A Hike On The Elders Run Trail At Middle Creek

A Hike On The Elders Run Trail At Middle Creek

Middle Creek (13 of 42)
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It was a beautiful morning on Sunday in Middle Creek in southern Lebanon County. The sun rose in the clear blue skies warming up the cold morning temperatures. After enjoying the magic of the snow geese, and watching the many species of ducks on the roadside ponds, I decided to hike on the Elders Run Trail .

The trail begins on the main road in the Middle Creek Management Area, about a 1/4 mile past the visitor center on the same side of the road. There is only a small pull off  access area for parking so I parked a short distance down  the road and walked to the trail.  The trail follows Middle Creek after it flows over the dam and  out of the lake. 

The cold temperatures froze the ground but it was apparent that the trail could get very muddy in some areas in warmer weather. 

The trail was wide and well maintained, although having some stones in some sections, There were a number of small springs flowing off the mountain on the right side of the trail. Most of them had large patches of water cress growing in the cold waters. 

I was pleased to see, in the  adjoining wetlands, a sure sign of Spring, the bright green fronds of the skunks cabbages. 

It was peaceful walking along the swift moving stream. It seems it is well stocked with trout and there were a number of cabins and trails on the other side of the creek, I assumed used by fishermen.  I was surprised at the absence of  birds as I hiked. I only heard an occasional woodpecker or black-capped chickadee but could not get close enough for a photograph.

Along the trails were  an abundance of  green Christmas ferns. They were growing everywhere. 

There were also some intermediate wood ferns, and

 something I have never seen before large areas of shining club moss. I have seen many species of mosses on my hikes but this was one of the most beautiful. 

Many of the rocks along the trail were also covered in moss. 

I walked out about a mile when I saw a wide trail leading up the mountain. I walked past this trail and, thinking this was the Elders Run Trail, I followed it as it quickly made a steep path upward. 

It was a narrow, and at time rocky trail. It climbed steeply up the mountain. I was dressed for the cold morning temperatures and soon began sweating as I climbed upward. The late February sunshine did not help.  The trees along the trail were mainly beech, oak and I think tulip trees. As I neared the summit I noticed some fir trees along the trail.

I began my hike downward and realized I had hiked the wrong trail. I found the sign for the much wider, and easier to hike Elders Run Trail. 

Following this trail down I came upon the runs of an old house or cabin, I always love to explore the ruins of old homes and buildings. 

I wonder who, built them, when and what were they thinking when they first moved in, and in the years that followed. I pondered about the  old.fireplace

It had been used recently but it was these old bricks that had me thinking. Where the fires built by families who celebrated their Christmas here?. Or were they built by hunters who only visited in the fall? I hope to do some research and try to find out but I may never know. 

Near these ruins I found what appeared to be some sort of well or spa, I wasn’t sure. 

The trail followed the stream that began at this building down the mountain side. As I walked I heard some woodpeckers and saw a few white-throated sparrows in the woods along the trail.

A few squirrels also scampered in the trees above the trail. 

The trail crossed the stream over a bridge and I was soon on the trail I hiked in on along the Middle Creek. I followed the trail back to my car. My Iphone trail app. had shown I hike 5 miles not the 3 i had planned. And a lot more elevation too. More than I bargained but well  energy well spent on this beautiful late Winter morning. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike on the Elders Run Trail. Trail Hike Middle Creek. February 23 2020.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

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