Mushrooms, Cabins And A Bear!!! Another Hike On The Susquehannock Trail In Potter County

Mushrooms, Cabins And A Bear!!! Another Hike On The Susquehannock Trail In Potter County

Plantation trail (27 of 47)
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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. 

It was a cool 52 degrees when I left my Jeep and  started my hike under another old second growth forest on the Plantation Trail section of the Susquehannock Trail.

The trail soon began a fairly steep descent along a mountain ridge. I don’t like hikes that start downhill, because you know,  at the end of your hike, you will have to hike back up that hill. 

Some of  the rays of the early morning sun filtered through the thick canopy of branches and illuminated the leaves below. 

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.

There were also many ferns growing along the trail, mostly eastern hay-scented ferns,

but also some intermediate ferns and these sensitive ferns, 

and this Christmas fern. 

 

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.  

In addition to the bear I did hear some birds high in the tree tops, but only a few oven birds came near enough to the trail to allow me to capture some photos.

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. 

The trail leveled off for a bit then started to ascend another mountain. Here I found this cabin. It looks old but was  still in use. 

As I explored the cabin and its surroundings I was puzzled as to who built it way out here. There is no road access. And who owns it? It is in a State park and I wondered how one can camp here.  

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. 

As I was exploring the cabin this winter wren started signing. They have a beautiful song. 

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. 

I did find another older chicken mushroom on the way, but no bears, birds or other critters.

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

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