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A Detour to Jacoby

with: Jamie Spencer
     
 

North Central Pennsylvania is home to many treasures. Yes, we live in an area with such amazing beauty. My son and I take full advantage as we do our best to ‘commune with nature’ as often as we can. I simply love to fish, but Jensen is more of an explorer these days. Hiking is a new passion and one of his favorite treks is a little known secret just outside of town.
Jacoby Falls is a short and peaceful hike in the Loyalsock State Forest only 20 minutes northeast of Williamsport. The trailhead is along Wallis Run Road about 4 miles north of State Route 973. This hike is for the entire family and can be completed in 3 hours. The 1.6-mile journey covers a moderate landscape engulfed by endless oaks, maples and conifers. The trail is very well marked with yellow rectangular blazes and follows the tranquil waters of Jacoby Hollow Run. The final reward is a 29-foot drop of a stream crashing onto its rocks below. Do not expect to see anything like Niagara Falls, but Jacoby is well worth an afternoon venture. 
Jacoby Falls trail can be enjoyed any time of the year. The waterfall is exceptionally brilliant in the early spring when the waters are abundant and spectacular wildflowers and mosses are beginning to take shape. Some prefer the cool mountain shade on those dreadfully hot days of summer. The setting is also alive and full of color during our autumn months. Jensen’s favorite time of year to hike Jacoby is in the winter. The frozen cascade of blue ice is an impressive sight. I agree. The ice and snow formations are DOPE.
Jacoby is an easy trek, but you should proceed with caution. Always wear the proper footwear when hiking kids. There are a few slippery slopes and the climb to the falls is somewhat challenging. Depending on the season, you may encounter a couple of streams and lots and lots of mud. Encourage your kids to pack their own gear to keep it fun. Jensen always brings his trusty toy axe because you never know when a pack of wild Orcs might show up to dance. 
Jensen and I decided to take advantage on a warm Sunday a few weeks back. We had lots of options. He already has an extensive list of area trails he has proudly conquered but Jacoby Falls remain his favorite and always gets the nod. We extended an invite to Mom, but she respectfully declined. She deserves a break too. 
We packed our bags with the essentials. You know headlamps, machetes, Mountain Dews and nerf guns. #lovethatkid. Our route to Jacoby was quite different that day as the entire Wallis Run area is still recovering from the ravishing floods of this past September. Many roadways and bridges remain closed. Several homes and cabins are sadly gone. SIRI took us another way. The roads of the 17728 less traveled. Over the mountains and through Rose Valley Lake — Jensen and I finally made it to the trailhead. 
The Spencer boys were the only crazies making the climb that afternoon. We both took our time and appreciated our views. Like many other small creeks in the area — Jacoby Hallow was just devastated last fall. The once playful mountain stream banks are now a washed out mess. The poor gal never stood a chance. We managed to use my new water purifier for a nice cool drink. I believe it destroyed all the enzymes, but the jury is still out. 
The falls was especially breathtaking that day. It seemed to make up for the many detours we encountered. Isn’t it amazing how much can change over the course of a year? Jensen is much taller and I am now polishing ROX. But our love for the outdoors and Jacoby Falls’ innocence will always remain. Happy belated Earth Day folks. Please remember to introduce our next generation to the woods. Cheers.