Hiking to Yost Run Falls in the PA Wilds

Back in early April, my boyfriend Teddy and I took a short weekend trip to visit his alma mater, Penn State. Since State College is in a more mountainous area than where we live, we decided to do some hiking while in the area.

Our first hike of the weekend was Yost Run Falls which is part of the Chuck Keiper Trail loop in Sproul State Forest. The trail is well known for backpacking and is broken up into two loops. The west loop is about 33 miles and the east loop is about 22 miles. We decided on this trail because of the waterfalls along the trail that were accessible within a few mile hike. Teddy loves taking photos of nature, especially waterfalls (you can check out his photos here) so a three-ish mile round trip hike was our speed.

We got to the parking lot around 1 PM to begin the hike and were the only car in the parking lot. We predicted that we would have no cell service here so we made sure to read over the info on Yost Run Falls prior to getting there so we knew where we were headed. I’m not trying to get lost in a place known as the “wilds”.

The trail starts on a large, wide logging road that also is the driveway for two camps along the trail. You are on this for the majority of the trail but once you hit the lower camp, you turn right and follow a very narrow path along the bank of the stream. Downstream a bit is Yost Run Falls and a bit further down is Kyler Fork Falls. We visited both and Teddy was able to take some awesome pictures since there was a good amount of water coming down as well as greenery surrounding the falls.

While we were taking photos, I wished I had brought a picnic lunch down with us as it would have been a perfect spot to sit and eat lunch while enjoying the beautiful falls and cool weather.

While the way down to the falls wasn’t hard as it was downhill, we felt the burn in our legs as we went back toward the car entirely uphill. We had started the hike (or at least I did) in a winter jacket, and ended in short sleeve shirts because of how warm it got.

If you’re not taking many photos or picnicking, you could probably do the hike in 1-1.5 hours. We spent quite some time enjoying the falls, so the entire roundtrip for us was closer to 3 hours (hence why I should have brought snacks).

Tips:

  • Download or look over directions ahead of time. Not just for the hike, but also where you plan to go after the hike. We didn’t do this and drove for quite some time until we got phone service to go to our next destination.
  • Bring snacks, or even a lunch. Especially if you plan on doing a longer hike, there’s not much in the area so you will get hungry. Don’t forget water!
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife. There is a chance you may see a bear, snake, or elk.
  • If you need a map, there is a wooden board in the parking lot which may have maps in a plastic holder on the side.

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