A Day Exploring The Trails In Marsh Creek State Park And The Roads In Chester County

A Day Exploring The Trails In Marsh Creek State Park And The Roads In Chester County

Lyndell Marsh Creek morning (34 of 47)
Previous Post
Next Post

I awoke at the 250 year  farmhouse where I was staying  in Lyndell, Chester County early Friday morning. It is a half mile from Marsh Creek State Park.  This small apartment was  once occupied by the musician Jim Croce and his wife and young son.  It was a reflective night in the 250 year old building.  After a cup of coffee I left the farm house and

crossed the bridge over the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

I  began my hike on the trail that leads into  the  Marsh Creek State Park. The trailhead is on Lyndell Road between two private residents. It then  follows the Brandywine Creek  about a 1/2 mile before it enters the State Park and becomes the Blue Trail.

It was a sunny and cooler morning with temperatures in the mid 50’s. I walked beneath the forest of mostly tall tulip trees,

and found more golden oyster mushrooms along the trail.

As I walked along the creek I  also noticed  the many wildflowers I saw on my hike the previous afternoon and saw  few new ones including dwarf ginseng,

spring beauty flowers and,

I believe one-flowered cancer root, all native wildflowers. Again, I am no expert on either flora and fauna identification and rely on my iPhone apps and Google lens for my identifications  so please correct me if I am wrong.

I am sure these are skunk cabbages,

and these are mandrakes or may apples. They were also growing along the trail.

The mandrake or may apple produce beautiful delicate flowers and edible fruit in the late summer.

There were also some birds active near the waters of the creek including  a Louisiana water thrush,

a northern water thrush,

a few swamp sparrows, and,

common yellowthroats.

After about a 1/2 mile I left the trail along the Brandywine Creek and followed the “Blue Trail”  up a ridge into Marsh Creek State Park. I soon learned there  wasn’t a single Blue Trail but a couple of trails that meandered up the ridge and then down to the Marsh Creek Lake.

 The one I followed was a narrow trail through a thick growth of shrubs I wasn’t familiar with, until had my iPhone app identify them. They were invasive burning bush shrubs,

and they were growing all along the trail.  The were so thick in sections of the trails  it was almost like walking through a tunnel of these plants. They  were introduced in the United State  in the 1880’s and are now considered a noxious weed in Pennsylvania and there sale is prohibited. It was to late for this mountainside in the  Marsh Creek State  Park, they were everywhere along the trail.

But overhead the trail were  tall tulip trees that I saw growing all along the Brandywine Creek on my  previous afternoon hike. 

As I walked up the trail through the thick vegetation I heard a lot of birds singing in the surrounding trees.  My favorite were the wood thrushes. There were dozens of them singing their melodic flute like songs as I walked through the lush green woodlands.

I had never heard, or saw, this many of these birds in one area.  I am delighted to just hear one on a hike.

I heard other birds, mostly warblers but they were high in the treetops. The trail I hiked up merged into a wider trail and now there were large oak trees in addition to the many tulip trees,

but the tulip tree, and their distinctive leaves,  was still the most common tree on the trail.

The trail climbed the ridge and then began a gradual descent toward the Marsh Creek Lake. There were now some open fields along the trail,

and a lot more birds were active here, including a this tufted titmouse,

a few field sparrows,

noisy blue jays,

gray catbirds,

and a this beautiful indigo bunting,

I heard the unmistakable call of a red-tailed hawk and watched as it  soared overhead in the morning sunlight. It was a nice May morning to enjoy the woodlands of southeastern Pennsylvania.

The trail I was on continued down to the lake.

I stopped to enjoy the scenic lake and look for an osprey or a bald eagle but there was no wildlife on the lake.

There were a lot of humans on the trail along the lake. I had not seen a person on my two mile hike to the lake. Now, I saw a  few walkers, runners and bikers enjoying the scenic trail along the lake.

I walked along the lake for about a 1/4 of a mile when I decided to follow another one of the series of trails on the ridge above the lake.

This trail followed the boundary of the park and was near some farm fields. There were more old maple trees along  the trail.

I also found some more edible pheasant back mushrooms,

and saw a few critters including this yellow jacket,

a millipede and

this cuter red squirrel as I hiked up the ridge.

There were a few more side trails and I followed one of them back through the deep tulip tree woodland.

Here I saw a veery and,

an oven bird. I continued to hear the beautiful songs of the wood thrushes singing in the forest canopy.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Lyndell:  Marsh Creek State Park birds May 3 2024.

The trail I was now on took me back to the first trail I followed up the ridge. I took in back down to the Brandywine Creek and finished my 5 mile hike back to the Croce farmhouse. This is the barn next to the 250 year old farmhouse. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my five mile hike.  Lyndell:  Marsh Creek State Park  May 3 2024.

I didn’t stay there long. It was now after 11 a.m. and I was hungry. I decided to drive to Downingtown again and have a late breakfast at the Downingtown Diner. I was advised that the diner in 1958 movie “the Blob” was filmed here and in other locations in Chester County   I learned  that this was not the original diner, it was moved to Hollywood, but this diner is at the same location. 

Whatever it’s history I enjoyed a hearty breakfast here.

I returned to the Croce farmhouse and spent a few hours editing photos and listening to more of Jim Croce and his wife’s Ingrid albums. There music is beautiful and so much more meaningful where many of the songs were written and performed. He left this world way too soon.

Later in the afternoon I returned to the Marsh Creek State Park , this time to the Yellow Trail.

I left the parking lot and followed the Yellow Trail up a ridge. It was also a bike trail and I encountered a lot of bikers until I found another trail that led me up the ridge,

and to the lake. Once again I found tall tulip trees growing along the steep trail.

I only saw a few oven birds,

and common yellowthroats as I walked up the ridge.

The trail crossed a few streams and wetlands ,

before it took me to the lake. However, It wasn’t were I wanted to be.

I realized I had missed the trail to the crest of the lake so had to back track a bit.

but I eventually made it to the road over the crest  of the lake.

The sun was  now getting low in the western sky and it was peaceful at the lake,

a great blue heron flew overhead and

I saw this common loon swimming on the lake. I wish I could have stayed and listened to it’s haunting calls which usually begin at sunset, 

but, I was hungry again and so decided to end ,my hike and look for a p[lace to eat. I walked down the access road to the crest of the dam,

passing some dogwood trees blooming along the trail. I finished my 2 1/2 mile hike and decided to drive to Downingtown again to find some dinner.  Here is a link to another gallery with some photos from my afternoon hike to the Marsh Creek Lake. Lyndell Marsh Creek State  Park afternoon May 3 2024.

There were a number of restaurants in the surrounding towns in  Chester County and chose the Bluefin Eagleview. a Japanese restaurant in Exton, about 5 miles rom Lyndell   It was a good choice. I began my meal with miso soup,

and had a spicy tuna roll and a ramp ahi tuna roll for my main course. I chose the ramp roll since they are in season and I was told they were wild and gathered locally. It was a delicious meal,

but I was still a little hungry, I had walked over 8 miles,  so I  had the lava cake with raspberry ice cream for dessert.

Now I was full and drove back on the winding rural roads as the sun set in the west. It was another nice evening in the small but cozy farmhouse where I listened to some more of Jim Croce’s music as I fell asleep in the small bedroom. I thought of the Croce’s and their young child sleeping here and the others who spent the night here over the last 250 years

Like the pine trees lining the winding roadI’ve got a nameI’ve got a nameLike the singing bird and the croaking toadI’ve got a nameI’ve got a nameAnd I carry it with me like my daddy didBut I’m living the dream that he kept hidMoving me down the highwayRolling me down the highwayMoving ahead so life won’t pass me byLike the North wind whistling down the skyI’ve got a songI’ve got a songLike the whip-poor-will and the babies cryingI’ve got a songI’ve got a songAnd I carry it with me and I sing it proudIf it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proudMoving me down the highwayRolling me down the highwayMoving ahead so life won’t pass me byAnd I’m gonna go there freeLike the fool I am and I’ll always beI’ve got a dreamI’ve got a dreamThey can change their minds but they can’t change meI’ve got a dreamI’ve got a dreamI know I could share it if you want me toIf your going my way I’ll go with youMoving me down the highwayRolling me down the highwayMoving ahead so life won’t pass me byMoving me down the highwayRolling me down the highwayMoving ahead so life won’t pass me by ”  Jim Croce 

This is my first post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.