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Distance:
5.0 Miles / 8.0 km
Type:
Loop
Difficulty:
Moderate
Time to Hike:
2 hours, ~30 minutes
Features:
PA Wilds
Surface Type:
Dirt
Park:
Austin Dam Memorial Park
Town:
Austin, Pennsylvania
Directions:
5384 PA-872, Austin, PA, USA
41.652138, -78.085636
Added:
June 16, 2020
Updated:
September 02, 2023
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659 '

Total Change
812 '

Ascent
813 '

Descent

The Jones Run Connector Trail at Austin Dam Memorial Park in Austin, Pennsylvania is a moderate 5-mile loop trail. The trail treks along small creek known as Jones Run and then uses an unmarked half-mile-connecter trail to ascend a woodland draft to a hog-back ridge at the head of Stuckey Hollow. The trailhead for the draft begins in the grassy clearing, along the Jones Run Forest Service Road, that is now overgrown with tall grass and weeds, and appears to have once been pastures and fields on an old farmstead along Jones Run, Once atop of ridge, the hiker turns left to continue eastward along a forested trail that transverses across the mostly flat ridgeline to the head the Donavan Hollow. The hardwood forest is grand along the way. There are several eye-catching mountain-top views, most notably at the head of Donovan Hollow where a farmstead clearing gives the hiker spacious eyeshot looking south at about 3.3 mile into the walk. This track finishes on private logging roads (gated and walk-in only) as the hiker descends on an unnamed switch-back trail on private land that runs from the high ridge back to the parking area at the Austin Dam Memorial Park.

Some clear cutting on the State Forest lands has been done to large sections of the slope between the ridge line at the head of Stuckey Hollow and the Jones Run Road that detracts from the over-all unspoiled nature of these state lands. The hike is laid out so as to avoid the clear-cut sections, which have a thick regrowth of brush and briars and are nearly impossible to walk through.

Trails
This loop trail begins and ends next to the Austin Dam Memorial Park; however, much of the track lies within Susquehannock State Forest. This track follows a mix of forest trails, logging roads, and state forest roads. First, the Austin Dam Trail and the Ensworth Interpretive Trail within the Austin Dam Memorial Park are followed along Freeman Run to arrive at Jones Run Road. Jones Run Road is a combination of a private (walk-in only) section at the lower end and a state forest section at the upper end which both have been gated and are closed to public vehicles.

Parking
Hikers can find parking at the main lot for Austin Dam. The entrance sign, located on PA Route-872, has two roads that lead out from it. Follow the road that immediately crosses a small bridge - do not drive down the hill to the north camping area since the Austin Dam is about 1-mile away from this spot. Following the graveled road that crosses the bridge will bring you down to the concrete dam.

Pets
Dogs are allowed if leashed.

Camping
Camping is permitted in Austin Dam Memorial Park and also on the state forest lands (borders blazed with white). For dispersed and primitive camping in the state forest, please follow the state forest rules and regulations and only camp on state lands.

Private Land
This trail crosses some private land to connect to the state forest. Please respect the land owners and stay on the trail at all times.

Water Source
Hikers can use water filters along the adjacent Jones Run on this hike. Water spigots are available within Austin Dam Memorial Park (non-winter seasons only). There is also a natural spring at the Austin Dam Memorial Park's Northern Campground that is blazed with blue markers.

Explore 101 trails near Austin, PA
  1. Parking

    41.652138, -78.085636
  2. Main Trailhead

    41.652252, -78.085685
  3. Donovan Hollow Vista

    41.65871, -78.097301
    Donovan Hollow Vista
  4. Donovan Hollow Lookout

    41.658413, -78.099853
    Donovan Hollow Lookout
  5. Ensworth Interpretive Trail

    41.659683, -78.088674
    Ensworth Interpretive Trail
  6. The Apiary

    41.660536, -78.088803
    The Apiary
  7. Jones Run

    41.663339, -78.101953
    Jones Run
  8. Lower Jones Runs Connector Trail

    41.663784, -78.110852
    Lower Jones Runs Connector Trail
  9. Old Growth Black Cherry

    41.661944, -78.111966
    Old Growth Black Cherry
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)

Seasons

All

Blaze Color

Blue

Photo Albums

2 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Trail Guide By:
OliverPhineas user profile picture
5.0 miles / 8.0 km
Trail added
June 16, 2020
Hiked on
June 16, 2020
Updated on
September 02, 2023
5.0 miles / 8.0 km
August 05, 2023
The bottom of Jones Run Road has another gated dirt road to the south. Take the westerly one, as the one to the south never turns west. We took Jones Run Road all the way up to the end to the west, as there was absolutely no apparent or marked trail to the south, which was supposed to be approx. halfway up Jones Run Rd. We ended up at Gas Well Road, turned around and took another logging road headed south. When this road forked, we took the road to the east. This ended in a clearing. We found a woodland trail directly across the clearing. Shortly upon entering the woods, the trail forked. We chose the much more cleared off trail to the north, instead of the other overgrown trail. Again, there were no signs, marks or indications on where to hike. Since there were none, we didn't want to take a chance on the southerly trail, in the event it either dead ends or heads in the wrong direction. Eventually, this cleared forest trail also ended. However, we could see Jones Run Road. So, we cut through the forest back down to Jones Run Road and backtracked to our starting point. Despite most of Jones Run Road being overgrown, we had no ticks! For us, it was a nice, easy woodland hike with no vistas. Our hike was roughly in the shape of a lollipop! :).
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In Austin, PA

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