Kelly’s Run Loop Trail Hike Report

Hike Summary

This hike was performed by a Pack 802 family in January 2021.  This trail is located within the Kelly’s Run and Pinnacle Nature Preserve area on the East Side of the Susquehanna river near the Holtwood Dam.  The parking lot is located near the intersection of Old Holtwood Rd and Street Rd and has a capacity for 20+ vehicles.

The Kelly’s Run trail is a loop trail that descends gradually from the parking area until the trail intersects Kelly’s Run creek.  From there the trail continues to descend Westward toward the Susquehanna river along the edge of the creek.  Some portions of this trail are mildly technical and require minor scrambling over large rocks to navigate along the edge of the creek.  Additionally, hikers are required to perform several creek crossings to follow the trail and should be prepared with extra socks.  There are several small waterfalls and very scenic rock outcrops along the edge of the ravine that make this portion of the hike well worth the effort.

Near the end of the creek portion of the trail, hikers have an option to connect the Kelly’s run trail to an alternate trail to climb up the North side of the ravine toward Pinnacle overlook.  Our group had intended to hike to the overlook but we were loosing daylight and decided to turn back after completing the connector trail.  We didn’t get to experience the view of the river from the overlook but still had a nice view of the river and Holtwood dam from where we turned around.  Please note that this portion of the trail hiking away from the creek toward Pinnacle overlook was exceptionally more difficult and required some rock scrambling during the ascent.  While I would rate the overall loop hike on Kelly’s run as moderate, this last section of the hike was more challenging and should be considered for only older scouts and experienced hikers.

After returning to the Kelly’s run creek, we crossed back to the South side of the creek and hiked up the paved road (Pinnacle Rd W) until we reached the Kelly’s Run return trail.  The return trail continued to ascend for about 1 more mile until reaching the top of the ridge where it was an easy walk back to the parking lot.

Overall, this was a great hike and worthy of a return visit in warmer weather; however, the minor scrambling and multiple creek crossings make this a more challenging hike for younger scouts.  I recommend reserving this trail for older Webelos/AOL scouts and up.

Hike Stats

Hike Distance:  5.14 Miles

Time:  3 hours

Total Elevation Gain:  899 ft

Rating:  Moderate with minor scrambling

Hike Location

Parking Address:  257 Old Holtwood Rd, Holtwood, PA 17532

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