My First Visit To Brady’s Lake In State Game Lands 127 In Monroe County

My First Visit To Brady’s Lake In State Game Lands 127 In Monroe County

Brady's Lake (43 of 45)
Previous Post
Next Post

Until last Saturday, I had never heard of Brady’s Lake. It is  located only 37 miles from my home in Luzerne County  in  State Game Lands 127 in Monroe County . 

It is late August and I am usually roaming the woodlands near my home searching for wild edible mushrooms. However, the weather had been dry and  the mushrooms weren’t growing. I knew the migratory birds will be passing through Northeastern Pennsylvania on their journey south.  So I checked  the Lehigh Gap  Eastern Pennsylvania Birding and Wildlife Guide  , a very informative publication, a gift from an ex girlfriend,  and learned of Brady’s Lake. It looked like it would be a great place to see some  of the migrating warbler, vireos and maybe a raptor or  some water fowl. 

I decided to visit and arrived at the access road to the game lands and lake around 8 a.m. It was cloudy and misty as I drove the three mile unpaved and bumpy access road. It was no problem for my Jeep, but I’d recommend you not drive a new car on this road. 

At the parking lot I began my hike on the Brady’s Lake Pond trail on the left side of the lake. It  began along some wetlands near the dam crest of the lake. As I was walking through  the mist I heard, ad saw three white tailed deer splashing through the wetlands. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get, what would have been, some nice photos. 

There were a few fishermen along the shores of the lake and the trail that crossed the crest of the dam. 

A  cascading overflow from  the lake created a wetland. 

I didn’t observe any bird or other wildlife activity at the start of my hike. I did see some wildflowers growing along the trail and shore of the lake, some familiar,  like this evening primrose, 

spotted knapweed, 

and a few yarrow flowers. 

And others that were unfamiliar,  like the white rattlesnake flowers and 

a lot of parasol whitetop asters. 

There were also a lot of poisonous  pokeweeds plants, now laden with berries near the lake. I didn’t see any insect activity either, probably because of the foggy and misty conditions at the lake. 

On the other side of the lake the trail continued on the western shore through a grove  of large Norwegian fir trees  planted along the lake  Here I saw a few folks camping at some primitive camps sites.  

Thick patches of New York fern grew along the trail. I don’t see  many of these ferns  in the woodlands near my home or in the wetlands were I hike almost every weekend. 

The trail continued along the lake  and there were a few clearings and meadows  where many species of goldenrod flowers were in bloom,

and where I now had a view of Brady’s Lake and a  couple of fishermen.

The trail then left the lake and passed though a woodland with a lot of maple and yellow birch trees. The trail was grass covered and swampy in  spots. There were also some streams crossing the trail so expect your feet to get wet if your aren’t wearing waterproof shoes or boots. I was wearing sneakers and they were soaked. 

Here eastern hay scented ferns grew along the trail.

I had walked about a mile and I came to some more  clearing in the woodlands. The sun started to break through the clouds and fog.

There were thousands of milkweed plants in the clearing. They had already bloomed and now had were laden with seed pods. I imagined hundreds of butterflies in these meadows when the flowers were in bloom. 

The trail continued through some more maple and tall black cherry tree woodlands. 

Here I started to see cinnamon ferns along the trail. 

I came to another clearing and this meadow had many milkweed plants still with flower.

The still strong August sun had dried the grass and plants and I saw hundreds of great spangle fritillary butterflies fluttering over the milkweed plants in the clearing.

It was a wonderful sight to see. 

I also saw a few  pearl crescent butterflies,

and sadly, only one monarch butterfly. I only saw a handful of this beautiful butterflies this Summer. I once would  see hundreds of them in the Summer. Their habitat here in the Northeastern United States, were they spend the Summer, and in Mexico and the Southeastern United Stares where they migrate in the Winter  is being destroyed endangering these  beautiful creatures. 

In addition to the butterflies there were  many species of grasshoppers in the meadows. This is a Carolina grasshopper, 

And, I finally saw a  few migratory birds, this  female common yellowthroat 

and an exciting sighting of a ruby throated hummingbird. I love to see this tiny birds that travel thousands of miles to their Winter homes in Southern Florida and Central America. 

Although most of the trees in these clearings were cut down there a few ancient maple tress that remained. I was very curious to know what was the lake and the  surrounding land used for before it became State Game Lands.  I was also curious to see where the trail took me, I love exploring new trails. 

Well this one took me to a fork, one trail led north further along  the lake, the other looped back, I would soon find out,  back to the dam crest. I took this one. 

The sun was now shinning brightly and I saw dozens of more great spangled butterflies fluttering along the trail. I also so a few more common yellow throats. 

The trail came to another fork, and I followed the trail to the left. It would  take  me back to the dam crest. In this meadow I now saw what I was hoping to find,  a lot of migrating song birds.

The all seemed to be in a few maple trees along the trail, I saw a prairie warbler, 

a few chestnut-sided warblers, this is a female, 

and  this beautiful black throated green warblers. My Merlin app also heard a Philadelphia warbler and hooded warbler.

There were also gray catbirds and

eastern towhees singing in the maple trees. These birds are all making their was to  far off forest and jungle in Florida, the Caribbean Islands and Central and South America. 

There were also some more wildflowers growing in this clearing including wild chicory,

and pearl everlasting flowers. As I noted before, they were mostly great spangled fritillary butterflies but, i you hike here early in the year I think there would be many more species o butterflies and other insects. 

I believe I  could have seen a lot more migratory birds in this clearing, however, I decided to move on thinking there would be more clearings and meadows on the trail, and more migratory birds. But there weren’t, not on the trail I took.  It followed the left side of a wetlands shown on the trail map. The  clearing soon ended and the trail took me through a dense hardwood/pine woodland.  It was nice under the shade of the trees. More  of the three species of ferns I saw early grew under the pine, maple  and few oak trees. 

And there  were also many sensitive ferns, 

and bottle gentian a native flower that grows in moist  conditions. 

I also saw a few mushrooms growing here, including a few edible species of bolete. I was surprised I didn’t see more mushrooms on my hike. Here is a link to a gallery  on my blog web page with some more photographs of the plants and flowers I saw on my five mile hike. Brady’s Lake Monroe County August 27 2023.  

The grassy  trail continued along the wetland

and intersected with another trail, one leading back to the lake, and the other through the wetland. I followed the later for about a quarter mile,

and was glad I did. Perched in a tree top was a raptor. I  couldn’t identify it on my hike. My Merin bird app tells me is a peregrine falcon but friends say broad shouldered hawk. Not sure 

It flew from the branch as I approached and quickly was able to soar away. This is a link to another photo gallery on my blog web page with some more photos of the birds and other wildlife I saw on my hike. Brady’s Lake Monroe birds  County August 27 2023. 

After seeing the falcon/hawk  I turned around and began my hike back to the lake.  I  saw and heard more common yellow throats, eastern towhees,  and gray catbirds but no new species of birds or flowers.

There were a lot of folks hiking the trail now including a few families. At the lake I thought how different it looked in the brilliant sunshine. 

I enjoyed my first hike at Brady’s Lake , another great place to hike and enjoy nature in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There are so many. Here is a link to another gallery with some more photos from my five mile hike around Brady’s Lake. Brady’s Lake Monroe County August 27 2023. 

I was curious about the history of the lake. Why was it  built and when. I knew it was manmade and, after a little research I learned it was built in the early 1900’s to harvest ice. I also learned  nearby Arrowhead Lake and Lake and Lake Naomi were also created in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s t for the same purpose. The ice was cut from the river,   stored and sold to the cities in the Summer months.  I also learned Pocono Lake , Tobyhanna Lake and some of the other lakes  were  created to hold logs for the lumber industry. And, I learned there was a natural  glacial lake in the area. Where? . Stay tuned and read my next blog or the answer. 

“When I arrive to a new place, it is no longer the place it was before my arrival. And I am not the same person either. I change it and it changes me on the spot. And together we give the world a slightly different face.”
― Giannis Delimitsos

This is my first post