On the afternoon of January 12, 2019, air temp was around 27 Fahrenheit, no wind, and pretty dry day. I have figured it would be a good day for a roughly 4 mile hike in the area of Rothrock State Forest I did not visit before. In the area of Greenwood Furnace State Park, one can take a bit of Standing Stone Trail, gradually climbing onto Stone Mountain, then take Turkey trail to descend the mountain and finally take Lorence and Monsell trails back to the parking lot, and that what I did – If you care to know how it was – Read Ahead !


Somewhere in the eastern part of Rothrock State Forest by the route 305 there is Greenwood Furnace State Park. The lengthy Stone Mountain cuts right through the park going from north east onto south west or in opposite direction, depending on one’s point of view. In just 4 miles hike, one can climb small section of Stone Mountain and witness a powerful view to south west. To do that you would take Standing Stones trail roughly 2 miles to the vista and another 2 back, or you could continue down through Turkey trail followed by Lorence and Monsell trails, and that what I opted to in my hike on that fine Saturday afternoon.

1. From one of many Greenwood Furnace State Park parking lots we start walking Standing Stone Trail (SST) – for a long while it is an old road that gradually climbs onto Stone Mountain

2. After a bit of a climb, to the left side of SST one can gaze upon some creek and a lot of dead trees – it does look dangerous, yet it has some interesting sense of uniqueness to it

3. Looking to the right of SST, one can observe rising slope of Stone Mountain with many dead trees once again, some of which have a pretty artistic look to it I would say

4. Somewhere along SST we come upon artistic carving of sorts on a tree that was sliced long time ago

5. The old road continues ahead but SST makes a sharp turn to the right

6. For roughly next half of a mile the climb continues to be graduate, but it is more of a hiking trail now with lots of moss

7. And then SST started to become rocky

8. A bit further and the trail start looking very similar to famous Thousand Steps Trail, about which I would perhaps tell you one day in another photo story.

9. The incline is not that steep, but it is rocky

10. Along the trail there is a lot of dead wood covered with moss making for truly unique atmosphere perhaps only available in the particular season

11. Moments later, we come to Stone Valley Vista and meet two other hikers enjoying the view.

12. The view itself is pretty powerful for the place such as Rothrock State Forest, and likely could offer unique sights if it visited in the fall or in rare time when the valley is white with snow

13. The hikers, Nikhil and Thaddeus, who are both students of Electrical Engineering in Penn State University happen to be avid hikers, which makes this meeting truly awesome. In the moment of writing this photostory, I happen to know roughly 10+ people interested in hikes, but none of them really have time to hike more or less regularly, and these guys said that they try to hike at least 2 times per month – looking forward to possible hikes with them in the future.

14. Well, it is register time. Often, trail registers are used to help potential rescue party to locate someone who got lost in the woods. However, in some of places, people just use it to share with others things they have on their mind at the moment.

15. Looking through register, I have realized that SST is heavily traveled place, and what people happened to write in the particular register was pretty diversified – some just give you their names, others share their mood with you, some would express their existential views, and some would simply tell you of their plans ahead – see for yourself

16. Done with the register, we continue our hike on SST, and are greeted with a bit of “jungles” – those ever green bushes are pretty common for Rothrock area

17. A bit of gradual downhill, and it is time to part our ways with SST and go right down Turkey trail.

18. Turkey trail becomes relatively steep pretty fast and of my buddies, Mike, decides to descent in a swift running style.

19. Myself and my older pal Paul follow in much slower pace

20. After a short semi-steep section, Turkey trail goes into series of switchbacks

21. Mossy areas come back

22. And then the trail changes into something different – I would think it would be interesting to see how this place looks in the fall foliage time

23. Steepness of the trail increases allowing Mike to do his swift descent once more

24. Well, Turkey trail is finally over and now we go onto Lorence-Monsell trails leading back to where we started our hike

25. This area has a lot of tall trees. Now the wide lens usually make things to look different, but in this case the particular tree, Mike is walking towards, was indeed very tall

26. What can I say, now you know, I am the fan of mossy areas, that’s all

27. A bit later, we come to few crossings of the small streams – trail starting to get a bit wet, but nothing challenging really.

28. Such crystallized frozen water was actually in many, many places of a lower sections surrounding Stone Mountain.

29. That was it, but it would be unfair to finish my photo story without mentioning my hike buddies, Paul and Mike. Thanks to them, I could show you Stone Mountain slope grade and overall scale of the trail and surrounding areas. Actually, that was my first hike with both of them and hopefully not the last.

7 thoughts on “A bit of Standing Stone Trail Coupled with Turkey, Lorence, and Monsell trails – Awesome View Included

  1. Nice! A bit of advice: if you want this project going, post stories regularly. I’m sure you have enough material to create one story per two weeks (should be enough for the beginning given it’s not your primary occupation).

    It’s definitely more interesting than just browsing photos. The full story about your Montana trip would be awesome!

    How do your English and Russian versions compare in terms of viewership? (just curious)

    1. That’s plan Leo. The next story is almost ready, but it won’t be as informative as it could have been if I were to ask some questions – I will learn from this. As far as number of views, I currently don’t track those – it does not matter to me really that much at the moment. With that being said, English version is a primary one, and Livejournal one is just paying a homage to the place that inspired me long time ago to consider doing photo stories as a project. Back in the day, I myself read countless photo stores at Livejournal, but I never commented on any of those or shared them. I have some global tags on Russian version, so people searching Livejournal have chance to find those stories, but as far how many people actually will look at them – doesn’t really matter.

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