About 30 miles north of Williamsport is a place of remarkable natural beauty- Rock Run and the Old Loggers Path in the Loyalsock State Forest. This area is amongst the most scenic in the Mid-Atlantic. It is a true treasure for the people of Lycoming County, and all of Pennsylvania.
And now it is threatened.
The Old Loggers Path is a popular loop trail, about 30 miles in length, for hikers and backpackers. It has attracted outdoor lovers from across the country.
I first backpacked the Old Loggers Path about 11 or 12 years ago. It was a bright summer weekend, and I decided to do a solo hike. The forests conveyed every shade of green.
I walked the path from Masten, heading to Rock Run, when I saw something ahead. It was a fawn. The fawn came bounding down the trail towards me before coming to a screeching halt only a few feet away.
A few hours later I descended along the trail to Rock Run. I was amazed. This creek carved itself into smooth, flowing bedrock, creating sapphire pools, waterslides, and chasms. Yellow Dog Run cascaded down from the side.
I continued on the trail as it climbed the plateau, offering spectacular views from rock ledges over our vast untouched state forests. Forests that are now threatened by drilling, pipelines, roads, and compressor stations.
The beauty of the Old Loggers Path is its isolation. It only crosses about six dirt forestry roads; deep forests line the trail; views barely hint at development. That will all change if drilling is allowed near the trail. The beauty, serenity, and value of this popular trail will be destroyed.
The beauty of Rock Run can be found throughout its gorge. Stunning gorges and waterfalls exist on many tributary streams; cliffs and rock cities crown the crests of the plateaus; wetlands, meadows, and deep forests encompass its watershed.
Rock Run means so much to so many. Anglers come to fish its prisitine waters. Rock climbers scale its cliffs, boulders, and ledges. Hikers explore its waterfalls and chasms. Kayakers come to run its rapids. Families come to swim and enjoy the outdoors.
Rock Run must not simply be spared from drilling, it must be protected.
Its watershed on the state forest should be set aside from all development and the stream itself should be designated as a state wild and scenic river. No other stream or river is more deserving.
I am not against drilling. It is a resource that should be responsibly developed to provide economic opportunity. However, there must also be a balance between drilling and preservation. Our special places, such as Rock Run and the Old Loggers Path, should not be sacrificed. Otherwise, future generations will never know what we once had.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom