on Watres Falls

11 days ago

Falls were dried up

TICKS EVERYWHERE. Trail is poorly maintained and overgrown throughout. Our group found literally dozens of ticks over two days, primarily dog ticks, but also two deer ticks.

Trail maps available online are wildly outdated (over 10 years) and there are no detailed maps at the trailhead - only an area map that reduces the entirety of the Pinchot North and South loops to a 2 inch by 3 inch simplified representation of the trail network. Formerly mapped trails are either no longer listed or no longer maintained, but this is unclear since they wouldn't fit on this tiny map. Yellow dot trails appear in multiple places along northern loop, but it is not always clear which trails they correspond to (Pinchot trail is orange; ALL other trails are yellow). Some trail markers do not follow standard patterns to determine direction of trail, and at some point in time, they switched from Blue to Orange, and did not thoroughly ensure all markers were updated. Additionally, many revisions have been made to the trail such that miles/hours of distance are added as compared to former routes.

Other reviews mention "swampy trails", but that doesn't accurately describe the miles of trail under a foot of water. At one point, we mistook part of the trail for a body of water that was curiously unmapped (the trail had become an 8 foot wide, several foot deep river). Waterproof boots are hardly enough, and it's likely that you will sink and take on water, even with extreme caution.

I had done this trail under good, dry conditions years ago, and the scenery is quite beautiful, but clearly this trail has been heavily neglected, and is not suitable for use under anything less than perfect conditions - and even that is questionable.

hiking
2 months ago

I could not find any places to safely cross either. The trail was a mess. I’d like to hike this again with someone who knows how to get to the falls, also if anyone knows how to find out if this is open to the public legally I’d be interested in setting up a crew to clean up the trash.

walking
2 months ago

I'm sure the falls are pretty but there are private property signs and trash EVERYWHERE. Would not recommend

backpacking
2 months ago

Definitely a great hike. Yes sections are a bit grown in, because it's the woods

TWO BEAT CUBS SEEN IN TRAIL. CAME WITHIN 5 feet if them.
BE CAREFUL. WAS WITHIN FIRST MILE.

WARNING!!!!! 2 BEAR CUBS SIGHTING AT THE BEGINNING MILE OF TRAIL!!!!!

camping
6 months ago

Enjoyed this trail to the fullest! Hiked and camped the South Loop during the winter months with my wife and Dee Ohh Gee! I’ll be stomping on more ground hopefully soon.

overgrown which was only an issue after a short rain - wet legs. Still a great time. You can wander your way to a lookout tower and they constructed a "cabinet" on the trail with a notebook and pens to log your explorations!

hiking
8 months ago

For the most part the trail is well maintained but not marked well. One water crossing to get to the dam crest. Beautiful ....

hiking
9 months ago

lots of overgrowth, but overall an awesome trail with very low traffic.

backpacking
9 months ago

Great trail, I would have given 5 stars but there was allot of overgrowth. We had a great time. We camped at painters creek.

10 months ago

Starts off easy. If the water is too high, you have to cross using several logs to get to the waterfalls. Not the best for dogs who aren't water friendly. Bigger dogs only for climbing the actual falls.

hiking
10 months ago

The waterfall is bone dry. Ok hike but more of a atv/off road terrain. The creek was nice with small falls.

backpacking
10 months ago

Good trail for the beginning backpacker like us. Did the whole Pinchot Trail AUG 25-27 201. Parked at the north loop parking area and started hiking CCW at 5 pm on Friday AUG 25 and got to the Painter's Creek camp at 7:45, 5.5 miles total. Ate Wawa hoagies that night and went to sleep. Got up the next day and hiked 15 miles including a side trip to the Pine Hill observation tower to the very south end camp near Phelps Road (?). Then finished the last 7 miles on Sunday morning with a early lunch stop at Stone Tower which is a pile of rocks. Nice camps and easy trail from the up/down perspective. However, this is a relatively challenging trail for other reasons: (1) many rocky sections that require deft footwork and good footwear and (2) swampy sections that can get ugly. We all wore real hiking boots are were happy that we did. Probably will not come back to this exact hike considering there are so many other trails in the region and this was pretty boring overall. Again, this is a good backpack trip to dial-in your backpacking systems and get used to putting some miles in.

Enjoyed the hike. Will be back

backpacking
11 months ago

Decided to do this trail for a nice weekend out. Set up camp early with overcast. Started to rain around 11pm and didn't stop until 8 am. Needless to say the trail flooded and we waded through almost knee deep water at spots. Made it interesting to watch the trail and creek beds go from bone dry to raging currents over night.

Monday, July 03, 2017

I've hiked the north section twice, once around to the overlook, once coming back on the frank gantz connection trail. Also backpacked the entire trail starting at the trailhead in the middle and going north first, then down to the southern part for the second day. Overall the trail is easy to follow, well marked and relatively flat. Some rocky sections but there are two problems with the trail. First the blueberry bushes and scrub oak encroaches on the trail quite a bit so you're constantly walking through the brush. The second problem is that there are numerous swampy sections, mostly in the southern portion but the north has some as well. This is the reason for the 3 star rating. However, there are a lot of great camping spots and woods in different growth stages. I'd definitely come back again

backpacking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Parking for the trailhead is at the intersection of Bear Lake Rd and Pittson Rd. I used this map (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20031478.pdf) which also shows the connecting Watres Trail (yellow blazes) that loops around and rejoins the Pinchot Trail. I branched off on the (much less used) Watres Trail which is quite rocky in places, and generally quite overgrown (definitely more challenging than the Pinchot Trail). However I found a great camping spot where the Watres Trail first meets Panther Creek.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hiked this trail today and did not see the man-made bridge. The water was too high to cross without getting soaked so I didn't bother. I also couldn't tell where I should cross if I had wanted to. It is evident that the opposite bank gets foot traffic, so I assume I would have found the trail if I'd crossed but I can't be sure. From what I did walk, it was a pretty hike.

backpacking
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Park at the hairpin turn on Aston Mountain Road. The trail is very well used and muddy along most of its length, depending on recent rainfall. There will be 2 points where the trail cuts down to Spring Brook and crosses. Just after the second point, continue straight and you'll come to where the path crosses some slippery rocks. After crossing here, you'll pick up Panther Creek. Cross Panther Creek towards the reservoir and follow the trails to Watres Falls. Roughly 0.8 miles, one way with minimal elevation gain until you start climbing the falls to the reservoir. If the falls are flowing, you should hear them before you get to Panther Creek.

*Edit: I was informed after the hike that there is a man made bridge roughly 1/8th of a mile further up Panther Creek from where I crossed. I can't confirm this yet, but it may be a way to keep your feet dry.

backpacking
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Went on a solo backpacking trip 2/18/17 to 2/19/17. My first ever solo trip. I did the north loop following the orange blazes on the first day with a side trip to the observation tower then down the mountain following the yellow blazes. I camped about 2 miles from the parking lot among some tall pines. There were some beautiful views. I especially liked the boulder covered creek! The trails were snow covered on Saturday and a bit treacherous in spots due to the roots and rocks. The weather warmed up through the day and ended with a high of about 54 degrees and a low through the night of 42 which caused snow to melt on the trails and turned them into little swamps. All in all it was a great first experience. My total trip was just under 9 miles. Will visit this again.

backpacking
Saturday, October 22, 2016

I really enjoyed backpacking the whole thing. Pretty level. Lots of nice camping spots in the south loop but an awesome hemlock bedding place in the north. Great for beginning backpackers. We stayed two nights.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Solid trail. Only did south section. Great camp spots, great views

hiking
Sunday, May 01, 2016

Great park and trail. Definitely download the map at the park website. The trails vary a lot, some are rocky footpaths and others are wide, flat grassy trails. It is nice to have the option of what kind of trail to walk on. The view at the vista is great! Definitely recommend this trail!

hiking
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Great trail for beginner backpacking. Relatively flat and easy to find campsites.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Completed the trail (both north and south loops) April 1 and 2 2016 to record my first solo hike. Pretty challenging in the rain and cold (glad I brought my cold gear). Camped on the banks of a beaver pond between 2 dams. The trail was in good shape even though it rained both days a pair of boots with gaiters kept my feet dry. Didn't see any other person the entire length of the trail.

Monday, March 14, 2016

beautiful and quite place to hike, endless amounts of wilderness it seemed! just curious, what color marker everyone else was following, i thought i was on this 10 mile trail but turns out the orange marker is a 25 mile trail!!!! quite a difference haha. is there a trail at this location that is 10 miles and maybe i followed the wrong color marker??

Sunday, August 16, 2015

great beginner trail! pretty rocky trail but so much fun it's a great workout, great campsites!

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