A Wintery Hike On The Broad Mountain In Carbon County
The weather forecast called for clear skies and cold temperatures last Sunday. I decided to drive to the Broad Mountain in Carbon County and hike out to the overlook atop the Lehigh River Gorge. It was partly cloudy and a cold 25 degrees when I arrived early in the morning at the State Game Lands parking area on Route 93.
The leaves of the rhododendrons along the trail were drooping, an indication the temperature was below freezing. As the temperature drop even further they curl up in response to the cold.
About a mile into my hike the trail sloped downward as it approached one of two creeks I would cross on my hike. The trail soon crossed the bridge over first creek, Jean Runs. I can recall hiking up here before they installed the bridges over Jeans Run and James Run. I would remove my shoes and wade through the creek in the Summer time.
After crossing the bridge the trail once again sloped upward on the mountain. The trail also veered southward, which I welcomed since the cold northerly wind was now on my back and the early morning sun warmed my face.
The only wildlife I observed was a red squirrel that scurried across the trail and the sounds of a few crows and black-capped chickadees in the woods along the trail. after about another 3/4 of a mile the trail again descended downward toward the second stream, James Creek or the Glen Onoko Run.
This creek created the famous and spectacular Glen Onoko Falls. The access trail to the Falls form the Lehigh Gorge was closed because of the steep trail and the serious injuries that occurred over the years.
The trail continued for about another 3/4 mile when a side trail led to a large ledge of rocks that provided a spectacular view of the Lehigh River about a thousand feet below. I sat on this ledge many hour over the past few years, thinking about the people who walked along the river over the centuries.
As I sat and took in this tranquil scene I enjoyed the smell of a nearby campfire. Two young men had hiked up to watch the sunrise and had built a fire to stay warm. The smell of the fire added to my reflections of the history of this area. I have written about it in some other blog posts that you can find in the archives on my home page.
Finally, on the last leg of my trip, about a 1/2 mile from my car, I saw and was able to photograph some wildlife. For 6 1/2 miles I saw one red squirrel and heard a crow and a couple of black-capped chickadees. A titmouse fluttered on the branches of a pine tree along the trail.
And nearby a hairy or downy woodpecker was also pecking away on the trunk of a pine tree. I had hoped to see more wildlife on my hike but I was satisfied seeing just these two critters and the peace an quite of the woodlands and the spectacular views of the Lehigh River from the Broad Mountain in Carbon County.
Winter is not my favorite season anymore. but it is better to brave the cold and explore the beauty of nature outdoors than sitting inside all Winter. My humble opinion anyway. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike on the Broad Mountain in Carbon County. Lehigh Overlook Broad Mountain. January 10 2021.