Weatherly Railroad Tracks, Penrose Reservoir And A New Old Trail

Weatherly Railroad Tracks, Penrose Reservoir And A New Old Trail

Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-20
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Yesterday  morning started out mild and cloudy,  the  air  filled with the smell of the rain we had over night. I was going to take  a short hike close to home because of some afternoon plans, but they changed, and I  decided to hike out to the always picturesque Penrose reservoir near Weatherly.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike April 23 2016-1

I have posted a few blogs about this historic area, so vital to the coal industry. Here is a link to one of them  and you can look up the others in the archives. I hiked up the railroad tracks from the quaint litle own of Weatherly along the fast moving waters of the Hazle  or Black creek. This is a link to a video of the waters rushing in the creek. railroad Penrose hike April 23 2016-10

The trees were still mainly bare but there was some green and white blossoms starting to show up.More sure to come soon. Weatherly pipeline hike April 23 2016-7

I walked the approximately 2 1/2 miles to the reservoir, crossing the old bridge on the Hazle  creek, where the Beaver Meadows, Buck Mountain and Lehigh Valley railroads met. Lot of history in this spot.  The clouds began to break and blue sky appeared just as I approached the reservoir.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike April 23 2016-24

I was hoping to see some water fowl on the reservoir. I have seen American bitterns, mallards, wood ducks and ospreys on the reservoir but today only these two geese were enjoying the  pretty view.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike birds April 23 2016-3

Instead of walking the tracks back I decided to follow the Penrose creek  as it flowed from the reservoir. It flows under the railroad tracks through this very old rock tunnel , probably built the same time as the railroad right of way,  I think before  the 1860’s.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike April 23 2016-26

The creek flowed through a  flat clear swamp  where I found many “swamper” or highbush blueberry growing. It will be a long walk to get here to pick them but I may be spending a lot more time in this swamp in the summer. I enjoy picking “swampers” and giving the berries to family and friends. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-27

I didn’t  run into much wildlife, a few squirrels, crows, robins a cardinal  and a lot of black capped chickadees. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike birds    April 23 2016-2

I followed the meandering stream to where it flowed into the waters of the Hazle Creek which originated near the Dreck Creek Reservoir and Donegal Hill section of Hazleton. I believe that Native Americans may have used these streams to make their way from the Lehigh River to the Nescopeck Creek and the Susquehanna River. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-28

I followed the creek back to the railroad tracks and found this campsite with trash thrown around. It is a shame some people just   have no respect for these pristine areas. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-31

At the Hazle Junction bridge I hiked out the old Buck Mountain railroad right of way to some ponds and wetlands. I had found geese nesting in this area before and blue herons, duck and even s few bear. Only thing I saw yesterday was these mallards on one of the ponds. I walked out to the pole line nearby and made my way back to the railroad tracks. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-35

I found the remains of a few critters who didn’t make it through the winter including a turtle, a deer and this animal I’m not able to identify. I am thinking maybe a raccoon.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-14

At the Hazle Junction bridge I noticed a trail  that I somehow never saw before on my many walks along these railroad tracks. I investigated and discovered that the old water line bringing water from the Penrose reservoir ran along the trail. Weatherly pipeline hike   April 23 2016-1

Of course I had to find out where it went and found it ascended the mountain and ran parallel and above the railroad tracks. It was a nice walking path and ran along huge boulders and rocks. I am wondering if this was an old railroad line since it seems like it took a lot of time and effort to cut through those rocks for just a waterline. Weatherly pipeline hike   April 23 2016-9

I scared many a turkey vulture who were roosting in the trees along the ridge and they were not very happy to be disturbed from their sunny perches. Weatherly railroad Penrose hike birds    April 23 2016-5

The trail overlooked the railroad track, which kept getting further below as it  climbed higher along the ridge . I enjoyed some nice views of the Broad mountain and the town of Weatherly from up there. Weatherly pipeline hike   April 23 2016-14

I love taking new paths and  I was curious where it would bring me. I continued along the ridge, passing huge  rock formations. I also walked under and along these  old hemlock, oak and very old black birch trees. Weatherly pipeline hike   April 23 2016-8

I came upon this old building that must have been a pumping station when the waterline was in use. There was also an old pond next to it and I would guess many a young boy, and maybe a few girls made there way up here for a quick dip on the hot summer days of years past. Weatherly pipeline hike   April 23 2016-18

The trail made it’s way down the mountain and ended near the highway were the famous Weatherly Hill climb begins. Here is a link to some more photographs I took along this new, old trail I discovered.  April 23 2016-2

I walked into town passing an the active foundry which I learned from this plaque was opened in 1900. I walked back to my jeep  past the many old buildings associated with Weatherly industrial past. So much history here but that will be for another blog. Weatherly  April 23 2016-4

I was hoping to capture a lot more photographs of some wildlife but it was still a nice walk, it always is this time of year, and I am glad I found a new trail to hike. i am pretty sure I will run into some critters up there some day, if I keep my eyes peeled. Well it’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I am off to see what’s out there. Have a great day. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike yesterday.Weatherly railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-22 railroad Penrose hike   April 23 2016-25

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”― Erol Ozan