Trip Report: Hickory Run SP, PA (5-25-97)
The idea was a simple hike with eight friends from Swarthmore. Unfortunately, it poured the entire day. Nevertheless, we set out from the Hawk Falls parking area on PA 534. After a detour to see the falls (lovely, though somewhat marred by the superhighway passing almost directly overhead), we set out up the Boulder Field Trail. I use the term up very liberally here since, though technically there was an elevation gain, the 20' staircase right at the beginning probalby had more elevation gain than the entire rest of the 2.75 miles of trail.
After hiking through lots of lovely wet woods, we emerged at the Boulder Field advertised as a field of boulders some as large as 26'. I had assumed a number of large glacial erratics to be climbed on but the actuality was much different and completely fascinating. It was indeed a huge completely flat field of rocks from head sized on up to maybe ten feet long (the 26 footer was never found) about a quarter mile long by a few hundred yards wide. Completely without trees or soil. Sort of like a tallus slope except level. Every now and then there would be wide, conical pits 6 feet deep or so which at first we thought were man-made but soon, after seeing the number and diversity of them, were chalked up as natural, if unexplainable to our limitted geological knowledge. This surreal landscape was only augmented by the fog and people in yellow slickers wandering around in it. Very odd and thoroughly fascinating.
Hickory Run SP is located at the junction of interstate 80 and the PA turnpike NE extension. Exit 41 off Rt 80 will get you there. Total trip: 5.5 miles pluss wandering around on the rocks.
Aerial view of the Boulder Field
Trail is visible as a faint, wiggly line in the dark trees in the lower left. Road and parking lot are visible in the middle left. This image courtesy of Terraserver. Image date 15 Apr 1992.