“The trail town of Everett opens a gateway to the rocks.”
— Peter Fleszar
No camping, no water.
The south side of Ashcom Rd has parking for several cars on north/west side of PA Turnpike underpass. (First 3 miles to be relocated in future for approximately 2 years when PA Turnpike is widened, check for updates hike-mst.org/index.php/guid...
Start out easy on cinder railroad grade. This section is privately owned through posted private land. At a former bridge over Raystown Branch Juniata River, veer right on paths that will sometimes veer very close to the river, and check out the old railroad turntable pit on the way. The trail eventually brings you through the moonscape of the Earlston Furnace Cinder Piles, which is complete with dystopian views of Aliquippa Gap.
Emerge on the north end of Black Valley Rd (no parking) and cross a road bridge into Everett Borough. Follow the levee along Raystown Branch several blocks, then descend steps to Spring St. Cross the historic Lincoln Highway (W Main St) and pass Sheetz convenience store (grab a bite here if you're hungry). You'll then reach a junction with a bypass (here unblazed) at 3rd and Spring streets. Blazes for now lead uphill on W 3rd St., underneath a US 30 bypass, and then head left onto and old railroad bed.
At the north abutment of missing bridge, edge west on an old road and then follow the shoulder of US 30 proper to Snake Spring Valley Rd. From there, head north to a cattle farm and a long climb through cow pasture and brushy woods to a well earned summit. From the summit, turn left onto a brushy, rocky ridgeline, and pass a junction with the Blue Triangle Trail bypass route. Here you'll experience several rock scrambles and viewpoints.
The only flat spot in this portion is at the Dunkard Path crossing, but keep in mind that there is still no legal camping on intermixed State Game Land, or on private land. Eventually, you'll drop sharply to the left and descend a ridge to reach a Game Land management road. The northern third of this section is relatively easy hiking on management road, even after it narrows and becomes non-drivable.
Pass a junction of informal and very rough trail to the Loysburg Flag. Then, leave the Game Land and quickly cross the 2013-built fiberglass bridge over Yellow Creek. This handicapped accessible route heads to a small parking area next to PA Route 36. Turn right onto PA 36 when you're in the heart of the gap and the trail will veer off to an old roadbed. It then rejoins PA 36 at roadside Game Land parking, which is the end of the section.