A Hike In Peace Valley Park To Escape The Corona Virus
Yesterday, I returned to Peace Valley Park located near Doylestown in Bucks County. I have visited there before but had no plans to go there Friday. Here is how it happened. I am working from my home now, because of the lock down due to the corona virus here in Pennsylvania. My nephew and I are partners in a Law Office. But it was a sunny day Friday and I knew the forecast called for rain all weekend. So I decided to take the afternoon off and then, thought, it might be nice to travel a bit and stay overnight somewhere. It would help out the suffering hotel industry and I could use some change of scenery to do some thinking. . First I contacted the Ricketts Glen Hotel, near the park of that name. I could take a long hike and visit all of the beautiful waterfalls before dark. Closed due to the virus the message said when I contacted the hotel. Next I thought of Middle Creek and the Washington Inn. Closed. Same for the beautiful Bald Eagle Inn at Bald Eagle State park.
So I Googled best birding areas in Pennsylvania for some suggestions. I was surprised to see the Audubon Society webpage suggested Peace Valley Park as one of them. This scenic park is near the National Shrine Of Our Lady of Czestochowa which has great spiritual meaning to me and my family. So that is where I went.
It is almost a two-hour drive to park but there was little traffic and I enjoyed the rural scenery on this sunny March. When I arrived around 1 p.m. I discovered the park services and parking lots were closed due to the corona virus but I saw a lot of local folks parking along the road near the nature center and did likewise.
I walked past the closed nature center and crossed a bridge over the north branch of the Neshaminy Creek. This damming of this creek created Lake Galena which is at the center of Peace Valley Park. I noticed that the lake and creek were very low. Along the trail one could see signs that Spring was here in Bucks county. Large clusters of the invasive fig buttercup were in bloom.
I decided to first hike the trails along the Neshaminy Creek and soon encountered two snakes, the first a garter snake, I think, it slithered off into the woods before I could get a good photograph. The second, an northern brown snake was not as shy.
I walked upstream along the creek hoping to see some water birds. On my last visit here I was able to photograph a great blue heron catching and eating a very large fish. No such look on Friday. I did see a woodpecker,
The trails along the lake were not crowded, probably due to the corona virus but there were still quite a few folks, hiking, walking their dogs or biking, all keeping a safe distant from their fellow humans.
He was so proud to bring his family here for visits. I was surprised to find the Chapel was open. I entered and reflected on the good times we had and the great loss my family suffered these past few years. It was an emotional visit for me. But I left feeling this is where I was supposed to be at this point in my life. Strange how events lead us to places and situations.
I had thought about staying overnight in the area but I decided to take a slow ride home. It was another good day to enjoy nature, this time in Southeastern PA. And I always find comfort, peace and joy surrounded by nature. And we are blessed to have so many beautiful areas here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We must protect it. Here is a link to a gallery on my website with more photographs from my hike. Peace Valley hike March 26 2020.