Allegheny Outdoor Adventures Bradford, PA

Some random photos from Past Trips

Saturday April 19th-Exploring the "new rock area" and evening Bat Count!

What an adventure! There were six of us, Bill, Nick, Jeremy, Joan, Valarie and I, who got together for a "bat count" up at our newly discovered "giant cave". Saw about three or four bats in the caves, but none ever came out.

I almost fell down a very deep crevice. But I didn't and I lived to tell about it! LOL!

Here are some photos:

Jeremy, Nick, Joan, Valarie, And Bill


Looking into the cave opening


The whole gang after dark!


Subject: Look what YOU missed! Amazing!

There is no other way to put it! Truly amazing! 

While the now infamous "Jacob's Photos" may have made the rounds on the internet, just some photos of a sickly bear suffering from Mange, thought to be Bigfoot, THESE photos speak for themselves!  They may defy any kind of reasonable explanation .... Or DO they?

These photos were taken on Sunday April 20th, SOMEWHERE in the Rim Rock area of the Allegheny National Forest. I am not trying to pass these photos off as something they are not. 

Please note these photos are absolutely real. They are not altered or manipulated in any way except for cropping.  This is also not a trick!  Nor would I call this magic.  I don't know what you would call it, nor do I, or will I, make any untrue or misleading claims.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves:

Amazing! There are no ropes, wire or cables!

 Look close, as this is not trick photography!

Amazing #2!

There are no hidden strings or wires holding this up!

Look close and see for your self ....

This is not a levitation trick!

Feel free to enlarge and/or examine these UNTOUCHED  photos all you want!

Think what you want about this .... It's REAL! Much more real than the Jacob's Bigfoot photos!

Love the earth and it will return the favor!

The earth can do AMAZING things for us!  Please do SOMETHING good for the earth on Earth Day (Tuesday April 22nd)!

Next Sunday we will meet at Rim Rock Overlook in the ANF for a Clean-up Picnic in honor of Earth Day. Sunday April 27th, again like last Sunday, we will pick up litter, rake and sweep leaves from the trails and steps and remove branches from the trails.  We will finish up with a friendly "bring your own" afternoon picnic. 

AND, finally, as a "reward" for all the volunteers who participate, I will attempt to levitate a human being using nothing but concentration and intense will, for all you non-believers! .... I'll need a volunteer!

Come on out (meet at Rim Rock at 11AM), and pitch in for a good cause (Earth Day Clean Up) and be prepared to be surprised!     

Last Sunday, in addition to the amazing feat pictured above,  I also separated water into Hydrogen and Oxygen using a simple, "home made" electrolyzer and ignited the Hydrogen/Oxygen gas with a torch!  Much to the amazement of the onlookers.

PS- Some of the ADP gals and others want to rappel on the wall there, so if you are interested and are a rock climber, bring your own stuff!
To summarize: We will do a clean-up, play on the rock wall, pick up litter, explore the rock area, have a fun picnic, see a "Smack Booster" Hydrogen Electrolyzer work, and watch me attempt a human levitation! 

Saturday April 6th-Exploring the "new rock area" and some GIANT caves...AGAIN!

What an adventure! This hike was Nick, Roman Chicky and I, and my dog, Sadie.

We hiked up to the same rock area we visited the last two weekends, what we are calling Bradford Huge Rocks, since Bradford has a much smaller rock area known as "Bradford Big Rocks".

At the point where we left the Bradford Water Authority Perimeter Road we made a bee line right to the rocks this time.

Once at the rocks we first went to the elusive "Lunch Spot". It was as fantastic as I imagined it would be! Nick found a way to get to it that did not involve climbing too much. Just going up a very steep trail around the rocks. The "lunch spot" has a real cool view of the Reservoir and it has a walk-in cave right there! It could be a nice rock shelter from the rain if needed. It's just over the edge from the big cave there.

After a brief lunch break, we headed to "the big one".

We rigged the hole with ropes and Nick, Chicky and Roman went in! They were underground for about an hour. They went further in the cave than they did last week. Perhaps adding another 150' to the cave, and like last week, the cave went on, but Nick choose to stop where it started to climb, and leave some for next time.

In the past two weeks, we only "covered" or scouted about 3/4's of the rock area. This week we scouted and explored the rest of the area. There are several caves we need to "push" with the proper cave gear.

We will likely camp nearby and explore this area a lot more in the near future.

After finishing up at the Huge Rock Area, we walked the ridge to the Bottomless Pit, and then to Savannah's Hole. Nick and Roman went into Savannah's Hole and Chicky and I belayed them on the way out.

Then we went over to Eagles Nest Rocks and Chickey found the "Dead Mans Cave" Geocache! This was Chickey's first geocache. We signed the log and replaced the cache.

Then we hiked down around the front of Eagles Nest Rocks. A "bird" appears to be making a new nest. Not sure if it's an eagle or an osprey this year.

By now the temp are almost 70 degrees and there hasn't been a cloud in the sky all day long. Not bad considering just a few days ago the weather called for rain all day!.

We will be back to this area many times! Lot's of more things to explore! Maybe again next Sunday!

We do have another large rock and cave site in the Marshburg area that needs our attention! Roman and Chicky (her real name!) were great sports! Some people are afraid to enter these tight, tectonic caves.

Chickey- Send me some photos!

Here are some photos from Roman:

Where we first arrived at the rocks


Layers of sandstone and Iron in the Olean Quartz Conglomerate


The cave near the lunch spot


Ice blocking the passage


At the "Big Cave" (yet unnamed)

Chickey entering the cave


Chickey going down


Nick and Chickey in passage


Nice ice


Ice on walls of cave


Looking back up


Roman and Nick in Savannah's Hole Cave

Looking out of Savannah's Hole


Nick in a tight passage


Roman in the cave


Saturday Mar 30th-Exploring the "new rock area" and some GIANT caves!

What an adventure! This hike was Nick, Jeff, Scott, Susie, Fran and I, and two dogs, Sadie and Pete.

We hiked up to the same rock area we visited last weekend, what we are calling Bradford Huge Rocks, since Bradford has a much smaller rock area known as "Bradford Big Rocks".

At the point where we left the Bradford Water Authority Perimeter Road and hiked up to the rocks, Fran and Sadie went downhill to check out a railroad junction or switch.

Susie, Scott, Jeff, Nick and I went uphill to the rock area.

Once at the rocks we split up and started searching for cave openings. Susie and I found several in a row and stopped at "the big one" that turned out to be what is possibly the biggest cave in our region.

We rigged the hole with ropes and Nick, Jeff and Susie went in! They were underground for about an hour. It was a warm 52 degrees in the cave, warm and humid.

Just over a hill or knoll there was another entrance that went into this big cave (still unnamed), and another cave that came out in the front of the rock area. All that was done on this day, was a very basic and preliminary "walk through" in the main passageway in this cave. What stopped our team, was not the end of the passageway, but a pointed rock that was covered in ice. Our cavers today were not fully equipped to explore the whole cave.

Nick found a pile of fresh scat that seems to be from a panther or perhaps a bear. It looks more like panther scat to me.

When the team came out of the cave, we all had lunch. We sat around the cave opening in the sun. It did get a bit windy on and off.

After lunch, we split up. Some of us explore the rock area some more and Susie, Jeff and I went back and looked into some cave openings that we had found earlier on our way in.

In the past two weeks, we only "covered" or scouted about 3/4's of the rock area. We still have not scouted the tallest, biggest area yet! It's my belief that among the biggest cliffs, near the point, we may find bigger, walk in caves. Some of the cave openings might be in the upper sections and we may have to rappel into them. I think at the "Lunch Rock", the hill has about three tiers of rock pulled away from the hill.

Quick note: Great hike, and we found what might likely be the largest cave in the whole area or region, including the Thundershower Cave. We did NOT get to survey the whole area, will go back next week.


Here is a youtube clip Fran made!

Subject: link to john stoneman on you tube

Just added 3/30/08: As of now, it looks like we will do this same hike next Sunday, April 6th.

The big new cave at Bradford Huge Rocks:

Nick, the first to enter this newly found cave


Jeff, the second one in


Susie having fun!


Just after the "first drop" inside the cave


Nick looking back


Nick below a drop or climb


Jeff in a "room"


"Mystery Scat", most likely "panther"?


Jeff, still "on rope"


Nick "off rope"


Note the humid air


A "cat walk" along the wall?


Quartz Conglomerate Rock


Nick in wide passage


Solid, flat floor


The cave wall is de-laminating


End of the line?


Now THAT is humidity!


Ice on the cave wall


More ice


Narrow passages, not the iron in the cave walls


"Cave Twister"!


Big pebbles


Typical passage


Lot's of Iron!


Ice in the rocks


Dead end passage!


Here is the second cave that Nick went into alone:

Narrow, sloped passage


Light from above


The lower "exit" of cave


The next cave, the "Batsickle Cave"

Jeff enters the Batsickle Cave


Moving sticks


The "Batsickles"


Baseball bat shaped ice stalagmites


Tombstone rock near the Batsickle Cave


Fran's side trip to see a railroad switch and old hotel location

Large boulder near the switch


Another view of boulder


The switch and location of old hotel


Sadie went with Fran


Fran even found a rail road spike!


The creek near the switch


The railroad grade


How pathetic! I had to literally crawl on our way out! "I'm gettin' too old for this kind of hikin'"!


Saturday Mar 22-Exploring new rock area

Another great wintry hike! I thought it would be our first spring hike, in a dry, snow-less woods, that is specifically why I chose a south facing hillside, BUT we did run into snow. It was a fun hike regardless! Susie and Tom came over from Olean and joined Sadie and I.

We started out following the western shore of the Hefner Reservoir in Bradford.

At first we were on the Bradford Water Authority's access road, then went off trail for a bit. Very shortly we picked up a trail along the spill way. There is active beaver activity along there and we saw two beaver houses in the creek.

After we got up to the reservoirs shore, we hiked a combination of trail, game trail and shoreline to the back most south western corner where a major creek flows into the reservoir, one of the two major creeks that form the "V" of the res.

Along the way we saw some very scenic smaller creeks and lot's of interesting ice formations.

The creek at the back corner is gorgeous! It's a fast flowing clean, clear creek with a stone bottom and some larger stones or boulders forming the banks.

I split from the group and crossed the creek to walk this straight road that once led into the (now flooded) town of Hazelton Mills. I was on the "main road" that went to Stickney. It was a raised roadbed along the creek that was a railroad at one point in time.

Next we started up the hill to a rock area that I thought I had been to before. Along the hike up, we found a few pieces of American Chestnut that were long dead and laying on the ground. I took out my knife and showed everybody how the wood looks "new" inside, even after being down since the 1920's.

The hike was STEEP! There were a number of occasions that we had to use "all fours" for traction! When you resort to all fours for climbing you can fully appreciate how steep it really is!

In about 1/8 of a mile we went from about 1500' to about 2100' in elevation. So we climbed about 600', and to me that was about 550' too much! ... But I reluctantly dragged on! I think Tom felt my pain! LOL!

Once at the rock area, I made a discovery ... I had never been to these rocks before! Somehow in all my years of exploring up here, I never have been to this area!

After getting home and talking to a friend who knows this ridge, and looking at maps, I figured out how I missed this. There is a smaller rock area to each side of this one. In the many years I explored this ridge, and came in from two different directions, I hit the small rock out crops and when I looked further down the ridge I thought I was at one of the smaller rock areas, looking to the other smaller rock area. BUT there was one in the middle that is quite large!

This is by far the biggest rock area around here! Way bigger than all the rest! I can't believe I missed this one all these years!

We did just a very preliminary "walk through" the area. There are many potential cave openings. There are many great places to climb and rappel here! There are some cool places to free climb, BUT it turned out that this day the rocks were too icy and snow covered.

Tom and I both made several unplanned "slides". Tom did the fastest and longest, literally shooting off a ledge! Susie held her own. Even "teasing us" by climbing up the rocks in several areas.

We found lot's of fur filled coyote scat in one area. Judging from the amount of tracks in the area, there is lots to eat. There are many caves, dens and even some "tunnels" to explore there. We will be back here again many times very soon!

This is an area where the tectonic plates broke and pulled away from the main hill in one or two rows or tiers. Among the long corridors, are passageways, caves and "courtyards".

The rock itself had many veins of the classic "Olean Field, Quartz Conglomerate", some very thick in places and some very large quartz "pebbles". We found one unusual vein of pebble free sandstone among the quartz layers.

What shocked me the most is how the rock area kept going and going! I was expecting it to "peter out" soon, but it did not! It kept going on and on, and as we progressed to the east, the rocks got bigger and bigger! A very impressive rock area to say the least!

Back home on the map I realized it was TEN TIMES as big as Eagles Nest Rocks, which was our nest destination, AFTER the Bottomless Pit.

We had lunch on top of our newly found rock area (that is still unnamed- "Bradford HUGE Rocks"?). To get to the lunch spot we had to cross a snow covered crevasse that we could see down into and it was real scary how high up we were! From there, where we ate lunch, we could see the whole reservoir below us.

After lunch, we headed to the Bottomless Pit, our next destination. The "pit" was blowing a large volume of warm air (52 degrees). Susie saw what looked like a flashlight bezel down the hole ... we'll have to come back soon with ropes to explore it further!

After the Bottomless Pit, we passed by "Savannah's Hole" and two other sink hole pit caves.

We ended up at Dead Man Cave Geocache, where we took another break as Susie retrieved the cache. She signed the log for all of us. This was Susie's first geocache! The "dead man" is still there! Po soul! After a short break we continued down and around Eagles Nest Rocks. The eagle has not started his (or HER) nest yet this year. It will build it real soon I expect.

We passed a "survivor man" shelter that is needing repairs. Then we continued through the rocks, and headed down the hill.

This section of the hillside is facing east and had more snow that what we hiked up hill in. We hit the Bradford Water Authority road, and soon we were out of the woods.

Fran, who went on last weeks hike was waiting for us in the parking lot. He had to work and tried to meet up with us for the last part of our hike.

It was warm and sunny when we finished up our hike. Susie noted a few times during the hike the sky was a very deep blue, and clear. We had partial sunshine on and off all day.

All in all everybody had fun, and like last week, it was a short, but challenging hike. I can hardly move today, the day after! Climbing the hills, and then climbing around the rocks takes it's toll!

Watch for this same hike again soon!

Just added 3/23/08: As of now, it looks like we will do this same hike next Sunday, Mar 30th. Check Back.

The Hefner Reservoir spillway and beaver home


John in passageway


Another corridor passageway


Yet another cave entrance


A tall and narrow opening


The holy grail of lunch spots


many nice climbs


Sunday Mar 16th-West Corydon Reservoir Hike

What another great hike! This one really kicked my butt!

It was the last of our winter hike! This hike was Fran, Susie, Sadie the dog, and I.

Our hike today was to follow an abandon rail road grade from the 1860's up to an area called "the Inclined Plane".

Click to enlarge

We went to re-find the Inclined Plane and two hand dug pools that collected or stored water for a steam train and steam engine.

Rail road track led to the inclined plane, where it was too steep for the train to climb the hill. So they placed a steam engine along the side of the tracks and used a steel pulley system to PULL the train up the steep section of the grade.

The rail grade ended at a coal mine in Marshburg that was also an iron mine for a few years. On a hike at a later time (when the snow is gone) we will explore the old mine opening.

After not going to the Inclined Plane and water ponds for about 10 years, between Fran and I, we were able to locate them! Basically we just had to follow the rail grade!

The hike was very difficult, because the snow had a frozen crust on it that *nearly* supported our weight. We had to "punch through" the snow crust with every foot step.

We did take turns "setting track", but even so, it was a very difficult hike. Our "newbie" Susie, probably did less complaining than Fran and I.

Once at the Inclined Plane, we made a fire and warmed water for a "pine needle tea" (thanks to Susie's suggestion), and warmed ourselves. It did get cold when the wind picked up, just standing around.

On the hike back to the cars, it got sunny for a brief period.

Round trip for the day we probably hiked about 6 miles, BUT it took us five and a half hours!

And Ice fishing shanty


A bunch of "negative tracks"


Fran and Susie on the Inclined Plane


One of the water storage ponds


The sun shining on the way back


Sunday Mar 10th-Rim Rock AND the ASP ski trip

We started out to do a ski-in trip to Rim Rock. We got there and started skiing (RIGHT AT 11AM!)and went about a half mile. Enough to realize that skiing on top of a crusty, icy surface was no fun. Even though there was a fresh layer of about 3 or 4 inches of new snow on top, our feet broke through a thick layer of iced over crust below that. So that with each step you had to push your foot through the ice layer. It actually hurt, and prevented any glide.

We even tried it in our previous tracks and it still was about the same. Even in an established track, we go no glide and had ice rubbing the sides of our boots or feet.

We decided to abort the Rim Rock trip and go over to the ASP to ski the groomed trails.

On our way back we ran into Sharline who was hiking. She decided to hike to Rim Rock alone.

We got to the ASP only to find freshly groomed trails and the most perfect ski conditions that I have ever skied on there! A real nice base, and cold, fast, soft snow! A perfect day at the summit trails!

Strangely enough there were hardly any other skiers there! Maybe a handful ... but not nearly what you would expect for perfect snow conditions and a freshly groomed trail!

The road in to Rim Rock


The Summit Trails at the ASP

A freshly groomed trail with new snow




Sun shining through ice covered trees


Sunday Mar 2nd- Colosimos Rocks, Jo's Hole bat survey trip

This was a hike to check out a cave (Jo's Hole) for bats with WNS. This was more of a bat survey than it was a recreational trip.

Today the hike was just Nick and I. We had to park our cars in Marshburg and ski to the cave location. We had planned to stop at Colosimos Rocks for a warm lunch, but that didn't happen.

We started out slow on a perfect snow base. Our road (FR 182) was well packed down by snowmobiles. The snow was cold and fast in the morning. We skied all the way to the end of 182 and then turned on to the trail to Colosimos Rocks. The downhill run from the loop at the end of 182 was too fast for Nick and he fell. We found out shortly after that he tore his binding from his ski. He walked on one ski to the shelter at Colosimos Rocks where I attempted to repair his ski.

The holes in the ski were a bit big, so I plugged the holes with twigs. Then I attempted to force the screws in. My pocket knife folded and I cut my right fore finger pretty deep. Nick put bandages on it and wrapped it in narrow black duct tape for me. My first injury of the day.

While I repaired Nicks ski, he went and checked out the "Indian Shelter Cave" there and found no bats. Just porky sign.

We then headed toward Jo's Hole. Very soon Nick's ski came apart again. We were at the end of the abandon rail grade we were following and came to the Bradford Water Authority access road. It was well traveled by snowmobiles and we decided to leave our skis and walk in Ski boots to Jo's Hole.

Once in the area, we found Jo's Hole pretty fast. It was good I was able to get us close, because as soon as we stepped off the packed trail the snow was thigh deep. It was very difficult to walk up the hill to Jo's Hole.

The cave was undisturbed. No tracks around the hole and no bats to be found! Nick dropped down into the hole so he could look into the cave. He could partially see into the "main room" and saw no bats.

We concluded there were no bats with WNS in this cave! Thank God! This cave have a very high bat population AND it's the cave with the very large bats in it!

After leaving Jo's Hole we walked carrying our skis all the way back to the end of 182, since it was uphill all the way. When we got to 182 again, it was downhill for a while and Nick skied on ONE SKI! Great balance!

Then when we got to a flat section that was well packed by snowmobiles (wide track) we decided to try to fix his ski again. This time I used bigger "plugs" in the worn holes and it took! The repair lasted all the way back to the car!

In the afternoon as we headed back to the car it was very warm and the snow was starting to get wet. But we made it with no further problems.

THEN, standing there getting my keys out next to my car, I fell! Still on Skis, my feet went forward and I landed flat on my back. I pulled my right foot real bad (I'm walking with a limp) and I hit the road (down to the ice or pavement) with my right elbow and fore arm. My second and third injury for the day!

I need to start writing injury reports as well as trip reports for our weekend trips! For Sunday Mar 2nd: Cut finger (Deep! To the bone!), torn right foot mussels, and bruised or fractured right forearm or elbow.

.... I'll recover! Like I told Nick ... It's "normal" or expected for me to get hurt on a trip like this ... I get hurt every time! LOL!

Nick on the gorgeous trail through deep snow! PERFECT conditions!


Our trail to Colosimos Rocks

Sunday Feb 24th- Bottomless Pit bat survey trip

What a great spring like hike! The day was sunny and "warm" all day long.

This hike was Carla and Porscha from Warren, and Jeff, Nick and I from Bradford, just five of us.

We were on a special mission to do a bat survey for a cave we call "The Bottomless Pit" or AKA Eagles Nest Cave.

As we started out, fairly close to the cars, there were fresh tracks from a bear off to our side ... real fresh!

We can see the rock area we are headed to from where we park the cars, and it looks quite close. But it is about an hour climb to get up to the rock area. And a steep climb at that. There were a few times I had to use all fours to not slip backward. But we all made the climb ok. I was probably breathing the hardest at the top.

We entered the rock area, right at the overhang where we ate lunch. We had lunch and then left our packs here. Nick and Jeff found a "cat bed" under a smaller overhang cave.

After lunch we started out to explore the rock area. We looked into an open "porky" cave that has a room that is about 25 feet long. Then we went to the area in the rock face that has three "giant steps". It looks like three stairs for a very big giant. It's here that we find a giant birds nest every spring. Years ago I photographed an eagle in the nest, but years after that, I usually saw an osprey nesting there. Each spring the nest is re-built on a different step, very strange.

Next, we headed to the "Dead Man Cave" geocache at the far end of the rock area. It was very difficult climbing to Dead Mans with the snow on the ground. We made it to the cave opening with the "dead man" in it and signed the cache. Porscha climbed in and found and retrieved the cache box for us.

After hanging out at the cache site and checking out the incredible view of the surrounding hills (this is quite the overlook), we headed for the pit hole caves. We first checked out the first unnamed one nearest the geocache. No bats! Then we checked out Savannah's Hole headed to the Bottomless pit. No bats, but there was a lot of warm air blowing from the hole.

And finally we made it to the Bottomless Pit. There we also found no dead bats, but found some strange prints in the snow coming from the hole. None of us could identify the prints, and there seemed to be four different distinct patterns or track sets. All made by a small animal the size of a mouse or small bat.

After our examination of the Bottomless Pit, we headed back a different way. We went through the crevice made by the large rock wall pulling from the hillside. We found a bunch of different animal tracks in this area also.

We all decided to head straight down the hill to the Reservoir near the spillway. The ice was sufficiently thick enough, so we walked across it to the dike, only to come off the ice right at a sign saying to keep off the ice! There were many other people on the ice including an ice shanty where people were fishing.

We walked down the less steep end near the spillway and took the "back way" to the cars. This included crossing another frozen pond, this time a beaver pond that was a little scary crossing. There were patches of open water around us!

But we made it back to the cars safely! All agreed it was a great day for a "spring like" hike in the outdoors!

We got to help the science community out by checking one of western Pa's biggest bat caves for WNS infected bats, AND had a great time hiking in the calf deep snow. All of us were "too hot" by mid day and probably could have hiked out in just a short sleeve "T" shirt.

Next week look for another "bat cave" trip!

Jeff, Nick, Carla and Porscha ... What a wonderful day!
Nice Ice! The view overhead
Nick made the fire


The giant steps leading up to the Eagles Nest
Porscha looks a little scared after finding the Dead Man guarding the geocache!


We did not find any dead or sick bats outside any caves we visited today. However, at the Bottomless Pit we did find something very strange and unexpected.

We found some very odd tracks coming out of this (vertical) cave. The tracks went from the cave opening to a close by tree laying on the ground. What ever made the tracks traveled about 8 feet under this downed tree (in about a foot of snow) and came out where the downed tree was nearest a standing Maple (with shaggy bark) and apparently went to the tree and climbed it.

Here is the strange part. First, as long as I have been visiting this pit cave, in some 20 odd years, I never saw small animal tracks coming from this cave, ever. There are three similar pits nearby and do not have any tracks coming from them.

The tracks all seem to be the size of a field mouse or small bat. BUT the strangest thing is, there seems to be FOUR different sets of tracks! There are four distinct sets of tracks that do not look like the others! Two of us on this trip consider ourselves somewhat of "seasoned animal trackers". I never seen anything like this.

This is in fresh snow that may have fallen last night. The tracks were very fresh.

The cave is slippery wet moss and the cave goes straight down. Not something you would think a mouse would climb in and out of.

In some of the tracks it looks like there might be wing prints.

My best guess is that some, might be bat tracks, but since I or most people never saw bat tracks in the snow before ... who knows?

Some of the patterns look like a squirrel or chipmunk, BUT they are much smaller. These are all in the range of a small field mouse prints.

But we dug down to the bare earth for about 3 or 4 foot all around the hole and found no bats.

But these tracks are sure a mystery!

The tracks that I labeled as # 4 in the photos below seemed to be an arranged pattern of random dots that stayed in a uniform width and followed some other tracks. BUT they seemed to appear and end at random points (not at the hole or the log) .... VERY strange! .... As you can see for yourself!


The Bottomless Pit before we walk around on the tracks. Note the "dot tracks" in the upper left.
The Bottomless Pit as we left it. We dug down with our gloved hands to the dirt or ground surface. My dog Sadie also "sniffed" around the hole and did not seem to find anything interesting.


The guys in an overhang shelter


On top of the dike


The reservoir dike - The West Corydon Res, AKA the Hefner Reservoir Bradford


Nick and his trappers basket backpack

Sunday Feb 3rd- Hector's Falls!

For some odd reason, there are not many waterfalls in the north western Pa region. Just across the state line to the north, in NY there are many, but the area around, and in the Allegheny National Forest there just are not many waterfalls to be found.

Hector's Falls is one of the few, and one of the nicest to visit.

Our adventure group likes to do a special hike on Superbowl Sunday each year, and this year our Superbowl Sunday hike was to Hector's Falls. The most spectacular waterfalls in the Allegheny National Forest.

It was a great day for a hike! This hike was Bill, Carla, Porscha, Karen, Ed, Walt and I, seven of us all together, or 10 including our three dogs. A smaller than expected turn out, it was too bad for those who missed it! It was perfect weather! The weather was just warm enough to be very comfortable when hiking. And due to the melting snow, and warmer weather we had last week, there was enough water going over the falls to make it well worth the while to visit! In fact, it was the most frozen I have ever seen the falls. It had a very nice ice column and lots of ice sickles.

We had a very slow, easy, short hike in. Then some of us took some photos, and then we split up a bit.

Some of us went exploring the cave there, and some wandered around the boulder field taking more photos.

Carla took a fall inside the cave while taking a picture of Porscha and I. She did just like in the cartoons ... kept walking back to get a wider view and stepped off a rock! Luckily she didn't get hurt, but I'll bet she has a black and blue as a reminder.

I reminded the group to wear a bathing suit under our clothes as some of us indented to get into, or under the water falls, but the ice column was too massive, and we could not get near open water. There was no open water to be found. Something I never seen here before!

After exploring the large boulder field, we all pitched in to build a fire in the fire ring there. This is what winter hiking is all about! We had a great warm lunch cooked over an open fire, next to one of the most scenic spots in the whole Allegheny National Forest.

I was surprised by the lack of litter. One of the first times we did not find a bunch of beer cans or bottles laying around. I also noticed that the trail into the falls area was improved from last year.

To find Hector's Falls, you head south out of Ludlow on Rt 133 or as the locals call it the CCC road. Then take 258 or again as the locals call it "The Firetower Road". About two miles down the Firetower Road you will see 258H on your left. Park here (a small parking lot) and hike downhill. In under a mile or so you will come to a very prominent turn that drops down to the left. On this particular trip our turn was marked by a very large pair of "grandma panties" (for lack of a better term!). I'm not sure if this is a cost saving measure by the forestry trail marking crew or what!! It was just strange to see large undergarments strung between two trees as a trail marker. Once you find the left turn you go down the trail, until there is a gas well head on your left. There you will find a more narrow foot trail on your right. It follows the creek to your left a short way until you find yourself above the falls.

It's a downhill walk from where you park, all the way to the falls.

After we finished our lunch and before we packed up, another two couples and a dog showed up. A busy day for this "hidden gem" in the ANF.

The hike back out was a good workout since it's uphill all the way from the falls, back to the cars. It's not a big change in elevation, but just a constant one.

After our hike to the falls, Carla, Porscha, Bill, and myself went to the site of an abandon (and removed) fire tower. This road (258) was previously named "The Firetower Road" and we visited the site of the now removed fire tower. The four cornerstones are there (foot pads) as well as two Benchmarks (Geological survey markers).

What a great day for a short winter hike! It felt more like a warm spring day. We had a very super hike on this Superbowl Sunday and we were all back home hours before the Superbowl started.


A typical forest destruction site.


The panty flag marking our trail



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