The Susquehannock Trail System (STS) is a remote long-distance loop trail in far north-central Pennsylvania that is maintained by Susquehannock Trail Club. The route largely follows old CCC fire trails, logging roads, and logging railroad grades. The trail is orange-blazed, with the “STS” emblem painted on trees at intervals. The STS is connected to Black Forest Trail via the North Link and South Link Trails (see separate entry below), and for 8.7 miles it shares a path with Donut Hole Trail. Along its lengthy route, the STS passes few signs of modern civilization and reaches into very remote state forest areas with a particular sense of quietude and seclusion.
The Northern Gateway, which provides access to the northern portion of the STS loop, is at the Bureau of Forestry headquarters building on US 6 about halfway between Sweden Valley and Walton. From the parking lot, an access trail leads a short distance to the main STS loop. Another access point for the northern portion of the loop is Lyman Run State Park, where a 1.5-mile access trail leads from the south end of the lake to the STS. The Southern Gateway is at Ole Bull State Park on PA 144, through which the trail passes. South of that park, the STS goes through Cross Fork (with food and lodging) and crosses PA 144 again. One highlight is the very large and remote Hammersley Wild Area, and the trail also passes through or near three state parks and three state forest picnic areas. Good cross-country skiing can be found along the northern portion of the Susquehannock Trail System, as well as on other nearby trails constructed especially for skiing near Denton Hill State Park.
For a map and trail guide, contact Pine Creek Outfitters, 5142 Route 6,Wellsboro, PA 16901, (570) 724-3003, www.pinecrk.com. An award and emblem are given to hikers who complete the entire trail; for further information, contact Susquehannock Trail Club, 5003 US 6 West, Ulysses, PA 16948 or visit their website. For information on camping and amenities at the Southern Gateway, contact Ole Bull State Park, 31 Valhalla Lane, Cross Fork, PA 17729, (814) 435-5000, http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/olebull/.