hike #45

Monkey Run Natural Area  —  both sides of Fall Creek E of Monkey Run Road

Meet-up:   Intersection of Hanshaw Road and Lower Creek Road, south of Route 13

Click here to see the Google Maps page showing the location of the meet-up and the quickest route from Wegmans.

Click here to see a PDF map showing the full extent of the natural area and the configuration of Fall Creek, which is very hard to visualize when you’re on the ground.

Click here to see another PDF map of the natural area which shows a more accurate and complete version of the trail system, though the features on the map are not well identified, making it less user-friendly.

This is our third hike in the Monkey Run tract, and it takes us onto trails and into areas that the other two hikes don’t cover.  After you’ve done all three hikes, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this beautiful and extensive area has to offer.

For this hike we walk south and then southeast on the abandoned Monkey Run road bed until we’re almost at Fall Creek  — then we swing east and walk along a bluff and then along the creek bank until we reach Route 13.  We cross the creek on the highway and then immediately head back into the woods, going south to the railroad right of way.  We walk west on this ROW until we’re almost at the west end of the natural area.  Then it’s into the woods for a long forested trail back to the creek bank and then back to Route 13.

It may sound convoluted but it makes sense once you know the area.  The segment of the walk on the south side of the creek makes a big loop, which is always fun  —  the stretch along the railroad right of way runs behind the houses along Route 366 and it’s very pleasant and different from our usual trails  –  the parts of the trail in the woods and along the creek are lovely.  This hike doesn’t match the other two for drama, but it’s definitely a good one.