Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista is a gorgeous off-trail scenic overlook in the Bucktail State Park Natural Area in Cameron County.
First popularized by hiking blogger/outdoors author Jeff Mitchell, this overlook had been on my “must-see” list for quite awhile, and I finally made the trip in late September 2022.
Not only did I visit Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista, but located two additional nearby vistas that Jeff had speculated might exist.
So what follows is my trip report from visiting these three scenic overlooks in Cameron County, as well as trail maps/directions/GPS coordinates that will hopefully make your hike a little easier, should you choose to go see them for yourself.
Directions to Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista
The hike to these three scenic vistas takes place approximately 3 miles east (as the crow flies) of Sinnemahoning, in eastern Cameron County.
The trailhead is accessed via Montour Road, a gravel forest road that as of September 2022 was in good condition and passable by a standard passenger car.
The parking area for the hike is located 2.5 miles from Route 120, up Montour Road along the north side of the road – if navigating by GPS use coordinates 41.32539, -78.04270 to find the parking lot.
The trailhead for the hike is located at a gated forest road 100 yards south of the parking area, along Montour Road.
The Hike to Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista
The hike to Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista is two miles one-way (or four miles out-and-back); add another half-mile to your total mileage of you choose to visit all three vistas mentioned here.
The majority of the hike takes place on an unblazed but obvious gated forest road in the Elk State Forest; two of the three vistas mentioned have you crossing over into the Bucktail State Park Natural Area as well.
From the trailhead gate along Montour Road, follow the forest road for approximately 475 yards until you reach a pipeline right-of-way.
Once you reach the pipeline, turn left and follow the left edge of the pipeline for 175 yards, until you reach a small stand of pines that jut out into the pipeline clearing.
At the small stand of pines, you’ll turn left (south) again and follow the forest road – this is really the only tricky part of the hike as the forest road is partially obscured by the pines.
If you’re navigating by GPS (which I advise), use coordinates 41.32133, -78.04812 to help you pinpoint this trail junction.
From here, the next 1.2 miles is simply hiking along a fairly flat, moss-covered forest road.
Eventually the forest road dead-ends into what looks like a fern-covered cul-de-sac in the forest.
If you poke around on the east side of this open area, you’ll find the remnants of an old car that someone dove back here and ditched a long time ago.
From here, each of the three vistas is downhill, albeit in slightly different directions.
The forest just beyond the cul-de-sac is fairly thick for the fist 75 yards, but soon opens up as you cross into the Bucktail State Park Natural Area.
I visited the three overlooks moving from north to south, so that’s how I’ll describe them here; you can visit them in any order you choose.
Upper Jerry Run Vista
Upper Jerry Run Vista looks out across Route 120 far below and southwest into the Upper Jerry Run Valley.
Upper Jerry Run Vista is located at GPS coordinates 41.30287, -78.05031, roughly 250 yards west and 100 feet downhill from the cul-de-sac.
Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista
Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista is located at GPS coordinates 41.30009, -78.04866, roughly 376 yards and 250 feet downhill from the cul-de-sac.
Also located in the Bucktail State Park Natural Area, this vista offers 180 degree views of the Sinnemahoning Creek Canyon and the Sproul State Forest on the southern side of Sinnemahoning Creek.
Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista is one of the most impressive overlooks I’ve hiked to in recent memory, and worth the hike itself, even if you chose not to visit the other two vistas mentioned here.
Lower Jerry Run Vista
Lower Jerry Run Vista is located at GPS coordinates 41.29670, -78.04411, approximately 812 yards and 225 feet downhill from the cul-de-sac.
This vista is located in the Elk State Forest, and offers views into the Middle and Lower Jerry Run valleys on the opposite side of Sinnemahoning Creek.
The rock outcropping that makes up Lower Jerry Run Vista is interesting in and of itself.
As a side note – Lower Jerry Run Vista is the only place along this entire hike where I was able to get a cell phone signal (on Verizon service), should you need to get a call out.
The Return Hike
The return hike is a simply matter of retracing your steps back the forest road and pipeline right-of-way to you vehicle, completing this off-trail but straightforward hike to some amazing views in Cameron County!
11 Must-See Attractions in Cameron County is your guide to even more great things to see and do near Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista.
8 Must-See Attractions in Elk County is your guide to some of the best things to see and do in Cameron County’s neighbor to the west.
Hyner View State Park, just east of Sinnemahoning Canyon Vista, offers visitors one of the most famous scenic overlooks in all of Pennsylvania!
70 of the Best Scenic Overlooks in PA is your guide to amazing views from all across Pennsylvania!
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