Pinchot State Forest: A Hike To Crystal Lake
It was a mild January day here in Northeastern Pennsylvania yesterday. I decided to explore the Pinchot State Forest and Crystal Lake. Located about 25 miles northeast of my home, I noticed the lake on the maps when I hiked in the nearby State game lands in Dennison Township.
It looked like there would be some wetlands around the lake and I hoped to see some wildlife on my hike. I arrived at a parking area along the the D & L Trail just outside of Glen Summit. I met a fellow who was taking his dog for a walk on the road leading to the reservoir. He was ahead of me and would scare any wildlife so I decided to walk up the the Big Wapwallopen Creek to the lake.
As I set out on my hike I saw a group of woodpeckers fluttering in the trees above me. I believe they were hairy woodpeckers although it is hard to distinguish them from the very similar downy woodpecker.
I continued my upward climb along the creek until it got too steep and covered in thick brush. I left the creek and followed a path along a new waterline. It led me to the treatment facility of the local water company. I followed the road up to a large dam and completely frozen Crystal Lake. It is situated atop what I think is Penobscot Mountain.
These forest are usually home to deer, small animals and, in the summer, many species of birds. On this walk I didn’t see or hear any sound of wildlife for almost a mile. It was only when I neared a few pitch pine trees towering over the scrub oaks that I heard a few blue jays and black-capped chickadees in the distance.
I walked out about another mile before I decided to return. The sun was warming it up now but I still did not see a single bird in the scrub oak forest. I did see a few teaberries growing along the trail.
I was soon at my car, reading a guide and map of the Pinchot State Forest that I picked up at the parking area. I know I will be exploring the many large tracts of land that make up this forest in the near future. And I hope to find much more wildlife on my next visit to Crystal lake. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike to Crystal Lake. Crystal Lake hike photographs January 27 2018.