A Nice Hike But On The Wrong Trail At Tuscarora State Park
On Saturday morning I decided to hike on the Spirit of Tuscarora trail at Tuscarora State Park in Schuylkill County. When I hiked on the trail last Summer and thought the meadows along the Locust Creek would be a good place to see migrating birds in the Spring. Instead of hiking in from the camping and picnic area, as I usually do, I was going to try and follow the trail up along Locust Creek from the Tuscarora Mountain Drive. Well that was the plan. I only quickly glanced at the maps and I wound up at the trailhead for the Crow Trail instead of the Spirit of Tuscarora Trail.
I never hiked this trail before and I loved the large old oak tree I saw at the entrance so I decided to check it out. It was sunny and cool when I began my hike on the Crow Trail. I hoped it would eventually take me to the Spirit of Tuscarora Trail. My AllTrail iPhone app showed the two trail weren’t far apart near the lake.
As soon as I entered the mixed hardwood and pine woodlands I heard the familiar song of one of our common Summer residents, the ovenbird. Their loud songs echo in our forest even in mid afternoon heat of the summer. These small warblers are a long distance migrant. They spend the Winter months in Florida, the Caribbean ,Central and South America.
I continued to hear the oven bird song and also heard, and then saw, a lot of common yellow throats. These small warblers winter in the southern United States, Central America and the Caribbean.
And I heard this bird perched on a branch and loudly singing it’s song to the forest, a black throated blue warbler. These birds are returning to our woodlands after sending the Winter in South Florida, Central America and the Caribbean Islands. It amazes me every Spring to see them here in our forests knowing how far they travel to get here.
I had walked about a 1 1/2 miles when I realized I was atop a ridge and the Locust Creek and the Spirit of Tuscarora Trail were about 400 feet below me. I looked for a path or trail down to the creek but couldn’t find one. I was going to have to follow the Crow Trail . It was a nice trail passing through areas of older woodlands and the old meadows fields.
The trail eventually led me off the ridge and down to the lake. I realized I had hiked here before. The Crow Trial met the Lake View trail which I had hiked for the first time last Summer. I walked past the intersection without seeing it.
I enjoyed the views of the deep blue lake before hiking back up the ridge to the open fields where the Crow and Lake View Trails met. . I had see some folks camping here on my last visit. I followed a loop toward the Tuscarora Mountain Trial through the fields.
This pretty bird was traveled the furthest of all the warblers I saw on my hike. It winters in Central America, the Caribbean and South America. I continued to see hear the ovenbirds and common yellowthroats as I continued my hike.
I saw only one more different bird on my hike this American crow cawing in a treetop. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Tuscarora State Park birds May 6 2023.
Well I didn’t follow my original plan and hike on the Spirit if Tuscarora Trail along the Locust Creek. I believe I would have seen more wildlife and migratory birds there. But I still enjoyed my hike on the Crow Trail. I am sure I will hike on this trail and the other trails in Tuscarora State Park again soon . It is one of the many great parks here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike. Tuscarora State Park May 6 2023