On Memorial Day I decided to finish the extended weekend with a grueling hike. I was a bit reluctant to hike the Bob Webber Trail because I knew it would be an ordeal. However, I saw photos online where someone hiked the trail in flip flops so how hard could it be? Actually it would be insane to hike this trail in flip flops. I made sure to bring my hiking poles and three bottles of water. The Bob Webber Trail is related to the Golden Eagle Trail which I hiked last year. Both trails are located in the Tiadaghton State Forest in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
The parking area for this trail is the Ross Run Recreational Parking area just pass the village of Cammal. This is along the Pine Creek Gorge rail trail and pass Waterville and the Little Pine State Park. You will encounter the Ross Run Recreational Parking area before you reach the Clark Farm Utceter Station recreational parking for the Golden Eagle Trail. It is important to note these details because the trailheads can be hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for. Also I had a few of these details wrong in my notes.
Unfortunately Bob Webber died just last month. He was a Bureau of Forestry ranger responsible for creating many of the hiking trails in Central Pennsylvania. All of the local papers featured tribute stories on his life.
The Bob Webber Trail is almost entirely uphill so I did not enjoy the arduous ascent. I am extremely slow at climbing uphill since I have to stop for breath every 10 feet and lean on a tree. The trek seems to last forever and I keep hoping that there is just a little further to go but there is always a lot more uphill climbing to do. I only saw two other hikers on their way down but when I finally made my way back down the trail I saw a party of three and a party of two hikers on their way up.
After a long ascent the trail makes a series of switchbacks. You can tell a switchback by the double trail blazes. The trail blazes were yellow and not blue as my outdated hiking book claimed. At the top of the mountain there is an interesting rock formation and a short side trail to two small springs which I would have missed except for a trail sign.
The reward for this grueling hike is a stunning vista view of the Wolf Run Wild Area. You can clearly see the Ravenshorn on the Golden Eagle Trail on the mountain. I could also see another overlook on the Golden Eagle Trail which is a scary rock cliff. I had my binoculars in my backpack so I could spy on these two distant overlooks but I did not see any hikers there. Other than that, the view is of forested mountains with absolutely no signs of human habitation to ruin the wilderness. It looks like you are out in the middle of nowhere with mountains stretching endlessly into the distance. I spent about a half hour enjoying the view because I really had to earn it. There are two benches at the end of the trail but these were not as fancy as I was expecting. The benches were just thin logs laid on the ground.
I was able to get down the trail a lot faster than it took to climb it. I decided to treat myself with lunch at the Waterville Tavern, just outside the road leading to the Little Pine State Park. The Waterville Tavern is a rustic roadside tavern. It is very popular with the outdoor recreationists in the Pine Creek Gorge and I have to admit that the food is pretty good. I ordered a Patty Melt which was quite delicious and worth the wait.
The Pine Creek area is simply gorgeous and worth further exploration. I will have to buy a bike to ride the Rail Trail because you can enjoy some great views of the mountains and Pine Creek as you ride your bike. I saw a lot people in kayaks in Pine Creek and many people fishing. Just driving along Route 44 is amazing in itself. Fortunately the area is not too over-run with tourists since Lycoming County is far from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, or any other major city. However, on Memorial Day the Pine Creek was clearly a popular destination. There are a few small villages along Route 44 and some signs of luxury accommodations like lavish hunting lodges, but otherwise everything seems genuinely rustic and relatively undiscovered.