My Second Hike On The Elders Run Trail At The Middle Creek Management Area

My Second Hike On The Elders Run Trail At The Middle Creek Management Area

Middle Creek Elder Trail (38 of 50)
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After watching the magic of the snow geese flying off the lake at the Middle Creek Management Area, and looking for water fowl on the ponds, I decided to hike on the Elders Run Trail again. I hiked this  3 1/2 mile loop trail once before, two years ago. The trail begins on the  right side of  Kleinfeltersville Road, shortly past the road to the  Visitor Center. I parked  at the nearby boat ramp and walked to the trailhead. It was sunny but cold. The temperature was  25 degrees with a strong northwesterly wind. 

As I walked toward the trailhead along the road  I could see the mountain I would  have to climb on my hike.  I remembered there was about 500 feet of elevation climb on the trail.

The trail starts along Middle Creek shortly after where it flows  from the dam on  the lake. It must be muddy here, there are wooden planks and walkways on the trail at it’s beginning but on this hike and my only previous hike, the ground was mostly frozen. 

There was a thick frost on the ground and on this American beech leaf. 

I remembered the abundance of ferns and moss growing along the trail.  There were many Christmas ferns, 

intermediate ferns and, 

large  areas of interrupted club moss all covered with frost . This is the only  place I have seen  interrupted moss growing on my many hikes in  Pennsylvania. It could be I hadn’t noticed it but it was impossible to miss on this trail. 

There were also some skunk cabbages, always an early sign of Spring, pushing out of the ground. 

It is a nice walk and I promised myself, again, I must come here on a warm Summer day. The shade  of the many trees along the trails, the green from the ferns and moss and the cooling effect of the creek will make for a nice hike. 

And there were  a lot of very tall trees along the creek.   Oak, American beech , yellow birch and mostly white ash trees towered above the trail. 

There was some birds activity high in the tree tops but  It was difficult to see  or photograph. I saw, and heard ,  a few pileated woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers but they flew off quickly as I approached.  There were the smaller woodpeckers too, hairy and downy but they were high in the tree tops. This was the best photo I was able to get of one of the downy woodpeckers. There were other birds too but I couldn’t even make them out way atop these tall trees. 

I did see and photograph this little bird that was hopping along the trail, a winter wren.

It wasn’t shy and allowed me to take some photos.

 I continued my hike for about  a mile along  Middle Creek. I have heard there is some good trout fishing here. 

The trail came to an old bridge that crossed over  a creek I believe was Elders Run. 

Shortly after the bridge the trail split and the Elders run trail began it’s steep climb up a mountain. 

Looking at  a map one could see the trail followed a creek, Elders Run,  but you could not see it from the trail. 

About half way over the mountain were the ruins of on old homestead I visited, and photographed on my last hike. You can find it using the search tool on my blog home page. 

The ruins of a  large  fireplace  and outbuildings again led me to believe it was an affluent family that lived here. I again, as I always do upon discovering old ruins and buildings, wondered about the occupants who lived here. Now long gone,  people  were born, lived and died here. Parents anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, children exploring the wonders of nature in this isolated mountainside, elderly folks feeling the cold of Winter in their bones, warming themselves  at the fireplace. Who were they, what did they think, what food did they eat, did they listen to music, and what kind, where did they work, go to school, get buried?  So many questions drifted through my mind.  Life, it’s pretty much the same, and so different for all of us, during the short time we are dancing on this Earth. 

I left the ruins, and  ghosts of the past, and continued my hike up the hillside. A young lady ran past me and her image in this photo will show you the height of  the trees and steepness of the incline on the trail. 

There were some other signs of live in the cold air and warm March sunshine. This chipmunk scurried to a rock to take a look at me hiking on the trail.

I was surprised to see a tufted titmouse scampering on the ground, they are usually seen on tree branches,

and this one quickly flew onto a branch over the trail  as I approached. 

Finally I reached  the summit of the mountain and the trail flattened out for a short distance. 

This time, instead of hiking back on the Horse Shoe Trail I continued on the Elders Run trail as it descended the mountain.

The trails descent was just as steep as the hike up the trail. 

Although the March sun was strong and felt warm icicles along the trail reminded me  of how cold it was and that it was still Winter. 

The trail passed under an electric power line. I love to hike these power line trails. In my younger days they were my highways to adventure near my home. Some day I may follow this one. 

On Sunday I followed the trail down to a parking area and followed a series of trials, the first being the Fire-Line  Trail to the Visitor Center. 

There were a lot more people hiking these trails, and it was good to see many families with young children exploring the woodlands of our Commonwealth,

I left the Fire-Line Trail and Followed the  Valley View, and then the Spicebush trails.  Both these trails also crossed some wetlands  and there were  areas were  wooden planks spanned the now frozen wetlands. 

I decided to walk the road back to the boat ramp and had one last look at the carpet of white on the lake. These were  the thousands of snow geese still resting on the deep blue  waters. I had hoped to see more wildlife on my 5 1/2 mile hike but I still enjoyed my hike in the sunshine on the Elders Run trail. I left Middle Creek  hoping there  would still be some snow geese here when I returned with my brother and nephew the following week. Here is a link to  a gallery with more photographs from my hike on the Elders Run Trail. Middle Creek Elders Run Trail February 27 2022. 

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens

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