Holts Run – Allegany State Park

Winter lingers on.  The snow was deep – but frozen solid and sprinkled with fresh powder providing a nice even surface for an easy walk.  The sun shone on ice-covered trees and once again, I was unable to capture their glistening beauty.

Valley at Holts Run Road

Holts Run Road is on the left just past the boat launch at the Quaker exit of Allegany State Park.  We drove up the road until it ended, then hiked up the “path”.

Holts Run Road

Take the word “path” with a grain of salt!  There was no path.

There was plenty of evidence of beaver activity. At one point, we chose to climb up into the woods and around a beaver pond. From up on the hill, we had a great view of the pond.  Notice the lodge center left, and the dam along the right side of the picture:

Beaver Habitat

This was just one of several ponds with lodges.  At another spot in the valley, we found ourselves standing where a beaver pond once had been.  The dam had been breached and the creek was flowing through the hole in the dam:

Standing in a Former Beaver Pond

Bear Footprints


There were plenty of tracks in the snow, including fox, turkey, deer, and squirrel.  Our favorite tracks were the bear tracks!

Bear Footprint Closeup


After stopping for a bite to eat and some warm soup, I tried hard not to fall in the creek while still getting some creek photos.

Ice in the Creek 2

I had hoped to find SOME spring flower blooming… Hepatica maybe?? No… But I found some green right in the middle of the creek…  no blossoms yet, still… I think it must be some sort of Bedstraw:

Bedstraw Perhaps

Then I turned 180 degrees to find this ice:

Ice Closeup

The calendar says spring and I am ready.  Winter lingers.  And that’s OK.  But I’m ready!  Ready for different photographic opportunities.  Ready to leave the long johns home.  Ready for a little warmth.  Bring it on!

Holts Run is not a well-marked trail.  If you don’t have a good topographic map, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this hike!  If you go without a topo, hop over the creek early on and keep the creek and beaver ponds to your left…  Once past the biggest ponds, hop back over the creek and keep it on your right.  There is a “road” that hasn’t seen much use and is starting to be overgrown…  There are some lovely areas out there…  And some bears!  I might try this trail again in spring… but the brambles… Yikes!  Maybe…

8 thoughts on “Holts Run – Allegany State Park

  1. Looks like such a great time and its been a while since I have hiked up Holts Run! Congrats on the bear tracks and all your wonderful photos! Thanks for dropping that pack off!

  2. Interesting to see the beaver’s domains. Also bear tracks. I haven’t seen any yet this spring. Now I’ll have to venture into an area where I know there are some and see if they’re out yet here. I’ve heard there have been some in Glacier already.

  3. Bears! That would be neat to see. I live in an area that has killed off most of its big animals and would probably like to see a lot of the medium animals gone, too, so bears seem very exotic and scary. 🙂

  4. I have snowshoed in that park. It is about fifty miles north of the area I frequent the most. That was several years ago though so I am unable to recall exactly where I was snowshoeing. Snowmobilers were using the same trail as were X-country skiers. Not far off was a downhill area replete with tubing activity. North central Pa. doesn’t receive quite the amount of snowfall that it used to, so frequently one must travel north to find adequate snow for various outdoor activities. Good thing you didn’t fall in the creek while capturing memories.

  5. Jennifer,

    Looks a very nice stream and ravine, I still can’t believe you guys have snow up your way. I guess there is a reason why I left northeast Ohio!


  6. We have driven up there but never hiked. Nice variety of interesting pictures. I have seen bear tracks only once, while trout fishing in the park.

  7. All these posts from today on were so interesting! You ( and your writing) remind me of Annie Dillard…I enjoy learning through your words and pictures!

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