Features: Birding — Cave — Waterfall — Wildflowers
Dogs: No Dogs
The trail is both runnable, and loaded with the kind of rocks and roots that make "technical" runners salivate. For those who like to feel like a mountain bike, this trail is a joy to run both up and down.
The Sugar Maple Nature Trail
is a loop which can be accessed via a trailhead across from Cathedral Drive, via the Homestead Parking Area, or by the Long Valley Road boat landing.
From the top (Cathedral Drive/Homestead), the trail starts on gentle pine duff with a few twists and turns. At roughly the quarter mile mark, the trail splits. Going right takes users on the north side of the loop. Staying left, on the south side of the loop, the trail is wide and steep with loose rocks in a few places. The downhill grade gets steeper towards the bottom, becoming a decent quad-burner for the last tenth of a mile or so.
Just a few hundred feet from the valley floor, the north side meets up again with the south side of the loop. Turning right takes users up a gentler grade, though on much more narrow singletrack.
Towards the top of the north side, runners are treated to a large cave/rock shelter, which (depending on recent precipitation) also has a stunning waterfall and pool. The shelter was extensively used by Native Americans prior to settlement, as evidenced by an abundance of rock art adorning the walls. Unfortunately almost all of this art is now lost to vandalism, replaced with so many initials, plus signs, and initials surrounded by a heart. Wyalusing has been a beloved fixture of the area for thousands of years; please respect those who came before us by leaving any mounds, artifacts, or art exactly as you found it.
A few wooden steps and bridges may may slow you down as the trail reconnects with the south side, but these structures do wonders to control erosion on the steep and well-traveled hillside.
It's all there on the signs! From invasive plants to night time predators, this is the trail if you want to get to know the local ecology.