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MST - Section 17

 1 vote


14.6 Miles 23.4 Kilometers





2,669' 814 m


-2,214' -675 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (19°)

1,870' 570 m


862' 263 m




Getting forecast...

Section from the east rim of the PA Grand Canyon, through the waters of Stony Fork, and on to historic mining ruins.

Peter Fleszar


No camping is allowed along Stony Fork or Pine Creek, or along the northern mile of a trail section on Anna S Road, which is private land.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers
Dogs: Off-leash

Section Of


Leave Blackwell heading north along the Pine Creek Rail Trail for less than a mile. From here, begin the first narrow then stiff climb along Stone Quarry Run to reach the rim. (A yellow-blazed view trail from the head of Stone Quarry Run leads to dramatic cliff-top vista on Fork Hill, but be aware that it's over a mile one way to Blackwell's answer to McAfee Knob.) Take two quick lefts on the rim, before reaching a junction with another yellow-blazed view trail (only 1/4 mile out to 2 different viewpoints this time).

From there, it's a gentle descent to south branch Water Tank Run, on an old grade that contours between the two branches of Water Tank Run. The trail here is rocky but gently graded as it begins to climb to the upper north branch of Water Tank Run. The trail will then cross the gravel Clay Mine Rd (a dirt parking is located 100 yds north of the trail crossing for those seeking a resupply). A very rocky passage amid house-size boulders forms the gateway dropping through Mossy Run and leading past 3 seasonal waterfalls.

Turn right and parallel Stony Fork, enter State Game Land No. 268 for 150 yards (be aware that there is no camping from here until after crossing Stony Fork Creek Rd), before crossing back into State Forest land. From here, runners will pass several waterfalls and swimming holes along Stony Fork. Eventually ford the Stony Fork and begin climbing again. The trail will again cross the gravel Stony Fork Creek Rd (and a pull-off parking for 4-5 cars) on old path that travels high above Roland Run. Continue to climb switchbacks along an upper fork of Roland Run to reach a campsite.

From here, the mushy path along the plateau top meanders for a while, passing the end of Tannery Hill Rd. Next descend the pretty but rocky Slide Hollow to a side trail to Morris village (no parking, light resupply), before regaining the rim on the foundation of a steam-powered coal train incline. Follow the rail grade to Rattler Run, were you'll cross both the creek and the road before climbing and descending around rimrock boulders to reach a wide path along Basswood Run.

Don't miss the sign post to turn off on narrower trail by a spring. A campsite exists in the fork of the two creeks, but pass these and climb up the north fork of Basswood Run. Turn right around more rimrock boulders, swing left and dance on the rimrock, jumping between boulders for 3/4 mile. A new yellow blazed rock bypasses around much of this terrain if you're not feeling up to it.

Arrive at the sweeping Haunted Vista viewpoint after the next few miles of the MST. Turn your back on the view, climb the last bit of rimrock, turn right and descend a narrow dirt road to PA Route 287 and roadside parking for several cars where this section


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