A Couple Of Cold And Icy Hikes Along The Lehigh River.
After a few mild weeks at the start of Autumn, the weather turned cold here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And it has remained cold these past few weeks. Most of the early snow we had has melted. But there are still signs of an early arrival of Winter in our area. I saw them on a couple of hikes along the Lehigh River near Rockport.
I hiked in the Gorge two weeks ago, on a cold and cloudy morning. There was still some snow, and plenty of ice at the parking lot in Rockport.
The trail was mostly snow free as I began my walk and headed east. There was already ice formations forming on the cliffs along the trail.
Some years the ice formations don’t appear until January. I walked past Buttermilk Falls which were still overflowing from the abundant rainfall we had this year.
The trail had some snow but it was mostly clear and this made for nice walking. I encountered a few folks walking on the trail with their dogs. I did not see any bear tracks or any sign of the large bear that was living in this part of the gorge.
I walked out to Mud Run, the site of the infamous train wreck. I have written a few blog post about this tragedy and you can find them by searching the archives of my blog. I followed a trail down to the Lehigh River.
I stood here for awhile watching and listening to the rushing waters of the river across from where the Mud Run creek flows into the Lehigh River.
I began my hike back to the Gorge trail when I decided to follow a side trail to the ruins of the locks of the old Lehigh Canal. This portion of the canal was built in the 1830’s and washed away during heavy floods a decade later.
Near the stone walls of the locks I was surprised to find a frozen sheepshead, or as we call them in my area, ramshead mushroom on an old oak tree. I tried to remove it but the cold temperatures had it frozen solid to the tree.
After spending some time at the old lock I again began my hike back. On the way I encountered a family biking the trail in the cold.
There was little wildlife along the trail. I heard a few crows and blue jays and only encountered a few black-capped chickadees.
Although it was cloudy and cold it was still a nice way to spend a gloomy November day. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Lehigh Gorge Rockport hike November 24 2018.
It has stayed unseasonably cold these past two weeks. I returned to the Lehigh Gorge this past Sunday . It was cloudy and a frigid 16 degrees when I arrived. This time I decided to head south and west on the trail.
The river looked cold and I was surprised to see a gentleman in wet gear with a kayak. It had to be a very cold outing on the river.
I walked along the trail which now was totally snow free and made for nice hiking beneath the pine and yellow birch trees that lined the trail.
There were, however, a lot of icicles forming along the trail from the many streams flowing from the mountains above the gorge,
including the stream that creates scenic Lukens Falls
Once again I noted the absence of any wildlife. I didn’t even see a bird on my five mile hike along the Lehigh River, nor did I pass a single human on my hike.
I did however see some more waterfalls rushing rapidly from the hillsides as a result of the record break