Worlds End State Park: The Complete Guide
Thanks to its memorable moniker, Worlds End State Park attracts many visitors from far and wide. Most likely coined by early settlers who admired the scenic views at Worlds End Vista, this beautiful state park is nestled in the remote Loyalsock Creek Valley, around 3.5 hours from both New York City and Philadelphia. When visiting this picturesque region of the Keystone state, you will be treated to incredible views of the Endless Mountain range thats overflowing with natural beauty.
Worlds End State Park was sparsely inhabited by residents until the late 1800s, who used two narrow horse trails to access a few small towns in the area. However, in the early 19th century, the area became popular with the logging industry, and many acres of forest were cut down and used for lumber. This neglected land resulted in fires and floods throughout the region.
The area started to become reinvigorated in the late 1920s when the United States Department of Forests and Waters started to purchase land to transform into state parks. Later, in 1933, the Civilian Conservation Act inspired the development of this parks facilities. Today, this splendidly secluded rugged area is open to visitors every day of the year and home to challenging hiking trails, trout fishing, hunting, and many other outdoor activities throughout the year.
Directions Parking & Regulations
To get to Worlds End State Park campground from Philadelphia, follow GPS directions 82 Cabin Bridge Road Forksville, PA. For day use and those renting cabins, enter through the park office area. The park office is locate one mile north of the campground along PA 154.
Camping season begins in mid April and ends in December. There are specific camping areas for those with pets, and pets are not allowed at swimming holes.
The Worlds End Trail, High Rock Trail and Butternut Trail begin from the park office. Canyon Vista Trail begins at the campground. The other trails can be accessed along PA 154 between the office and campground.
Hike The Ketchum Run Trail
The Ketchum Run Trail is a relatively unknown gem located near High Knob Overlook and Worlds End State Park.
The fall foliage along Ketchum Run Trail is spectacular!
Ketchum Run Falls is another highlight of this hike.
The trail eventually intersects with the Loyalsock Trail, allowing you to explore even more waterfalls downstream on Ketchum Run.
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Worlds End State Park
|Worlds End State Park|
|Worlds End State Park and Loyalsock Creek from the Canyon Vista on Cold Run Road|
|Location of Worlds End State Park in PennsylvaniaWorlds End State Park in Sullivan County, PennsylvaniaShow map of PennsylvaniaWorlds End State Park Show map of the United States|
|its remote location, or a whirlpool in Loyalsock Creek|
|Governing body||Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|
Worlds End State Park is a 780-acre Pennsylvania state park in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The park, nearly surrounded by Loyalsock State Forest, is in the Loyalsock Creek valley on Pennsylvania Route 154, in Forks and Shrewsbury Townships southeast of the borough of Forksville. The name Worlds End has been used since at least 1872, but its origins are uncertain. Although it was founded as Worlds End State Forest Park by Governor Gifford Pinchot in 1932, the park was officially known as Whirls End State Forest Park from 1936 to 1943.
Visit High Knob Overlook
High Knob Overlook is one of the most popular roadside attractions in Sullivan County.
High Knob Overlook is located approximately 6 miles from the heart of Worlds End State Park, along High Knob Road.
The views from High Knob Overlook are outstanding no matter the season.
High Knob Overlook is also a terrific spot to catch an Endless Mountains sunset.
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Wildlife And Important Bird Area
Worlds End State Park has an extensive forest cover of hemlock-filled valleys and hardwood tree-covered mountains, which makes it a habitat for “big woods” wildlife. Animals such as white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, red and gray squirrels are seen fairly regularly. Less commonly seen but present in the park are creatures such as bobcats, coyote, fishers, river otters, and timber rattlesnakes. Loyalsock Creek is home to native brook trout and black bass which feed on a variety of insects including mosquitos, dragonflies, and gnats.
Bird watchers have observed over 200 species of birds in the park, including the great blue heron, northern harrier, white-throated sparrow and highly sensitive species which are rare as breeding birds in Pennsylvania such as northern goshawk and yellow-bellied flycatcher. The state park and forest are part of the larger Pennsylvania Important Bird Area #42, which encompasses 214,839 acres . The Pennsylvania Audubon Society has designated the IBA as a globally important habitats for the conservation of bird populations. The IBA is home to Swainson’s thrush and ruffed grouse, the state bird of Pennsylvania. Other notable passerine species found in the park and IBA include blue-headed and red-eyed vireos, Acadian and least flycatchers. Breeding warblers in the park include both northern and Louisiana waterthrushes, as well as Blackburnian, black-throated blue, black-throated green, Canada, magnolia, mourning, Nashville, and yellow-rumped.
How To Get There
In northeastern Pennsylvania and surrounded by major highways, there are many ways to get to World’s End State Park which is accessible by PA-42. From Philadelphia, you can travel north on the I-476 and then east on PA-118, passing Scranton along the way, and from New York City, you can stay on I-80. From Williamsport, you can also travel east PA-87 and approach the park from the north, passing through Forksville.
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Geology Paleontology And Marcellus Shale
The land on which Worlds End State Park sits has undergone tremendous change over the last 350 million years. It was once part of the coastline of a shallow sea that covered a great portion of what is now North America. The high mountains to the east of the sea gradually eroded, causing a buildup of sediment made up primarily of clay, sand and gravel. Tremendous pressure on the sediment caused the formation of the rocks that are found today in the Loyalsock Creek drainage basin: sandstone, shale, conglomerates, coal, and limestone.
Four major rock formations are present in Worlds End State Park, all at least partly from the Carboniferous period. The youngest of these, which forms the highest points in the park, is the early PennsylvanianPottsville Formation, a gray conglomerate that may contain sandstone, siltstone, and shale, as well as anthracite coal. The Loyalsock gorge rim and the upper part of its walls are the late MississippianMauch Chunk Formation, which is formed with grayish-red shale, siltstone, sandstone, and conglomerate. Below this is the Mississippian Burgoon Formation, which comprises buff-colored sandstone and conglomerate. The creek bed and base of the gorge walls are the late Devonian and early Mississippian Huntley Mountain Formation, which is made of relatively soft grayish-red shale and olive-gray sandstone.
Visit Mineral Spring Falls
Mineral Spring Falls is a roadside waterfall located just outside the Worlds End State Park boundary in the Loyalsock State Forest.
A second, smaller waterfall is located just upstream from the roadside Mineral Spring Falls.
This waterfall doesnt always flow well the best time to catch it is in the spring or after a hard summer rain.
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Hickory Run State Park
Location: 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661
Just under a 2 hour drive from Lancaster lies Hickory Run State Park.
Located in the western foothills of the imposing Pocono Mountains, around Carbon County, this 15,990 acre park is one of the largest parks in Pennsylvania.
It is also considered to be one of the most beautiful too, housing two shimmering lakes, three state park natural areas, endless miles of trout streams and the magnificent Boulder Field. A beguiling 16 acre landscape of strewn boulders which is now a National Natural Landmark.
There are over 40 miles of hiking trails in this park as well as a very good swimming beach. The lakes provide good fishing and kayaking opportunities while kids can enjoy a game of disc golf or play in the onsite playground.
Should you want to stay for a night or two, there is a large camping area for tents and trailers here. The campsites are a mix of electric, non-electric, full-hookup, pet-friendly and walk-to.
The restrooms here are modern and feature warm showers. While there is also a camp store that sells general camping supplies.
Hiking At Worlds End State Park
Many visitors who come to the park with hiking in mind plan to conquer its steep and rocky trails, but do not worry, you will find plenty of easy trails too. A must-do is Canyon VistaTrail, a four-mile loop, rather difficult but definitely the most rewarding.
It impressed with a spectacular view of the Loyalsock Creek gorge from its vista at an elevation of 1750 feet. In the same area, you can explore a boulder field called the Rock Garden, just across the road from the overlook, and slightly off the main trail.
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Adventuring In The Worlds End Of Pa
A three and a half-hour drive from Philly, the 780-acre Worlds End State Park is in the Endless Mountains and pretty remote. On the drive home, we noted how we didnt even see any litter.
Planning a Camping Getaway
Before we escaped the urban jungle, we had a little bit of preparing to do. We ran through a packing checklist and noted that we lacked a tent, cookware and other various items we couldnt scrounge for in our perspective kitchens.
After Philly lost its Eastern Mountain Sports store in University City and Fireside Camp Supply on South Street, its slim pickings to get all the gear you need for a weekend away. Plus, camping gear gets pricey QUICK.
Luckily, United by Blue recently began its Get Outta Town Gear Rental program. The concept is pretty simple: go outline, pick your gear & date, hit the trails then return the goods to the store.
On our way out of town, we swung by United by Blues Old City location and picked up the gear. Everything was neatly packed into a large plastic bin, plus a couple of sleeping bags to carry.
En route to Worlds End, we picked up groceries since the kit includes a 45L Folding Cooler. Plus, we needed smore ingredients for the fire
Once we arrived at Worlds End, we had everything we needed to set up camp quickly. And despite a few thunderstorms that rolled in Friday evening to welcome in our camping weekend, the Kelty tent and sleeping bags luckily stayed dry throughout the weekend.
Visit The Visitors Center
This may seem obvious, but the Visitors Center at Worlds End State Park is a wealth of information about the history of the park.
For example, did you know Worlds End was at different times known as Whirls End and Whirls Glen?
Or that many of the park facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s?
From taxidermy to t-shirts, theres a little bit of everything at the Worlds End State Park Visitors Center.
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Eat At The Forksville General Store And Restaurant
Big Mikes Philly-style cheesesteaks and hoagies at the Forksville General Store and Restaurant have a reputation for being the some of THE finest sandwiches in Pennsylvania.
Located right next to the Forksville Covered Bridge, I can personally attest to the deliciousness of the sandwiches at the Forksville General Store!
Visiting Worlds End State Park Know Before You Go
Worlds State State Park brings many happy memories. Only an hour and a half drive from my house, it has served as my day trip destination for years. I especially enjoyed it during the fall season for the bright display of colors. Still, I did not realize its full potential until my camping escape there.
With more time to explore, I discovered some new areas, and I got a new appreciation for the area.
Visitors Center at Worlds End State Park will help you with maps and detailed information about the area.
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Cabins Camping Swimming And Picnics
When appointed as manager of the park in 2002, William C. Kocher said “Camping really is king here at Worlds End, and the rustic cabins are especially popular … We also have plenty of picnics and reunions, many of them drawing generation after generation, year after year”. Worlds End State Park has three options for visitors interested in staying overnight. There are 19 rustic cabins, each with a refrigerator, stove, fireplace, table with chairs, and beds. There is a 70-site tent and camper campground along Pennsylvania Route 154. Some of the campsites have an electric hook-up, and there is a central shower facility with water and restrooms located nearby. Three organized group tenting areas, each capable of accommodating 30 people, are also available north of the cabins. They may also be used for one large group of up to 90 campers.Non-denominational Christian worship services, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, are held in a wooded chapel at the park on Sunday mornings during the summer.
The picnic and swimming areas are adjacent to each other, with the building housing the bath house and concession stand between them. There are many picnic tables and several pavilions available for day use by visitors to the park. During the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps built a 7-foot tall dam on Loyalsock Creek, which provides a 1 acre swimming area at Worlds End State Park. Since 2008, lifeguards are no longer on duty at the park.
Horse Trails And Lumber Era
The earliest settlers in the Worlds End area rode on two horse trails to traverse the rugged mountains between Muncy Creek and the confluence of Little Loyalsock Creek with Loyalsock Creek at Forksville. These rugged and rocky trails were used steadily until 1895, when Pennsylvania Route 154 was constructed to take their place. Part of these old horse trails are still in use and known as Pioneer Road and Double Run Road, and form part of two of the seven hiking trails in the park. Worlds End trail and Pioneer Road meet at the Worlds End Vista, which is thought to be a possible inspiration for the park’s name.
Prior to the arrival of William Penn and his Quakercolonists in 1682, it has been estimated that up to 90 percent of what is now Pennsylvania was covered with woods: over 31,000 square miles of white pine, eastern hemlock, and a mix of hardwoods. The forests near the three original counties, Philadelphia, Bucks, and Chester, were the first to be harvested, as the early settlers used the readily available timber to build homes, barns, and ships, and cleared the land for agriculture. The demand for lumber slowly increased and by the time of the American Revolution the lumber industry had reached the interior and mountainous regions of Pennsylvania.
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The 20 Best Things To Do At Worlds End State Park
Worlds End State Park is a 780 acre oasis in the heart of Sullivan County, making it an ideal home base for exploring and enjoying this ruggedly beautiful part of Pennsylvania.
And there isa LOT to explore and enjoy!
What Im going to share with you here is my list of the 20 best things to do at Worlds End State Park and the surrounding Loyalsock State Forest.
From waterfalls to scenic vistas, from covered bridges to camping, theres something for everyone to enjoy at Worlds End State Park!
Facilities At World Ends State Park
The park offers all you need for a day trip or overnight camping. If you are visiting just for a day and not planning extensive hiking, situate yourself at the visitors center area. This is where you will find the most dramatic stretch of the creek and many picnic tables placed along the Loyalsack Creek.
A food concession, playground, and recycling station are located within the picnic grounds. Several pavilions are available for day use.
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Who Is Going To Love It
Anyone will enjoy camping at Worlds End State Park. Types of campsites include: tent sites, trailer campsites with electric hookups, and cabins with refrigerators and fireplaces. Most of the hiking at Worlds End is steep and rocky. The High Rock Trail is short , but very steep. This trail climbs through a hillside of boulders to reach High Rock Vista, then descends back to PA-154 through a hardwood forest. For a less strenuous hike, try the Double Run Nature Trail. This is a 1.2 mile loop follows green and white blazes along Double Run. Along the way you will pass waterfalls and spring wildflowers.
Where To Stay Nearby
If you wish to stay here year-round, Worlds End State Park offers 19 rustic but decently-equipped cabins available for rent. They require a one-week minimum stay in summer and a two-night stay during the off-seasons. The cabins are very basic but include a refrigerator, stove, table, chairs, beds, and a fireplace insert. Regarding facilities, there are restrooms and three showers with warm water nearby, as well as recycling bins. When you stay here, you must be self-sufficient. Guests are required to bring linens, dishes, food, and anything they may need. Surrounding the park, there are also a few inns and lodges in the nearby towns of Forksville, Laporte, and Eagle Mere.
- Eagles Mere Inn: This historic hotel is nestled in a charming village and every stay comes with a free pass to enjoy the Eagles Mere Lake and borrow the inn’s bikes and kayaks.
- Cherry Mills Lodge: This 19th-century bed and breakfast in Dushore overlooks the well-stocked trout creek and offers a variety of suites, many of which have fireplaces. All rooms have air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.
- The Pavilion at the Park: This Victorian-style hotel has four guest rooms, and three large suites with private decks. Located in the village of Laporte, near local restaurants and shops.
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