Hiking Tumbling Run & Pole Steeple
A day off of the bicycle doesn't mean a day spent inside. With the end of summer in view, and the school year encroaching soon, I took my sixteen year old son, Alex, and his buddies (Robby and Austin) to Michaux State Forest for a day of hiking, picnicking, and exploring. Our day today was split into three parts. We planned to hike up through Tumbling Run Game Preserve, have a picnic lunch at the furnace stack in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, and then hike up to the top of Pole Steeple.
Although the trail head at Tumbling Run is not marked, it is easy to get to if you know what you are looking for. After passing Pine Grove Furnace State Park on state route 233 (headed South) you will be looking for a obvious gravel parking area located on the right between Woodrow Road and Dead Woman's Hollow Road. It is important to know that the last "nice" bathrooms are located at the furnace stack at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Once at Tumbling Run, if nature calls, you are on your own.
HIKING TUMBLING RUNHiking Tumbling Run is a lot of fun. You can expect to climb approximately 750 feet from the trail head to the amazing rock outcropping at the top. Along the way you will encounter rocks, boulders, and downed trees. The trail is marked with blue blazes which will help guide you on your journey to the top.
You will find, however, that the trail deviates a lot. As long as you keep the main stream close by you cannot get lost. The hike starts with a stream crossing which is your first opportunity to "get your feet wet." Soon you will come across the "elephant" tree. Your first indication that you are, indeed, on the correct trail.
As you move up the trail you notice that it will get progressively more steep and progressively more beautiful. Watch your step going over, under, and around the multitude of downed trees.
The path is sometimes obvious...but with obstacles!
It won't be long before you begin to hear the waterfalls. They are extremely beautiful and fun to climb next to. Be sure to stay to the right of the falls as you make you way up. It is, in my opinion, the easiest way to make the trek to the top of the rocks.
The path to the top of Tumbling Run deviates based upon the time of year. In early Spring most of this is under water.
Alex, Robby, and Austin hiking up the waterfalls that run through Tumbling Run.
The trail to to top of Tumbling Run gets pretty steep.
Top of Tumbling Run. This is the spot were I asked my amazing wife, Robin, to marry me!
LUNCH AT THE FURNACE STACK AREA
Alex didn't pack enough water. The pump came in handy.
Water pump and furnace stack at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
Furnace Stack Pavilion
Austin, Alex, and Robby exploring the old furnace stack at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
HIKING POLE STEEPLE
David Raymond on top of Pole Steeple
View from the top of Pole Steeple. You can see Fuller Lake in the distance.
REMEMBER...ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM!
Mountain Creek Campground north of Michaux State Forest on state route 233. Just outside of the Michaux State Forest, heading north on 233, be sure to stop by Mountain Creek Campground for some amazing ice cream from the camp store. It's always the best....large selections, large portions, & small prices. Can't beat it!