A Cloudy And Wet Hike On The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails
It was hard to believe this was the last weekend of April. The month passed so quickly for me. April and the May always do. Everyday something new appears on my hikes and walks in the woodlands near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania during these months. The last few weeks of April were cool and wet and rain was in the forecast for Saturday.
I decided to hike close to home on the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails in Hazle Township . The heavier rains had stopped when I arrived. There was a light drizzle with temperatures in the low 40’s, not pleasant hiking conditions, and not good for wildlife photography. I began my hike on the main entrance to the trail which was all spruced up by the students at a local school.
The Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails follows an abandoned local railroad right of way that brought coal from the surrounding mines to the main Lehigh Valley Railroad for transportation to the large large cities including New York and Philadelphia. There is more information on the history of the trail and area in previous blogs that you can find using the search tool. The trail is located atop a mountain ridge and most of the trees were still leafless.
There were new leaves sprouting on the maple,
and oak trees which will soon turn the woodlands green.
I didn’t see many birds on my hike in the cold, raw drizzle, and the few I did see, like this black-capped chickadee were wet and, like me, didn’t look too happy.
After about a mile the trail proceeds across a highway, and through lands of the local water authority.
Here I saw a few more signs that the woodlands will soon come to life, sassafras,
and service berries were blooming.
On the ground I saw this white violet
and an old puffball mushroom that most have popped up before the cold weather arrived.
I only saw two other people on the trail on my five mile hike, a couple of dedicated runners.
But I did see this small group of white-tail deer on the new grass growing along the trail.
They didn’t seem to mind me approaching, in fact,
this one was so comfortable with my presence it decided to go to the bathroom.
From the look on it’s face, I don’t think it was to happy with me taking a photo.
As I continued my hike I noticed that the high bush blueberries were covered with flowers. This means a great crop of berries, if we don’t get a late frost.
I walked out 2 1/2 miles to the picnic area
and pet watering station near the crest of the Dreck Creek Reservoir.
The drizzle turned into a light cold rain and continued on hike back so I wasn’t able to use my camera .
I heard a few crows and black capped chickadees but didn’t see any birds until I heard and saw this blue-headed warbler singing in the rain near the parking lot. Here is a link to a gallery on my website with more photos from my hike. It wasn’t my favorite Spring weather but I still enjoyed my five mile hike in the rain . There is no bad weather in the Spring. But I am hoping my next hike will be on a warm sunny day Rails to Trails April 29 2023.
“If April showers should come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May.”
-Buddy de Sylva
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