Back in an earlier time, when almost everyone travelled by foot or on horseback, the Odin Hoxie Trail came to be. This was likely more than a hundred-and-fifty years ago. The good news is this old footpath is still here and it can be hiked on still yet today.
The Odin Hoxie Trail in the Susquehannock State Forest lands near Austin, Pennsylvania is a moderate 4.3-mile one-way trek and can be hiked as an out-and-back for a total of 8.6-miles. The western terminus of this trail is on the highway State Route 872, near the village of Odin. This out-and-back hike begins and ends on the eastern terminus along the low-volume South Woods Road in Homer Township -- maybe, once presumably called Hoxie. This trail transverses over a wooded ridgeline, and treks along on a rather well taken care of pathway so that the modern-light-footed traveler can have a joyous journey from one small dell to another.
This out-and-back starts along a small creek known as South Woods Branch, a tributary to the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek. There is a sign marker "ODIN HOXIE TRAIL" to indicate where the trail intersects onto the South Woods Road. There is a turn-out suitable for parking along the east-side of South Woods Road about 300 feet north of the trail marker. At the entrance, from the South Woods Road for about 500 feet, the trail starts off wet and soggy. There are a few springs here, that cause the area to be wet. This lower end on the trail could benefit from some better drainage and clearing of some brush at the entrance to the trail, but it is only for a short distance until the conditions improve. Some of the poor trail conditions are likely just mostly due to lack of use nowadays.
After the soggy bottom start, a more agreeable Treadway soon begins on the ascend up the woodland draft for the distance of about one-mile to the hilltop above the Baker Hollow. Once atop, the hiker continues in a mostly northward direction along a forested trail that transverses across the mostly-flat ridgeline. The hardwood forest is scenic along the way. Along the ridgeline, the trek follows along the State Forest boundary which appears to be an multi-use trail. The out-bound track finishes on descend down another woodland draft for about a distance of one-mile from the hilltop to the western terminus on the highway State Route 872. The hiker opted here to simply turn around and hike back to the starting point and complete the out-and-back.
And a note about trail blaze markings along the way. There are a variety. Along the way there are Red Dots (Multi-use Footpath), and Blue Bars (Horse Trail) and also White Dots (State Forest Boundary) Markers. On the western section of the trail, there are only red dots, which are faded and sparsely spaced, and can be somewhat difficult to follow. Be careful and prepared to hike this section. Hikers should bring an offline tracker, a physical map, and be prepared to understand how to traverse the topography in order to prepare for this part of the hike.
Considerable clear cutting on the State Forest lands has been done to large sections on the ridges between the hilltops at the head of Baker Hollow that detracts from the over-all beauty of these woods. The Odin Hoxie Trail is laid out so as to mostly avoid the clear-cut sections, which have a thick regrowth of brush and briars and are difficult to walk through. There is an about one-quarter mile section that crosses the regrowth from about the 3 miles mark to 3.2 miles on the out-bound (heading west) leg going from the eastern terminus on South Woods Road. This briary section is about 1 mile east of the western terminus of this trail on the highway State Route 872. Hiking through this part of the trail is not too-bad and can be walked across without too much trouble as the briars are short and sparse on the pathway. Long-pants for hiker wear is recommended.
In the section below, there is a description of Active Forest Management in use on the State Forest Lands.
Length and Difficulty
The difficulty should be considered moderate because of the elevation gain along the path. Also, some experience hiking on imperfectly marked trails is needed and as well as how to traverse terrain using topographic maps.