Exploring More Of The Trails In Promised Land State Park.

Exploring More Of The Trails In Promised Land State Park.

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After my long and enjoyable  hike  to Bruce Lake on Saturday, I was looking forward to exploring some more trails in the Promised Land State Park on Sunday morning. And I didn’t have to go very far to do this.  There was a trailhead on  the Boundary Trail  just outside my door where I was staying at the Rex Hotel.  So after a cup of coffee I was out the door and on the trail.  

It was overcast, and so there wasn’t much light  when I began my hike under the second growth hardwood and pine woodlands along the trail.

After continuing near some residences for a short distance the trail entered   the   Promised Land State Park. And, living up to its, name  continued on its’s eastern boundary. The trail crossed a few streams ,

before continuing into a mostly hemlock  woodlands. Hay-scented ferns grew  along the trail.

There were a lot of birds singing in the surrounding trees but it was too dark to get good photos. However, this black throated green warbler came close enough to get this photo.

The narrow trail continued up a ridge

strewn with large boulders.

Although the sun was breaking through the clouds. it was still pretty dark under the large dense hemlock trees towering over the trail.

In this dense hemlock forest many chipmunks and gray squirrels scampered in the trees and on the ground along the trail,

and the haunting, melodic songs of wood and hermit thrushes echoed in the deep woodlands. This is hermit thrush  singing in the dim forest.

I also heard the raspy song of this black throated blue warbler in the dense woods.  Although it was hard to  take photos with my zoom lens in the dim light I enjoyed walking under the shade of the deep forest. 

I was surprised to see a lot of eastern newts on this ridge, but I believe they were making their way to the ponds and streams.  I soon  found these streams and wetlands pm my hike. 

I first came to this pile of boulders which had to be a park boundary marker,

and then came to a stream that flooded the trail. I waded through the ankle deep cold water soaking my sneakers for the rest of my hike.

The trail continued down a ridge where the trees were less dense and ferns grew in a meadow.

Here I  saw a few eastern towhees,

and this veery singing along the trail.

The trail entered a marshy area and took me to a creek which I learned was named the Big Inlet and was a feeder stream,

to the two lakes in the Park.

After crossing another flooded area the trail took me to the North  Shore Road in the State park.

After falling the road a short distance, passing a private cabin, the Boundary trail continued and intersected with a trail that would go to Bruce Lake. However, the trail was also flooded with water that would have been above my knees.

I hiked back to the North Lake Shore Road,

where I saw this  magnolia warbler  feeding on a caterpillar in the tall hemlock trees along the road.

As I watched the magnolia warbler,

I also saw a Blackburnian warbler feeding on the same species of caterpillar.

These elusive warblers seem to be common in Promised Land State Park.

There was also an eastern phoebe singing nearby.

I hiked back on the Boundary Trail,

and saw many of the same birds I heard and saw earlier, and  I also saw this common yellowthroat,

this black and white warbler and

this yellow throated vireo in the meadows I had walked through earlier.

On my return hike I decided to take a little detour and  follow the Whitewater Trail. It took me to a more open hardwood, mainly oak, woodland with many mountain laurel flowers ready to bloom. I wish I could be there now since I am sure it would be a magical scene.

Along the trail I saw some mushrooms including this deer  mushroom,

this, I think some sort of parasol mushroom but I am not sure,

and this sought after mushroom, hemlock varnish shelf, or  reishi mushroom, reported to have many medicinal benefits.

While looking at the ground I noticed this chipmunk,

and this Fowler’s toad, one of the two toads native to Pennsylvania.

The trail continued and I came to a small stream that flooded the path, my shoes were already soaked so I just walked through it.

After crossing the flooded stream I came to an an area of thick rhododendrons,

and then intersected with the Telegraph trail. Here there was a meadow with a small pond and wetland.

The strong June sun was now shining and it’s rays filtering through the canopy of leavers. There ere were a lot of birds  now active in this pretty meadow  , including a scarlet tanager,

a Canada warbler,

a chestnut sided warbler,

some ovenbirds. and

my favorite Pennsylvania woodpecker, a yellow bellied sapsucker. I rarely see these birds on my hikes near my home in Luzerne County.

I also saw this cerulean warbler, my first time seeing this elusive bird that is endangered  due to loss of habitat. It is a long distance migrant and travels to the Andes Mountains in South America in the Winter.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my morning hike. Promised Land State Park birds June 2 2024.

It was now  nearing noon, I had to text and arrange a later check-out since I spent more time on the trail then I planned. I always do. I now walked up a rocky ridge, on a trail  named the Rocky Ridge Trail. I finished my  7 1/2, 6 hour hike back at the Rex Hotel. It is a great place to stay if you want to explore the Promised Land State Park. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my morning hike. Promised Land State Park  June 2 2024.

 I didn’t see any bears  (they were there, I found evidence of that in this photo)   or snakes, which is always my goal, but it was another wonderful hike in the  beautiful woodlands in another of the many State Parks we are blessed to have here in Pennsylvania. I hope to be back soon.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey

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