Mid July is a fine time to ascend Smith’s, especially circling northeast along the magnificent mini-cascades of Painters run before joining the Loyalsock Trail for the final push up the Knob. This time of year, the Run was low enough for relatively easy crossings while offering views of lush green moss and ferns and now and then, surprisingly vivid collections of Bee Baum. It is also provides a more moderate elevation gain as opposed to a frontal assault on the Knob directly up the LT.
This more leisurelyapproach vanishes at the confluence with the LT as the trail hairpins left—northwest— and ascends to the upper plateau. The trail wanders for a short time along a dirt road, and then veers across the ridge to begin the more serious business of climbing the Knob. Here the trail gives new meaning to “precipitous “and while it’s reasonably short, the heart and lungs get tested. The summit offers remarkable views looking northeast along the Loyalsock, giving hikers a graphic understanding of the altitude gained.
The LTcontinues southwest descending steeply down the Knob across the ridge and finally back to the parking lot.
How to Get There
Take route 87 from the south (Montoursville) or from the north (Forksville) to Little Bear Road, a dirt /gravel road. Travel east on Little Bear about two miles to a dirt road to the left —there is a DCNR headquarters building on the right across a bridge. The road leads very quickly to a well maintained parking lot. For the route described above exit the parking lot to the east and follow the road three quarters of a mile to Painter Run. A short bushwhack up the run leads past a cabin and to the painter Run Trail.