Hoop Hole: Lower and Upper Loops
Basics — Length: 9.7 miles; Difficulty: High end of moderate to low end of strenuous; Carpool: 28 miles, so $3.00 per rider; What to Bring: Standard hiking gear (remember the 10 essentials), towel / shoe protectors / extra socks for creek crossings, lunch, and money (or car) for the carpool; Highlights: Neat rock formations in the gorges, pretty creeks, and deep woods (nice variety).
Detailed Description — The Hoop Hole area neighbors Roaring Run, and like its popular neighbor, the most striking part of the hike is the walk along the creeks. The hike consists of a lower and upper loop, which we will combine for a loop that comes in at just under 10 miles.
The lower loop follows Stony Run and Hipes Branch through dramatic gorges with rock outcrops and abundant heaths, then connects by crossing over a small ridge. There are more than a dozen creek crossings of varying depths and widths along the lower loop, so be prepared for wet feet. The upper loop is markedly different as it climbs through deep hollows, has a modest ridgeline walk over Rich Patch and Pine Mountains, then descends back to the lower loop. If the group is feeling spry, we can add an out-and-back off-trail hike to climb to the cliffs of Rich Patch Mountain, which were visited in the fall during one of Dave Horst’s hikes.
Here is a Google Map of the hike and area: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RPIaXc36i5ThvJcxMRICJN-Fq57I-Cmb&usp=sharing