Two weeks ago I took an unplanned, but pleasant hike, that took me to the abandoned Silver Creek Fire Tower . I wanted to hike somewhere new and found a trail that led to Wolf Creek Falls near St. Clair in Schuylkill County. I drove to the access road shown on the trail map and found the road was posted. I own property and so I always respect no trespassing sign. Leaving the water company lands, I drove back up the Burma Road and saw a trail leading into some State Game Lands near Locust Lake State Park .
I parked my Jeep and began a hike on Fire Tower Road. It was a rocky dirt road but easy to hike. I enjoyed walking beneath the pine and oak forest lined with bracken ferns. It was a quiet and peaceful place.
After about a 1/2 mile I came to a small creek,
that was lined with blooming rhododendrons. I love these pretty flowers and think they are more beautiful than out state flower the mountain laurel.
A swallowtail butterfly was also enjoying the pretty white and pink blossoms.
The trail was muddy in spots and puddles formed from the recent heavy rains.
Some russula mushrooms,
and Indian pipes or ghost plants were growing on the trail.
After about another quarter mile I took a side trail. I saw on my map that it led to the Silver Creek reservoir. I was hoping the land wasn’t posted.
It wasn’t and I continued on my hike. The were larger oak trees as I neared the reservoir.
It appeared the reservoir is no longer in use and may have been used in the nearby strip coal mining operations. I am not sure and plan on researching this further.
But I was sure of this. There were a lot of high bush blueberry, or “swampers” as we called them growing along the lake. I ate a few handfuls of these sweet berries.
Near the lake I found this old campfire. As I always do, I wondered who built it, when ,where they were from and what they were thinking and talking about as they enjoyed the fire.
I explored some of the trails near the reservoir,
and found more wild mushrooms including another species of russula and
some edible milk caps mushrooms .
I also found some teaberry flowers that are starting to bloom.
And I heard, than saw this oven bird fluttering in the surrounding woods.
I walked back to the Fire Tower Trail and followed it for about a half mile. It was a nice walk on the trail surrounded by mostly pine and oak trees.
In some areas there were clearing and some milkweed plants were in bloom,
as well as a few oxeye daisies and
some pretty blue common selfheal flowers growing along the trail.
When I came to this wooden placard I knew I was near something, although I have no idea what these words meant.
And nearby I came upon the Silver Creek fire tower. It was not in use and had been enclosed in a fence.
However, vandals broke the fence. I walked inside the enclosure and looked up at the steps a fire ranger would climb everyday. I often wonder about the folks who worked here. I think it would be a great job to have, to spend tine in these beautiful mountains. I believe the tower was built in the 1920’s and was closed about 20 years ago.
I had already hiked over six miles so I walked back to my Jeep. But I hope to return soon and explore the many side trail I came across on my hike. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike to the Silver Creek Fire Tower. Locust Lake Fire Tower hike July 18 2021
“Leave the road, take the trails.” – Pythagoras