A Lot Of Birds, And A Cool Frog, But No Bears: A Hike In The Pinchot State Forest.
I returned to the Crystal Lake access in the Pinchot State Forest in Luzerne County last Sunday. Once again I was going to explore the swamps and wetlands around this large lake in search of the bears. I know they live here, I have encountered many bears on hikes here in previous years. But not a one this year.
It was a beautiful, clear, cool and sunny August morning when I arrived at the Laurel Run Road parking lot early Sunday morning. This week the woodlands along the trail were filled with the songs of birds as I set out on my hike.
There were many ferns along the trail, and these New York ferns were already starting to fade into their Fall colors. Summer is at it’s peak now and, with the lengthening nights, cooler weather will soon be upon us.
But not on Sunday in the Pinchot State Forest, the sun was warming it up very quickly. After about a mile I was near the lake and came to a clearing,
In the distance the steam from the Susquehanna Nuclear plant could be seen on the horizon. The Susquehanna Wetlands and River Lands nature preserve is next to the plant, one of my favorite hiking trails in our area.
Unfortunately, the grass and vegetation along the breast of the dam was cut during the week. This included the many wild flowers I saw on my week the previous week. There were still some flowers along the trails below the dam breast including St. John wort,
Last week I thought I found a shortcut to the swamps where I had seen a lot of bears in the past. I explored some other trails so didn’t hike to these swamps last week. This week I realized Crystal Lake and this tract of the Pinchot State Forest is much larger than I had originally thought it was. I walked in the direction of the swamps and I was out 3 1/2 miles and still couldn’t find them . It will be just as easy to hike in from the Dennison Township State Game Lands access. However, it was still a nice hike through the lush woodlands around the lake.
Along the way I saw this brightly colored green frog who quickly hopped away.
and oven bird also were near the trail. It was a good day for observing and photographing birds..Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Crystal Lake hike birds August 8 2021.
After I walked past the lake,
the trail entered the shade of thick woodlands. I walked the last mile of my seven mile hike under thick the canopy leaves. The late morning sun filtered down through the leaves. I failed in my mission to find and photograph a bear but it was an enjoyable hike. I was able to see, photograph and share some of the beautiful birds I saw on my hike,. But I really must find a bear, next week it will happen. I hope! Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike in the Pinchot State Forest. Crystal lake August 8 2021.