History of the Loyalsock Trail
The name Loyalsock Creek is from the Indian phrase, “LAWI-SAQUICK,” meaning middle creek, since it flows between Muncy Creek and Lycoming Creek. The Loyalsock Creek begins in Wyoming County and ends at Montoursville, PA, where it flows into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The Loyalsock Trail (LT) is a footpath which begins on PA Route 87, 9.0 miles north of the Route 87-Montoursville Exit of Interstate 180 (US Route 220), and ends at a parking lot on Meade Road, 0.2 miles from US Route 220. The entrance to Meade Road is 2.4 miles north of the intersection of Routes 220 and 154 near Laporte. The LT follows mountain ridges and streams through the Loyalsock Creek watershed as it travels through the woods on footpaths, old logging roads and abandoned railroad grades. It passes through parts of the Loyalsock State Forest for most of its 59.21 miles. The extremes of elevation are 665′ at its lowest, and 2140′ at its highest.
The LT passes many points of interest: Allegheny Ridge, Helen’s Window, Smith’s Knob, Angel Falls, Kettle Creek Vista, Dutter Run Falls, Mary’s View, High Knob, Lee’s and Rode Falls in Ketchum Run Gorge, Alpine Views, Mineral Spring, Loyalsock Canyon Vista, Worlds End State Park, High Rock Vista, Alpine Falls, Sones Pond, The Haystacks, and Dutchman Falls.
Explorer Scouts of Post No. 110 (Boy Scouts of America) from Williamsport, PA, led by Howard Ulman, Jr., laid out the Loyalsock Trail in 1951. The Alpine Club of Williamsport was organized in 1953 to maintain the original 30.4 miles of the trail. Both ends of the LT were extended to their present locations between 1960 and 1962; additional relocations were made in 1973, 1975, 1983, 1984, 1999 and 2011.
The LT travels over many logging roads and old logging railroad grades that are mentioned in the LT Trail Guide, along with accompanying historical facts. Logging of the old growth forests of the Loyalsock Creek watershed began in the early 1800s and was completed by the large railroad logging operations between 1902 and 1925. One segment of the LT, in the Highland Lake area, follows the Towanda Indian Trail, which dates from before the coming of European settlers.