Pocono Gorges

Pocono Gorges, Pocono Environmental Education Center (11/29/2008)

For at least a year I have been ignoring a jumble of trails on the NYNJTC Kittatinny Trails Map #17, west of Walpack, across the Delaware River. I have been ignoring them because they were associated with something that seemed innocuous, a bit artificial, perhaps too kid-life -- the Pocono Environmental Education Center. I envisioned small, unchallenging trails, with nature displays every 100 feet. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just that when we go hiking, we like to get a good work-out, and enjoy spending hours outdoors, in a great untouched wild; not walking around in an outdoor museum.

Last night for some reason I finally decided to Google this environmental center and see what they were all about. To my surprise, the trails described on their website seemed quite long and filled with interesting features, so we headed out this morning to Pennsylvania to check it out. All I can say now is ... don't let the name fool you. This is a tangle of extremely impressive trails with amazing beauty ... and they were quite strenuous! We parked at the PEEC, headed north on the red-blazed Scenic Gorge trail, then took the blue-blazed Fossil trail, and then finally the orange-blazed Tumbling Waters trail. It was one of the most gorgeous hikes we've been on in months. And we saw just two other hikers about 10 minutes from the end.

Total distance travelled was 5.4 miles in about 3.5 hours, counting lunch at Chimney Ruins.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Center parking lot

Pine forest on Scenic Gorge trail

Manhole covers on a small hill

Stream crossing

Stream on Scenic Gorge trail


Small waterfall in Alicia's Creek

[Photo by Laura]

Waterfall in Alicia's Creek

Interesting lichen


Pine needles and cones

PEEC ampitheater

Concrete structure on Fossil trail

Tree kisser [photo by Laura]

Cascade on Fossil trail

Sign at fossil outcrop

Samples line a fallen tree


Sample on fallen tree

The only wildlife I saw

Swamp on Fossil trail

On Tumbling Waters trail

Saplings abound

High Point monument in distance

Chimney ruins on Hermit's Hill

Our lunch spot

View from Hermit's Hill

Farmland to the southeast


Descending on Tumbling Waters trail

Side spur to the waterfalls

60-foot waterfall upstream

[photo by Laura]

Looking down from other waterfall ...

... which is downstream


Dan taking previous pics [photo by Laura]

Climbing Killer Hill

Pine plantation

Regal pines

Pickerel Pond

Pines on Pickerel Pond


In a bird blind

View from blind


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