I began 2013 with a promise to myself to see more parks in the year to come. I joined the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation after receiving their email newsletters years and purchasing the PA State Parks & Forests Passport book.
My first foray into the forest was in mid-April and not a time I would normally be compelled to visit a park or even less so, the forest. The reason was for “A Day In The Life Of A Forest” event set forth by the PA Parks & Forest Foundation. The date chosen was close to the birth date of Joseph Rothrock, Pennsylvania’s Father of Forestry.
I selected Tioga State Forest as it is the closest Pennsylvania State Forest to my home. I had previously visited the forest unplanned last fall with Diane and attempted to locate Fallbrook Falls and/or County Bridge Park. Without my directions and map, we went elsewhere and found a beautiful swimming hole the locals call Pirate Rock near Blossburg.
This day in April I visited County Bridge Park first and it happened to be the opening day of trout season in Pennsylvania so the anglers were out. There were even a few campers in the camp ground although it was still quite cold at night and not very warm during the day! The Tioga River originates up here on this hill near County Bridge. Down river further, toward Blossburg you can still see the orange effects of the acid drainage caused by the long gone coal industry.
From County Bridge I found Fallbrook Falls and the remains of its bygone picnic park. There was a town named for the falls long ago during the Blossburg coal era. The railway from here to Corning was named Fallbrook RR; the railroad’s roundhouse area became the former Fallbrook Plant owned by Corning Incorporated (Corning Glassworks) and now a park covers the area, Fallbrook Park. I am told you can easily find coal in the Fallbrook Falls area but this day the water was rushing and I had no desire to wander too far off the trail alone. Instead I wandered back beyond what appeared to be an old pavilion foundation and further into the woods. The large stone cooking stove I photographed was an odd find – I am not sure if I was in the forest or on private land but it is reminiscent to other CCC-built stone fireplaces I have seen.
Being out in the forest was a wonderful way to re-energize my spirit after the long winter and something I should remind myself to do every year.