yellow paint on the trees. Going in that direction the first lean to shelter is roughly 6 miles in and the second is roughly 8 more miles in (14 miles from the start of the trail). The lean to is good size and there’s also a picnic table and campfire ring at each site. You are not allowed tents or hammocks and as stated before there is nothing out there- no water, no bathrooms. Leave no trace ethics! Bring all the water you need or boil it from the streams. We had 3 hydrapacks of water and used almost all of that for a 2 day hike. At the campsite we boiled water needed so we didn’t use our reserve. Bring everything you need with you, but keep in mind there are no garbage cans either so any trash comes back out with you also. Have a bear safe for food or hang your food in a tree - we did encounter a mama bear with 3 cubs about 4 miles in. There are a lot of switchbacks but really beautiful scenery, a few gorgeous overviews along the way. The lean tos are very good size- probably sleep 4 comfortably. They are 3 sided wooden structures so one side is completely open. I opted to bring a very large mosquito net with hooks- the lean to has nails and hooks in there that made it easy for me to hang it up. Def recommend that to at least keep the bugs off at night. One thing that I would take with me next time would be one of those chairs that you swirl around and fill with air (not sure what they are officially called) because i don’t find a picnic bench very comfortable after a very long hike and chairs would be too heavy to carry. Those seem like a great option to carry weight wise and you just deflate and fold up and stick in your backpack. Would have been nice to have one to relax in around the campfire after a long hike and even an option to sleep on more comfortable than a sleeping pad. Be alert- there are bears there and know how to respond to keep yourself safe. Had a great time would do it again! Added photos also of some views, some of the trail, and also of the shelters.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked from the parking lot at the top of Spruce Knob to Seneca Creek, and it was well worth the hike up the next day. Camp sites can be found all along the creek and I didn't see one bad one. About .2 miles before Judy Springs is the "prettiest camp site in WV" unfortunately we couldn't make camp there as we had to hunker down for a storm but the site featured a waterfall as well as a mill stone table. This is easily one of my favorite trails in WV.

Wild blueberries, cool rocks, snakes, first hike with Frank.

backpacking
2 months ago

Nice easy walk through the woods. We did an out and back total of 4.5 mi from the Mt. Morris Dam & Recreation area. All “scenic” views were within the first half mile or so. Bring big spray if you’re going further than that as the mosquitoes got pretty bad. Tip: you’ll save the $10 entrance fee if you don’t enter through the Park Rd. side of the park first, stay on this (the south side) of the park and you’ll be good.

I started at slate run and began hiking counter clockwise. The first 5 miles were great, but between mile 6 and 7 I saw 3 rattlesnakes which was way to frequent for my liking. I was alone and no cell service so I decided to bail and not run the risk. Overall, the terrain is fun, but the snakes freaked me out.

Great trail. Started at Mt. Morris. Hiked 6 miles south and then back to dam. Very well marked with great views. All forest and overlooks.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail that has lots of scenery and waterfalls. Campsites are plentiful and very nice. Only negative I saw was it seemed a lot of people that hike there let their dogs run loose. I had mine with me on a leash and had some sketchy moments when multiple dogs would crowd around her. Thankfully she did well and didn’t get aggressive ...with the wrong dog it could easily end up being a bad situation. If you can’t control your dog with voice commands they need to be on a leash. But other than that it was a great day to be out in the WV hills.

Did this as an overnight hike and we had a great time. We went clockwise from the trailhead and camped around mile 12 where we were right near the river. There were a couple hard, steep climbs, but the views were a great reward and the stretches in between were fairly easy. Around mile 17 we lost the trail and the AllTrails map had us way off, and we ran into another pair that said the same thing despite using a paper map. The last few miles were basically weaving back and forth across a river so be prepared to get your shoes wet or take them off a lot.

Went May18-19. Overnight.
Lots of rain week prior and the night of, creeks were high and fast making crossing challenging, especially at night. Camped above main falls. Beautiful hike out despite wet feet for 10 miles. (there and back)

Great trail for a fun weekend. I recommended doing this trail counter-clockwise. it is a fairly easy trail with only a couple of hill that are breath taking. the views are amazing at the vistas and you are hiking along the creeks most of the time with quite a few crossing so prepare to get a little wet at some point. campsites could use some help so if you are camping at on clean out the fire pits and set up some more rocks around the rings. hope you all enjoy!!!

Beautiful in the winter.
Went Dec. 31st solo for an over night. Temps in the teens, singles over night, foot of snow, creek and falls almost completely frozen. Amazing nook to camp under right next the main falls.
Be careful, cell service is zero. Cold weather is breathtaking, but dangerous.

Did this as a day hike (!) on May 5, 2018, starting in Slate Run and proceeding counterclockwise. No bears, no snakes. The only serious problem was that the last 25% of the loop, ie the lower west-to-east part shown in the map, is NOT labelled as "Black Forest Trail" but you have to follow a patchwork of trails with other names and blaze colors. I got lost and did quite a bit of backtracking, and eventually found my way to a road, and hiked the last 6 miles on roads, mostly Slate Run Road. I had planned for 22.6 miles, but in the end I covered somewhere between 27 and 30 miles -- depending whether I believe map measurements or my iphone. Quite a long day! The best parts of the trip were certainly in the first 30-40% of the loop; and also the north-south part along the western side of the loop is pleasant. (But be prepared for ~20 stream crossings!)

EDIT: I subsequently discovered a good map at the following URL. If I had had this map with me, I wouldn't have had all the trouble at the end, and wouldn't have had to hike 6 hard-slogging miles down Slate Hill Road. Here's the URL:
http://www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20032741.pdf

backpacking
7 months ago

Just hiked this trail with my buddy yesterday (3/14/2018)-(3/15/2018) and man it was a tough one for sure. We planned on camping two nights but there was a lot more snow on the ground than we anticipated. The snow averaged anywhere from 5-9 inches throughout the trail. Wednesday we walked in roughly 5 miles and camped by the Iron Bridge after parking off of 220. There were three campsites and they were all really nice with stone fire pits! We woke up pretty cold to the weather in the teens and the wind blowing which we were expecting but once we got hiking we were fine. We made great time along the LT even in the snow because it was really well marked with blazes on a tree almost every 10 feet. It was a little slippery at times but were were prepared so we had little issues. We made it to the visitor center in worlds end state park quite swiftly around 2pm after starting our hike around 9:30am. We decided we didn't want to stay another night on the trail so we skipped where we were going to camp and hustled back to the car. The link trail was nice but there wasn't a whole lot to look at other than the vista in the very beginning. The link was only marked maybe every 30 yards and was a bit hard to navigate especially in the snow so this is why I have given the loop 4 stars. I would definitely hike the LT again but as far as the link goes I don't think I would hike that section again. I hope this review is helpful!!!

backpacking
8 months ago

Nice campsites along Sones Pond and Loyalsock River. Recommend the Loyalsock-Link Trail loop

Great level trail. Great camping. Lots of water falls

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked it yesterday it was awesome a little bit much for 1 day at this time of year can’t wait to do it again

Beautiful Park! The dam was dry due to low water flow but the waterfalls were flowing nicely.

backpacking
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Awesome trail! Two solid days of hiking given the elevation and terrain. Plenty of good camping spots along the way.

Possibly my favorite feature of this hike is the hotel + restaurant + bar almost exactly at the half way point in Slate Run. We stopped off for a beer and hearty meal for lunch and it couldn't have worked out better.

We'll definitely do it again.

camping
Saturday, September 09, 2017

Beautiful place for backcountry camping

hiking
Monday, August 21, 2017

This was by far the most difficult trail I have done to date! The climbs are outrageous but the reward is great views for sure! Only came across 1 rattle snake...a Black Timer Rattler...let us pass right by and never even buzzed. Started the trail, from Slate Run, and went clockwise but do to injury had to cut day 2 short. Water was in great supply.

My girlfriend and I had a great time on the trails and at the falls. Camp grounds were nice and neighbors pleasent. I recommend this park to all because it has something for everyone. Enjoy folks, she's a beauty!

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

One of the most picturesque trails I've ever been on. Did the whole trail and back which took about 4 hrs maybe a little less.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

We logged a 11.4 mile roundtrip with my GPS. This trail is well used and in good shape. There are areas of mud. On the route to the big waterfall there are many other small ones along the trail. There are many camp sites for overnight stays, most are set up with rock crafted seats and firepits. Five Star Trail for scenery alone!

mountain biking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

many beautiful views. the trail was very technical with amazing climbs and descents. my main gripe is the sketchy creek crossings. After you get past the lean to, there are several creek crossings which need to be navigated off the bike. This factor ruins the flow and saps the strength of the rider. all in all it was a pretty epic ride. And watch out for coydogs. I heard several in close proximity to the trail.

hiking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

This is only a section of the 84 mile long trail showing between Greenwood Furnace State Park and Rt. 655. For complete maps, visit the SST Club's website at https://www.standingstonetrail.org/.

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