A First Time Hike From Green Ridge To Community Park.
The forecast this morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania called for freezing rain. I didn’t want to drive far in case the roads got icy so I thought about hiking in nearby Community Park. As I was getting dressed I recalled how my friends and I often wanted to walk out to the park when I was in elementary school. We never did. So today I decided why not?
I checked Google maps and it looked like a 1.75 mile hike from my house as the crow flies, probably about a 2 1/2 miles through the woods. So I left my house and walked north down the ridge through my property, passing beneath the “Coke” sign tree. There was an old Coca Cola sign nailed on this tree when we were kids.
When I came to the electric tower line I headed north again, having came this way only a few times in my life. The tower line first borders the edge of the Valmont Industrial Park and than a housing development on the west. To the east of the tower line. was one of the first shopping malls in the area, where, appropriately, one of the first stores was named Towers.
I thought i may have trouble crossing the busy highway but there was little traffic, maybe because of the holiday, and I leisurely walked across. It wasn’t so easy on the other side. I walked down into a wetland area and some thick brush.
Near this creek here was some of the first business in West Hazleton a sawmill and a gunsmith shop operated by the Horn family, one of the founding fathers of West Hazleton. I hadn’t thought ahead how I would cross this creek and found it wasn’t going to be easy. I walked through thorns, thick brush and briers along it’s banks until I came to a somewhat spot where the waters were somewhat narrow for me to attempt a jump. Well I thought I could make it, and in my younger days would have, but today I wound up coming up shirt and winding up with a shoe full of water.
I made my way up the bank, again through thorns and thick brush and walked up to the new road Hazle Township built along another abandoned railroad right of way. I had been here before, having hiked in from the east. I followed the road past another new residential development and soccer fields. I was pleased to see a group of high school age boys playing football in the cold.
I didn’t see the flock of ducks or geese that were here all Summer and still here on my last visit a few weeks ago. I thought they flew south but, did see one duck fly off in the distance, and soon found it must have remained on some waters that still were not frozen,
As I finished my walk around the lake, it began to rain, and freeze, and my photography for the day was over. I was focused on making it back through the woods on the now frozen paths. it wasn’t bad walking on the leaves and grass but the exposed surfaces and rocks were treacherous. The cold rain stung my face but eventually I made it back to West Hazleton were I found the roads to be even worse. This hills was a sheet of ice and not easy to climb.
I did make it home, and although I was cold and tired I still was glad I finally can say I walked to Community Park. I hope to do it again, in better weather conditions, in the Spring or Summer, Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Community-Park-Hazle-Township-December-26-2016–1
“When we lose these woods, we lose our soul. Not simply as individuals, but as a people.”
― Kevin Walker