Trailing to Tranquility: Discovering Jacoby Falls

Loyalsock State Forest in Pennsylvania offers scenic beauty and great hiking, complete with waterfalls. Locals from Lycoming County often recommend the Jacoby Falls hike. It’s just a 20-minute drive from Williamsport into beautiful countryside.

This popular 3.4 (total) there-and-back hike will get your heart pumping, but the falls, as well as the journey through the forest itself, is well worth it. You’ll discover that the trail is mostly uphill to the falls. But on the upside, it’s all downhill back to your vehicle. It’s also worth noting that the trail map indicates the hike is 3.4 miles, but the hike length indicated at the trail head says it’s 3.2.

Pair this hike with an exploration of nearby Rider Park, which overlooks Loyalstock State Forest and Jacoby Mountain.

The Hike to Jacoby Falls

The trail to Jacoby Falls starts with a boardwalk crossing over wetlands, leading into a forest filled with hemlock and various hardwoods. Initially the trail can be a bit steep It winds into Jacoby Hollow, following a natural gas pipeline and the scenic Jacoby Run creek.

Reaching the top of the hollow, you’ll find Jacoby Falls. This waterfall looks stunning, especially in winter, though droughts may reduce its flow. I was there in September, and it was only a dribble over the rocks, but still, the falls had a magical feel. And even in September, there were wildflowers along the path.

In case you’re wondering about the name (I certainly was!), Jacoby Mountain, Hollow and Falls are all named after Samuel and Clarissa Jacoby. They herded and sold cattle from New York to Pennsylvania. Originally from New York, they moved to Lycoming County in 1844. Eventually they moved atop what is now known as Jacoby Mountain in 1876.

Located in Sullivan, Lycoming, and Bradford Counties, Loyalsock State Forest spans about 115,000 acres. It’s part of Pennsylvania’s vast 2.2 million-acre State Forest system. Named after the Loyalsock Creek, which flows through over 60 miles of the forest, it features high plateaus and ridges alongside deep valleys. The forest hosts a mix of northern hardwoods like birch, beech, and maple, along with black cherry, white ash, tulip-poplar, and hemlock. This diverse ecosystem supports a wide range of recreational activities, thanks to its beautiful hardwoods and dramatic landscape.

Know Before You Go

The Jacoby Falls Trailhead is located along Wallis Run Road approximately 4.1 miles north of the Route 973 bridge at Loyalsockville. Park at the DCNR Cotner Farm. Information sign is on the right. Allow yourself two to three hours to enjoy the hike and the falls. Follow the yellow blazes.

The trail, like most in the area, is filled with roots and rocks. Hiking boots with ankle support is recommended. Although I have a hiking pole, I didn’t use it for this hike.

Getting there: 5119 Wallis Run Rd, Trout Run, PA
Hours: daylight
Website: trail map

For other great things to see and do around Lycoming County, check out the articles below: