A Complete Guide to the Worlds End State Park Hiking Trails

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Hiking trails at Worlds End State Park are a great place to go any time of the year, but especially during the summer months. The park offers a variety of hiking options from short walks to longer treks.

Worlds End State Park hiking trails are known for being rocky and sometimes steep, but there are some easier stretches, too. There is something for everyone in this stretch of the Loyalsock Canyon.

Each hike has its own challenges and rewards. Some hikes require you to climb over rocks or other obstacles. Others might require you to scale down steep inclines. Still, a few take you through beautiful forests. As long as you enjoy being outside, you’ll love every minute of your hike.

The details provided here should help you decide which trail will be best for you and your group to conquer.

Where is Worlds End State Park?

You’ll find this state park in Sullivan County, in the northern part of Pennsylvania. It’s about 45 minutes to the northeast of Williamsport and 1 hour and 15 minutes to the northwest of Wilkes-Barre.

This isn’t the most convenient park to reach, and many of the roads leading to it are 2-lane country roads. The effort required to reach Worlds End will certainly pay off when you start exploring all of the great hiking trails.

Worlds End State Park Hiking Trails from A-Z

Worlds End is full of steep hill climbs, so you’ll definitely plan on getting your money’s worth on many of these trails. While there are plenty of more difficult spots, there are options for every ability level at this state park. 

If you’re looking for a place to hike with family or friends, then this is the perfect spot for you. The park has over 20 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to more difficult, for those who want more than a stroll in the park.

This list includes a little more detailed description of each of the hiking trails in Worlds End State Park so that you can decide which ones are best for your next itinerary.

Butternut Trail

  • 2.5 miles
  • Loop
  • Moderate+

The Butternut Trail is a good way to explore the side of the park to the north of Loyalsock Creek.

You’ll find the trailhead just past the bridge over Loyalsock Creek on Cabin Bridge Road, near the group tent camping areas. There is a paved parking area at the trailhead.

Over the 2.5-mile loop, plan to hike counterclockwise so you can climb up the rocky stretch rather than descend. 

The reward for navigating the rocky climb is the Butternut Vista, a different perspective over Loyalsock Creek. 

The trail also passes over the seasonal Butternut Run 3 times, and there is a chance to enjoy some fun, although smaller, water features along the run.

This trail can sometimes be a great way to get away from crowded areas, as it is a little lesser known than Double Run and Canyon Vista. While a fairly short hike that can be done in 1-2 hours, it’s a great spot to search for some solitude.

Canyon Vista Trail

  • 4 miles
  • Loop
  • Moderate+

Canyon Vista is one of the most popular hikes in Worlds End and with good reason. It leads to one of the best views in the park!

From the overlook, you’ll have a birds-eye look at the Loyalsock Creek about 1750 feet below. On this hike, you’ll climb from the creekside trailhead up the walls of the gorge. It can get quite steep at times!

While this hike is clocked at 4 miles long, it can be extended for a little more distance by exploring the Rock Garden directly across the dirt road from the Canyon Vista Overlook.

Additionally, taking the Cold Run Trail, noted next, adds a little more distance to the loop. This is certainly one of the must-do hikes in the park, especially if you don’t mind navigating a hill climb or two!

You can drive to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista Overlook, but the road is a very narrow, winding dirt road on the edge of a very steep hillside. Instead, begin this hike from the trailhead on Route 154 east of the campground. You’ll get to hike along the beautiful Loyalsock Creek before beginning your ascent. 

If you’re camping at Worlds End, you can also access the hike from the campground. The trail crosses the campground entrance and exit roads and heads up the hillside.

A wooden arch over the Canyon Vista Trail marks the trailhead along route 154.

Cold Run Trail

  • 1.5 miles
  • Extension
  • Moderate

The Cold Run Trail is a newer marked trail in the park, though it has been explored long before as a well-beaten, but unmarked, path to more seasonal waterfalls. Don’t expect the same rushing water and clear views you get at nearby Ricketts Glen.

The ones here are a little more tucked away, and you’ll see the best views and flow in the early season, but the trail is still a nice spot to explore. It can be a little less traveled, too, so you may be able to escape some of the other park visitors.

You must hike part of the Canyon Vista Trail to reach Cold Run. It just makes the Canyon Vista loop a little wider by exploring more of the park’s land to the east.

From the Canyon Vista, the Cold Run Trail takes off through a small rock maze before heading over along the waterway.

Taking this trail instead of staying on the Canyon Vista Trail adds up to 5+ miles of hiking.

A trail sign among the rocks marks the Cold Run Spur.

Double Run Nature Trail

  • 1.2 miles
  • Loop
  • Moderate

If you’re going to hike one trail in the entire park, especially with a family including children who wouldn’t be able to manage the Canyon Vista Trail, this is the hike for you!

Although it is on the shorter side at just over 1 mile, there is plenty to see on this trail. Beginning at the parking area near the chapel, you’ll soon be treated to smaller water features on Double Run. There is plenty more to see, though!

Hiking this short trail by parking near the chapel turns this trail into a “lollipop” type shape. As you come to the split in the trail, head right. This way, you’ll be heading upstream, and you’ll be able to discover all of the waterfalls and features with the best views.

After traveling along the west branch of Double Run, you’ll take the bridge across the water and head straight uphill. After leaving Double Run, you’ll pass through forested areas. This half of the trail has a little less excitement, but keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you pass through.

You Might Also Like: More PA State Parks with Waterfalls to Explore

The Double Run Nature Trail features beautiful water flow, including this wide waterfall.

East Branch Trail 

  • 1.1 miles
  • Connector
  • Moderate

While this trail is only about 1 mile long, a great loop can be created with other trails in the park to see multiple waterfalls, mineral springs, and dense forests. 

Following East Branch Trail takes you to a separate waterfall, Mineral Spring Falls, along Mineral Spring Road in the Loyalsock State Forest. While you can also drive the dirt state forest roads to reach the falls, the trail is more secluded and you can find quiet by hiking here.

Pick the East Branch Trail up near the bridge crossings at the split in the Double Run Nature Trail. Then, use the Loyalsock and Canyon Vista Trails to return and complete the loop.

This loop should end in around 5 miles of hiking, and it covers both highly trafficked and lesser-known areas of the park.

Mineral Spring Falls is a taller waterfall tucked along the roadway in Loyalsock State Forest

Flynn Trail

  • 0.8 miles
  • Connector
  • Easy-Moderate

On the northern side of Loyalsock Creek, the Flynn Trail is one of the more remote trails in Worlds End State Park. It is used as a connector between the Butternut Trail and Loyalsock Trails. 

Really just passing through on old logging roads, this trail will spare you from having to navigate much of the boulders and steep, uneven terrain that much of the park is known for.

Really this trail can be used to form a long loop with Butternut and Loyalsock/High Rock Trails.

High Rock Trail

  • 1 mile
  • Loop
  • Difficult

You’ll definitely get a leg workout on this trail, even though it is one of the shorter trails in Worlds End State Park.

You’ll have to cross plenty of rocky terrain on this trail, over some fairly steep elevation gain. The rock scrambling begins shortly on this trail.

At the top, where the trail connects with the Loyalsock Trail, you’ll find the High Rock Vista. The vista overlooks the day-use areas of the park and a small portion of Loyalsock Creek.

Return down the shared High Rock and Loyalsock Trail, and be sure to enjoy the small waterfall near the bridge crossing High Rock Run.

The trail returns to the day-use area near the park office and visitor center.

Link Trail

  • 7 miles
  • Point to Point
  • Difficult

If you’re doing much of any hiking in Worlds End State Park, you’re probably going to see a few signs or trail markers for the Link Trail. It feels like this one is everywhere!

While it’s 7 miles long, it crosses multiple times with the Loyalsock Trail, follows along Loyalsock Creek, past waterfalls, and up to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista. There is a lot to see along this trail!

If you hike the full trail, you will cover a small stretch through the Loyalsock State Forest, too.

Stretches of this trail are not easy, covering rocky ground and steep inclines. Be prepared with sturdy footwear!

Combine this one with a stretch of the Loyalsock Trail and you can make a loop of around 16 miles, or longer if you wish.

a small wooden bridge travels over Double Run where trails such as the East Branch, Loyalsock, and Link Trail meet

Loyalsock Trail (LT)

  • 59.2 miles (4.47 miles in Worlds End State Park)
  • Point to Point
  • Difficult

If backpacking is one of your interests, then you may have heard of the Loyalsock Trail. At nearly 60 miles from end to end, it covers a lot of distance through both the Loyalsock State Forest and Worlds End State Park. 

Around 4.5 miles of the LT travel through the state park, connecting with many other trails. You can easily make a longer distance loop or just hike straight through the park.

While on the Loyalsock Trail, you’ll pass by beautiful vistas like the Worlds End Vista and Loyalsock Canyon Vista, as well as near Double Run, over Loyalsock Creek, and past the park office and Visitor Center.

Some sections of the trail in Worlds End are extremely steep. This one isn’t for the faint of heart! Be sure to wear sturdy footwear, and if you consider using trekking poles, you may want them for the inclines and declines here.

The LT is included on the free map of Worlds End State Park, but more detailed maps specifically for the trail can be purchased at the park office.

a hiker navigates the large rock formations near the Loyalsock Trail

Pioneer Road Trail

  • 2.5 miles
  • Moderate
  • Point to Point

If you are into history, this is a trail that you should not miss. While it might not be very exciting for all park visitors, it is notable that this was the original route through the park before route 154 was constructed in 1895. 

As you hike the trail, imagine horses carrying people and goods along this route.

The trail is now just for hiking, even though there are some bridle trails for horses nearby. It begins in the town of Forksville, but you can access Pioneer Road from multiple areas in Worlds End State Park.

Access Points can be found along Worlds End Road across from the Double Run Nature Trail or the Loyalsock Trail. 

Hike just a portion for a little of the experience.

Red Pine Trail

  • 0.4 miles
  • Point to Point
  • Easy-Moderate

During the summertime, this trail passes through a forest tunnel over a short distance.

Begin over on Loyalsock Road, and follow the yellow blazes.

In less than half of a mile, you’ll reach the Butternut Trail, where you can continue to the right to view Butternut Run two times or to the left for the Butternut Vista followed by a Butternut Run crossing.

You won’t be likely to see many other hikers on the Red Pine Trail, which is much of the appeal of this short trail. You might also notice some of the logging history in the area.

Worlds End Trail

  • 3.25 miles
  • Connector
  • Moderate+

Although the Worlds End Trail, leading to the Worlds End Vista, is kind of the namesake in the park, we wouldn’t say it has the best view.

If you’re going to be spending a few days hiking the trails, though, you should probably keep this one on your list. The trail takes off across route 154 from the visitor center, and after traveling through the picnic area, be prepared to head straight uphill. 

You’ll navigate a rocky climb, but it’s a short distance to the Worlds End Vista. The view overlooks a bend in Loyalsock Creek and some of the day-use areas. You can continue on to follow the Worlds End Trail, or you can link up with the Loyalsock Trail or Pioneer Road. 

Either way, these trails flatten out to be fairly easy strolls through the woods.

a view over Loyalsock Creek from the Worlds End Vista in early spring

Worlds End State Park Vistas

There are plenty of vistas to explore in Worlds End, so it’s easy to miss or forget about one. These are all the named vistas. Each named vista can be accessed from the trail of the same name.

  • Butternut
  • High Rock
  • Loyalsock Canyon
  • Worlds End
  • Cold Run

Other Things to do at Worlds End State Park

  • Have a picnic along Loyalsock Creek.
  • Explore the mountain laurel blooms, typically in June.
  • Swim and sunbathe at the Loyalsock Creek beach.
  • Fish for trout, which is stocked in Loyalsock Creek
  • Whitewater raft or kayak (at your own risk).
  • Camp in one of the park’s rustic cabins or in the park campground.
  • Snowmobile or cross country ski in the winter.
beautiful series of small waterfeatures along a Worlds End State Park hiking trail

More Places to Visit Near Worlds End

There are plenty of outdoor opportunities nearby, depending on what you’d like to see and do. Here are some other things to check out:

Loyalsock State Forest

Although some of the Worlds End State Park hiking trails cross over to explore into the state forest, there are plenty of other trails, too. Explore lakes, waterfalls, and plenty of wooded areas in the 114,552-acre Loyalsock State Forest. There is always something new to discover.

Ricketts Glen State Park

This is certainly one of the more popular Pennsylvania state parks, especially on the eastern side of the state. Rickets Glen State Park boasts a hiking trail that meanders through 2 gorges, leading past over 20 waterfalls along the way. It is certainly an experience not to miss while visiting the area.

State Game Lands 13 (SGL 13)

Another waterfall chaser’s paradise, this one is much more primitive with less in the way of established hiking trails. You’ll have to work a little harder to reach some of the more remote ones on this land, but there are plenty to be found if you only look hard enough.

World’s End State Park has miles of trails for hiking that are perfect for families and individuals alike. From the short nature trail to the longer treks, there’s something here for everyone.

So whether you want to spend a day exploring the park or spend a week camping near Loyalsock Creek, there are plenty of opportunities here for you to enjoy the outdoors.

So pack your bags, grab your favorite pair of hiking boots, and head to Worlds End State Park!