How to Find Yost Run Falls in the Sproul State Forest

Centre County's Tallest Waterfall!

0
3260
The author at Yost Run Falls on a spring day.
The author at Yost Run Falls on a spring day.

Where is Yost Run Falls?

Yost Run Falls is located in northern Centre County, approximately midway between the village of Moshannon to the southwest and the town of Renovo to the northeast.

Basically 13 miles from either location, with a parking area located just off of Route 144.

A map showing the parking area for Yost Run Falls, relative to Moshannon and Renovo.
A map showing the parking area for Yost Run Falls, relative to Moshannon and Renovo.

Finding the Parking Area

The parking lot for this hike can be found at:

GPS coordinates: 41.175155, -77.879025

As you approach from either the north or south along Route 144 you’ll see the large “Chuck Keiper Trail” sign pictured below.

Chuck Keiper Trail sign along Route 144, opposite the parking area.
Chuck Keiper Trail sign along Route 144, opposite the parking area.

As indicated on the sign, the parking area is located on the opposite side of the road.

The Chuck Keiper Trail sign near the parking area.
The Chuck Keiper Trail sign near the parking area.

Follow the gravel road approximately 50 yards to the large lot on your right (pictured below).

The parking area for the Yost Run Falls hike.
The parking area for the Yost Run Falls hike.

The lot is large enough to park 12-15 vehicles comfortably, although rarely do I ever see more than a few there, even in hunting season.

The map kiosk near parking area for Yost Run Falls hike.
The map kiosk near parking area for Yost Run Falls hike.

At the back edge of the lot is a kiosk/map holder, where you can pick up a nice DCNR map of this section of the Sproul State Forest. I’d suggest getting one if there are still copies available when you visit.

A map showing the trail to Yost Run Falls.
A map showing the trail to Yost Run Falls.

The hike to Yost Run Falls covers 1.26 miles from parking lot to waterfall.

There is an elevation change of 468 feet along the way – all downhill on the way to the falls, all uphill on the way back if doing this as a simple out-and-back hike.


Step-by-Step Directions

From the parking lot you follow the “Yost Run Trail Loop”, hiking away from the highway.

Yost Run Trail sign near the parking area.
Yost Run Trail sign near the parking area.

At .17 miles into the hike, you’ll come to a fork in the road.

In front of you will be an old rusty gate (pictured below).

The gate near the parking lot the you DO NOT want to pass.
The gate near the parking lot the you DO NOT want to pass.

And to your left will be a black and yellow gate.

The gate you will go around on your hike to Yost Run Falls.
The gate you will go around on your hike to Yost Run Falls.

Take the trail TO YOUR LEFT! Slip around the right side of the black and yellow gate (there’s a space between the gate and tree) and continue down the trail.

The trail to Yost Run Falls with the laurel alongside in full bloom.
The trail to Yost Run Falls with the laurel alongside in full bloom.

In the summer months this section of the trail is absolutely beautiful.

Also keep you eyes peeled for wildlife great and small.

I saw this bear cub right along the trail a few springs ago.

A bear cub along the trail to Yost Run.
A bear cub along the trail to Yost Run.

And this majestic bull elk was hanging around the parking area one early summer morning.

Elk standing near the parking area for Yost Run Falls.
Elk standing near the parking area for Yost Run Falls.

I’ve also seen plenty of frogs, salamanders, snails, and yes – snakes, along the trail. So look high and low and step carefully as you go.

Camp Bloom along the trail to Yost Run Falls.
Camp Bloom along the trail to Yost Run Falls.

At .6 miles into the hike you’ll pass Camp Bloom along the trail.

Continue past the camp and down the trail.

The Brown Camp along Yost Run.
The Brown Camp along Yost Run.

At 1.09 miles into the hike you’ll come to the Brown Camp (as in the name of the family that owns the camp – sign near the door).

At this point you will bear TO THE RIGHT.

The trail changes from a wide log road to a narrow single-track trail.

Follow this narrow trail right along/above Yost Run for .17 miles to the top of Yost Run Falls.


Photographing Yost Run Falls

The author at Yost Run Falls on a winter day.
The author at Yost Run Falls on a winter day.

Whether your shooting a DSLR or a cell phone (I do both), it’s hard to take a bad photo of Yost Run Falls.

A winter view of Yost Run Falls from the trail.
A winter view of Yost Run Falls from the trail.

In the winter months it’s almost Christmas card-perfect.

Yost Run Falls completely frozen over on winter day.
Yost Run Falls completely frozen over on winter day.

Unless there has been an extended deep-freeze. In which case it looks like a frozen blob!

A stream-level view of Yost Run Falls on a winter day.
A stream-level view of Yost Run Falls on a winter day.

With the spring thaw things start to green up fast along Yost Run.

A springtime view of Yost Run Falls from the trail.
A springtime view of Yost Run Falls from the trail.

Once the snow is completely gone, the lush foliage fills in around the falls.

A summer view of Yost Run Falls from the far side of the stream.
A summer view of Yost Run Falls from the far side of the stream.

The bank opposite the trail gives you a different perspective to shoot from.

A downstream view of Yost Run Falls on a summer day.
A downstream view of Yost Run Falls on a summer day.

And by venturing downstream a few yards you can incorporate some smaller cascades into the mix.

This is one of my go-to spots in all seasons.

A downstream view of Yost Run Falls on a winter day.
A downstream view of Yost Run Falls on a winter day.

There are also great scenes to be had upstream from Yost Run Falls…

Small cascade on Yost Run, upstream from Yost Run Falls in the Sproul State Forest.
Small cascade on Yost Run, upstream from Yost Run Falls, in the Sproul State Forest.

As well as downstream from the falls.

Small cascades downstream from Yost Run Falls.
Small cascades downstream from Yost Run Falls.

Final Thoughts

A young hiker takes in the scene at Yost Run Falls.
A young hiker takes in the scene at Yost Run Falls.

There is really no bad time to visit Yost Run Falls, except maybe after a prolonged drought.

Which doesn’t seem to happen any more in PA!

As the largest waterfall in Centre County, and the closest one to PSU / Happy Valley, I can’t help but encourage you to put this one on your PA Bucket List when visiting the area!


Nearby Attractions

Be sure to visit Kyler Fork Falls, located a mere 300 yards downstream from Yost Run Falls!

The author at Kyler Fork Falls.
The author at Kyler Fork Falls.

Round Island Run Falls is located nearby in the Clinton County portion of the Sproul State Forest.

A view of Round Island Run Falls from downstream in early spring.
A view of Round Island Run Falls from downstream in early spring.

Table Falls is located in the adjacent Quehanna Wild Area.

A September view of Table Falls, flowing high and clear on Paige Run.
A September view of Table Falls, flowing high and clear on Paige Run.

And Wykoff Run Falls is also located in the Quehanna Wild Area, roadside in Cameron County.

A fisherman at Wykoff Run Falls in Cameron County
A fisherman tries his luck at Wykoff Run Falls in the Quehanna Wild Area.

Still not convinced you need to see Yost Run Falls?

Then check out this video!


Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups.

Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media!


Pennsylvania’s Best AD-FREE Adventure Guide!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here