Drakes Creek: My First Hike Along This Beautiful Tributary Of The Lehigh River.

Drakes Creek: My First Hike Along This Beautiful Tributary Of The Lehigh River.

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I have been hiking in the Lehigh Gorge along the Lehigh River for about ten years now.  My hikes have almost always been on the northern and western side of the river, at White Haven, Rockport, Penn Haven, and Glenn Onoko.  This past Saturday I decided to hike on the other side of the river and drove to the Drakes Creek entry off of Route 903 near Penn Forest Township. rhododendron lined trail

It is located in State Game Lands 141. I parked at the start of a dirt road that follows Drakes Creek down to the Lehigh River. . You could drive  road down to the river. I decided to walk. And I am glad I did. The first thing I noticed were the thick groves of rhododendrons growing along both side of the road. rhododendron lined trail

Rhododendrons are evergreens and their leaves curl  in colder temperatures. It was 18 degrees when I began my walk so the leaves were very curled . I hope to return in July when the are in bloom. It will be beautiful. curled from the cold rhododendron leaves

As I continued  my walk on the well maintained dirt road,  I  could hear the rushing waters of Drakes Creek in the distance. As the road steeply led down to the Lehigh River, it followed the gorge above the creek. 

The road neared, and  eventually, met up with  the creek.  I stopped and enjoyed the sounds of the rushing waters. 

I was surprised to see these rushing waters are stocked with trout. It looks  like a good fishing stream.

And it looks like a lot of folks do fish here. I found the remains of a few fires along the creek. I always imagine the good times the folks who built the fire must have had. I wonder when it was built, what year and month. And where the folks were from.

I continued down the road and was surprised with the lack of wildlife. No birds, chipmunks or squirrels.  In fact, I only saw one flock of juncos on my entire hike.  even though I didn’t see any, I know there are animals living in the area. I believe this was left by a coyote.

As the road neared the river, large yellow birch, hemlock and white pine trees grew among the rhododendron groves.

The waters of the creek  swelled as it was feed by smaller streams flowing off the mountains on both sides of its meandered down the gorge. 

The road crossed over the creek twice before it ended at the river. 

I discovered why the road was so well-maintained. It is an access point for the rafting expeditions on the Lehigh River. 

The trail ends at an active railroad line. Drakes Creek enters the Lehigh River after it flows under the bridge.

I walked to the railroad track and enjoyed the views of the Lehigh River as it flowed through the narrow gorge as it flowed through this section of the Pocono Mountains.

The only problem with walking down a steep road is that you have to walk back up. It was a little more difficult but I didn’t mind since I enjoyed the beautiful scenery the way. 

I am looking forward to returning to this creek in the Spring and Summer. I know it will be even more beautiful and I am also sure I’ll encounter some more wildlife.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Drakes Creek hike January 12 2019.

“Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” – Lau Tzu

This is my first post