It’s Been A While: A hike On The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails.

It’s Been A While: A hike On The Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails.

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Last Sunday I decided to take a break from my weekly hunts for wild mushrooms.  It has been a great year for mushrooms here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I found enough to share with family and friends, especially the hen of the woods mushrooms.  (or ramsheads as we call them around here. I had plans for the afternoon so I decided to hike near home at our local Rails to Trails.ramshead or hen of the woods mushroom

I haven’t been on this trail for weeks, since I have been exploring three counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania searching for wild mushrooms. My searches usually involved struggling through thick woodlands, strewn with briers, sharp fallen tree limbs and low brush. I welcomed my hike on this  well maintained trail. 

It was a cold  day, temperatures were in the upper 30’s,  with some high clouds blocking the sun.  A perfect day for a Fall hike. 

However, because of the rain and warm weather Fall was late to arrive in our area. Most of the tree were resisting changing into their Fall colors and showed only hints of the colors on display in other years. 

There were still many signs of Fall along the trail. The  lush green ferns were now yellow , 

and brown.

As were the burs of the burdock plants. 

I saw only a few scattered wildflowers, yellow wildflower

and mushrooms, on my hike. mushroom

There was not much wildlife to be seen either. A few squirrels and chipmunks, 

a wren,

and a lot of black-capped chickadees. There gregarious birds will remain in our woodlands throughout the Winter. I enjoy hearing them flutter about on the coldest days of the year. 

I walked past the picnic area near the Drake Creek Reservoir,

and out to the three-mile marker. I could have walked more, the cool weather was invigorating, but I had to get back to attend my niece Kelly’s Fall Chorus concert, which would be even more enjoyable than hiking in the Autumn woods. 

I walked back to my car, encountering a number of folks also enjoying the trail. It was a quick, and brisk, six-mile hike, and I am glad we have such a wonderful trail near my home. I will probably spending many a cold  Winter day hiking it in the coming months. Here is a link to some more photographs, Rails to Trails October 14 2018

Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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