Mushrooms, Cabins And A Bear!!! Another Hike On The Susquehannock Trail In Potter County
The sun was shinning when I woke up in Coudersport in Potter County last Sunday morning . I decided to return to the Susquehannock Trail for my last hike before I left God’s Country. This time I decided to start my hike on the trail head across from the campsite at Patterson State Park.
This was another nice trail, but, obviously, much less used than the portion of the Susquehannock Trail rail I hiked near Denton Hill State Park on Saturday morning. The trail was narrower and was overgrown with fern and other vegetation in some areas.
There were some patches of stinging nettles growing along the trail, and in some spots, on the trail. Tiny hairs on these invasive plants release an acid that causes a burning sensation on one’s skin. Luckily for me the reaction is mild and soon goes away. Other folks aren’t as lucky and can have a more severe reaction.
But nature is balanced, and a short distance down the trail were patches of jewel weed or touch-me-not plants. The stems and leaves of these native plants were used as a remedy to the itching and pain from insect bites, poison ivy and other poisonous plants by the Native Americans. And, they can also treat the invasive stinging nettle reactions.
The trail continued to descend the mountainside and took me into a ravine. Here I finally saw my first bear while hiking this year! It looked like a young one, a second year, that was on it’s own for the first time. It ran down one side of the ravine, crossed the trail, and then ran up the other side. It stopped, I thought it would, the young ones are still curious and usually do, to check me out. It was still obscured by branches and as I approached to try and get a photo it ran off. No photo but I still enjoyed my first bear sighting in Potter County.
The trees along the trail became older and larger. On one of these dead trees I found this beautiful chicken of the woods mushroom. It was one of the nicest I ever found. I left it thinking I might harvest some on the hike back. I didn’t, and left it for other to enjoy it’s beauty.
Shortly after finding the chicken mushroom I smelled the smoke of a campfire. As I continued on the trail, at the bottom of the ravine, there was a primitive camp site a short distance from the trail and someone was making breakfast. I thought to myself, what a perfect place to camp. I didn’t disturb them and continued on my hike.
It certainly looked like a perfect place to camp. I imagined how peaceful sitting around that camp fire on a warm Summer evening would be.And waking up to the singing of birds in the morning. I need to start camping again I thought to myself.
I left the cabin and walked about another 1/2 mile. I wanted to continue, I was only out 2 miles, but I had to check out of my hotel so I reluctantly started my hike back. And, my return hike had me realizing just how steep the trail was now that I had to hike back up.
The hike up was steep, 500 feet, and I actually took a break, which I rarely do, half way back. I eventually made it and was able to get back to my hotel just in time to take a five minute shower and check out. I really enjoyed my first visit to Potter County and I hope to be back to explore these wonderful trails in the very near future. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from hike in the Susquehannock Trail. Potter County Susquehannock Trail hike August 15 2021.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news!” – John Muir