Pennsylvania's Rock Run

The following trip report is from Peter Swift, the Liberty Mountain Pennsylvania Warehouse Manager.

Rock Run is my favorite place in the world.  It is a beautiful mountain stream that cascades down a beautiful gorge in the Loyalsock State Forest.  Rock Run is surrounded by an amazing abundance of hiking and camping, as it runs parallel to the “Old Logger’s Path” for a distance, as well as being the terminus of Miner’s Run Path.  I’ve lived near Rock Run all of my life, and I still haven’t hiked all of the trails surrounding it.

Probably the reason I haven’t hiked all of those trails is because I’m so satisfied with simply walking along the stream itself, or swimming in any of a number of exquisite swimming holes.  In fact, Backpacker Magazine once called the “Upper Falls” at Rock Run one of the best swimming holes in America (much to the chagrin of locals who prefer to keep it a hidden gem).

I usually get up to the Upper Falls at least a half dozen times a summer, and a few times in the winter.  However, this summer I did not make it to the falls a single time. I kept trying to make it up there but other plans kept intervening, or sales rep Scott Pershall would bail at the last second. However, the fifth attempt finally paid off.  Two of my co-workers, Mid-atlantic Sales Rep, Scott Pershall and Customer Service Rep, Westley Shaffer joined me and a few other friends (Thad Temple and Dave Bratt) on a drive up to Rock Run.  In Williamsport, the temperature was barely 60 degrees…and once we got up into the gorge, it was in the mid 50s at best.

After showing off some of the prettier portions of the stream, and obsessively taking panorama shots with my iphone, we all jumped in.  As Westley or Scott can attest, the water is absolutely frigid!  None of us wanted to get back in the water, except for Thad...but he’s not right in the head. I quickly realized that the cold water had shrunk my fingers just enough for my wedding ring to slip off into the water on my perfectly executed backflip!  Dutifully and with the threat that I, as driver, would abandon them there, my friends got back into the water and searched half-heartedly for my wedding band as I shouted commands from dry ground. In my depressed state I would have been of no benefit to the search effort in the cold water.  After what felt like hours, probably about 5 minutes, we gave up before hypothermia set in.

Following our frigid jumps into the water, we drove on up to Mansfield University to try some routes on their new rock wall.  Davis Swift, former Liberty Mountain employee, is one of the route-setters and belayers at the wall, so we met up with him and tried a few routes.  Westley climbed pretty much every route on the wall, including a boulder problem that had yet to be climbed by anyone. As Westly was the first to complete it, he got to name it. He went with: “You climb it, you name it” to frustrate any successful future senders…. Meanwhile, Thad and I, despite our awesome Singing Rock harnesses, failed to send even the easiest routes, we blamed it all on our tired arms from attempting some boulder problems earlier.

Overall, other than the lost wedding ring, we had a great time.

The following day, I received a phone call from a friend I hadn’t seen in years who heard about my Facebook laments over my lost wedding ring.  This friend, Travis, is an expert SCUBA diver who instructs all the local classes in the area.  He wanted to go up and search for my ring with the assistance of some bright lights and canned air.  This was a bonus for me, since it would mean I get to go to Rock Run again!  I went up with him, and after about 40 minutes of searching, he gave up – unable to deal with the frigid temperatures of the water, despite wearing a wet suit.  In fact, Travis said the water temperature was the most brutal he’d ever been in, and he does a lot of cave diving and occasionally ice diving.  He said he would never get in that water again without being in a dry suit.  I didn’t blame him, but I did take an opportunity to try out my EK Dri-Cat waterproof case for my iPhone to try to take a POV video of myself backflipping into the water.

As long as my wife doesn’t read this, I have to say that being able to enjoy Rock Run’s beauty in the fullest with the fall leaves dropping into the stream seems like a fair trade for a wedding ring.  I can’t wait to go back and search for it some more!


  1. I cleared at least 4 bouldering routes. This article is lousy...even for a girl. I hope whatever incredibly amazing craftsman...I mean wizard of metal...makes your new ring a half size too small.


  2. No one should bother listening to Thad - remember, he isn't right in the head.

    But Thad - you're very thoughtful! That way not only would I not lose the new ring, I would be inspired to lose more weight! You're the man.