A Hike On The Jonathan Run And Allegheny Passage Trails In Ohiopyle State Park

A Hike On The Jonathan Run And Allegheny Passage Trails In Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle morning hike (32 of 50)
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The skies were mostly clear and it was a cool 57 degrees when I awoke at the  Historic Summit Inn in the Laurel Highlands on Sunday. I had a great day at Fallingwater and the Ohiopyle State Park with my niece Cassidy on  Saturday. I wanted to get one more hike in the park before I  made the 4 1/2 drive home. I   quickly glanced at my AllTrail  app and decided to  hike  the Jonathan Run Trail. It was a snap decision and I didn’t research the trail. I should have. But more on that later. 

The trailhead was located on Holland Hill. Road a few miles from the Cucumber Falls parking lot.   Once again I was the only vehicle in the parking lot. It was a  very isolated area and I loved it.   The trail was narrow but well maintained as it proceeded through a mature second growth hardwood forest. 

The trail follows Jonathan Run for almost two mile ad then intersects with the Great Allegheny Passage Trail

The woodlands were moist along the stream. Ferns and mushrooms thrive in moisture and I saw both on the trail. The most   common ferns were New York ferns, 

interrupted ferns and 

Christmas ferns. 

Many mushrooms were also growing along the trail, a few I was able to identify,  including  this  lactarius mushrooms, 

these beautiful

but often poisonous amanita mushrooms, 

this bolete mushroom and 

these old russula mushrooms.

Others I couldn’t  identify,

but I think they were all  pretty. I enjoy gathering wild edible mushrooms it is a great hobby but you must be very cautious, a mistake can kill you. 

There were also some Indian pipes growing along the trail. These are not a fugus, they are actually a flowering plant that does not produce chlorophyll. 

The trail continued through the  thick woodlands, 

and the melodious songs of the wood thrushes filled the morning air. I Had never heard so many of them. They were everywhere on the first mile of the trail.  Their  song is one of  most beautiful sounds I hear in our forest and it was a wonderful experience to hear so many singing in the treetops. The lighting was dim  under the canopy of leaves   so it was hard to photograph them in the tree tops.

I was able to capture an image of this one who was enjoying a caterpillar for breakfast. 

The trail also had many large rhododendrons growing along and overhanging the trail.

They had finished blooming, although I did find this one last flower. I imagined how beautiful the trail would be when they were in full bloom. 

There were a few bridges on the trail ,  one where it crossed a stream and 

other were it crossed swift flowing Jonathan Run, . 

Which was was now becoming much wider .

Near the bridge I heard a lot of Acadian flycatchers, and like the wood thrushes, they were hard to photograph. This was the only photo I was able to get of the  many birds I saw in the treetops. 

The trail climbed high above Jonathan Run, I didn’t know it at the time but there were a couple of beautiful waterfalls on the trail I walked right past them. I have now learned the are easily  accessible and beautiful. I . need to do more research on my next visit.  . 

After about two miles the trail ended on the wider and better maintained Great Allegheny Passage Trail. I was the only one on this trail too. I followed it north for about a 1/2 mile. 

Along the trail I heard and saw almost a dozen beautiful hooded warblers. 

I just saw my first on the Great Gorge Trail the previous day. They are beautiful birds. 

I continued my hike and came to cliff  exposed when they built the railroad right-of way and cut into the hillside. 

The cut exposed seams of bituminous or soft coal. A  marker provided some information about the history of coal mining in the area. it was the first time I had seen soft or  bituminous coal . I grew up in anthracite or hard coal country. 

I had hiked about 2 1/2 miles and decided to begin my hike back.  It was a pleasant hike and  I saw and heard many if the same birds.  I also saw this beautiful critter, a red salamander on the trail. 

I believe it was the first one I had seen although they are pretty common in Pennsylvania . 

I saw one more critter on my return hike, and  it was red too, a beautiful scarlet tanager. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds and salamander I saw on my hike on Jonathan Run. Ohiopyle State Park  morning hike critters. July 31 2022.

I finished my hike noticing a few more of  the many plants, wildflowers and mushrooms that were growing along the trail, including this fan clubmoss, 

this interesting  American climacium moss, 

jewel weed or touch-me-not flowers and 

a few more mushrooms I can’t identify.  It was a peaceful and reflective hike I  didn’t see a single person on the five mile hike. I enjoyed this solitude. And I hope to hike this, and the many other trail in Ohiopyle State  Park in the future.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike on Jonathan Run and the Allegheny Passage Trail Ohiopyle State Park morning hike August 1 to 5 2022.

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

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