Bridle Trail Information Guide
Trail Information Guide
The Bridle Trail consists of two 25-mile loops, each beginning and ending at the trailhead along Double Run Road (SR 3009). Because of their locations in the District, the loops are commonly referred to as the East Loop and the West Loop. The trailhead contains a small shelter, latrines, tie rails and parking areas. During the winter months, the trailhead is utilized by both snow-mobilers and cross-country skiers. The year-round use of this area means everyone must exercise good judgment, common courtesy and concern for the trail's environment.
The West Loop
Horseback riders will find that both of the 25-mile loops offer many hours of excellent riding through a wide variety of landscapes and forest types and conditions. If you travel the West Loop in a clockwise direction, you'll pass through an area about two miles from the trailhead that was devastated by a tornado on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1974. Over the next six or seven miles the trail follows a gently rolling route. Here, as is the case throughout the trail, riders will pass through or near several timber management areas. You will notice the tree mortality and sparse tree canopy in the higher elevations caused by native insect outbreaks in 1993 and 1994 followed by a fungus attack in 1995. Fences to protect the established seedlings from white-tailed deer surround many of the timber treatments.
The loop will begin its first major descent of approximately 1,000 feet, leading into the Dry Run Valley and past the Forest Headquarters near Hillsgrove. Take extra caution along this descent, keeping an eye out for loose trail surfaces. The trail crosses Dry Run and in a distance of a few miles, rises to Jackson Flats, gaining back most of its elevation. You will then circle around beneath the famous High Knob Overlook. Riders should not attempt to reach the Knob from this point. Continue around the hill for a mile or so, until the trail climbs to the back section of the High Knob Road. Here you can ride along the road to the High Knob Overlook and enjoy the view.
For the next few miles you will encounter extensive forest damage, initiated by insect outbreaks and followed by windstorms generated by Hurricane Floyd on September 17, 1999. You will notice the remnants of the uprooted trees that were salvaged for lumber.
After leaving the High Knob Road the trail heads slightly downhill and into the heart of the hurricane damage. It maintains a fairly level course across the upper reaches of the Cape Run and Ketchum Run drainage's in the upland known as Nettle Ridge. The trail then follows the Mile Trail before joining the Coal Mine Road. In the winter, this road is the nucleus of our cross-country ski trail system. During the rest of the year, it is a favorite location for roadside campers.
The East Loop
While certainly not a carbon copy of the West Loop, the East Loop also uses a mixture of logging roads and State Forest Roads. For the most part, it follows a gently rolling course until it enters the Shanerburg Run valley at the far eastern end of the loop. The stream is a native wild trout stream and is recognized as an "Exceptional Value Waterway". The stream and its surrounding forestland provide one of the most scenic areas along the trail, and deserves special care and consideration. In its upper reaches, the Shanerburg Run meanders through a number of grassy meadows. Horses can easily damage the stream banks in this section and should never be ridden or lead to the stream bank. Camping with horses is not permitted here. The trail goes in and out of the Shanerburg Valley twice within a few miles, changing elevation about 700 feet. This loop also contains a scenic overlook. The Loyalsock Canyon Vista, along the Cold Run Road, offers an excellent view of the Loyalsock Valley and the "D" shaped curve that marks the location of the Worlds End State Park.
Rules of the Trail
- Ride only on the designated horse trail. The standard trail marker is the international horseback trail symbol, a brown triangle with a white picture of a horse and rider. These markers are supplemented with 4 inch circular orange blazes.
- Exercise caution where the trail follows State Forest Roads. Ride in single file on the edge of the road, with traffic, and always be aware of approaching motor vehicles, especially on "blind curves".
- Horses are not permitted on the Loyalsock Trail, except where designated. The trail is shown on the map for your convenience.
- Follow all camping guidelines and State Forest Rules and Regulations.
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
- Be cautious of other users, such as mountain bikes or cross-country skiers. Be courteous at all times.
Camping with horses along the trail system is permitted. However, you must acquire a camping permit prior to your stay. Camping with trailers is only permitted at the Trailhead located along State Route 3009 (Double Run Road). Permits are also required at this location. Camping permits are issued free of charge at:
Hillsgrove Forest Headquarters
Dry Run State Forest Rd.
PO Box 75
Hillsgrove, PA 18619-0075
Please allow several days if permits are mailed.
- Do not leave the immediate vicinity of the trail. Do not select an area that is obviously used by hikers.
- Select a dry and level site that is at least 100 feet from any water source to include streams, springs and seeps. Stay away from low, wet or marshy areas to avoid creating mud. Avoid locations with excessive undergrowth that would be trampled and damaged by horses.
- Do not tie horses directly to trees. Chewing or rubbing bark can injure or kill trees.
- Horses may be led to water where rocky stream banks are present. Earthen stream banks are strictly forbidden to use by horse.
- Keep campfires small and burn only dead and down wood. Never leave fires unattended. Completely extinguish campfires until cold before vacating site. Use plenty of water and double check for embers.
- Clean up your campsite! Disperse manure into the forest at least 100 feet from the campsite, trail and water sources. Pack out everything that you brought in.
- If other campers "forgot" their litter, be a friend of our forest and take it with you. Burying garbage of any kind is not permitted.
- Read the guidelines attached to your Camping Permit and the State Forest Rules and Regulations thoroughly.
In the event of an emergency contact:
Sullivan County Control at (570) 946-5000 or dial 911
Public phones are located at nearby World's End State Park and in the town of Eagles Mere.