Crow’s Nest: Walking to Mariton?
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.
So over the weekend I was browsing Backpacker magazine (March 2018), dreaming about hikes in far away landscapes, the kind of winter time activity good for a day when mud season seems upon us. In a section about contributing volunteer time to build trails there was a photo of a beautiful forest stream (page 66) and mention of the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail.
I read on, thinking this must be a trail far way in the more wild regions of upstate Pennsylvania, but then I started reading familiar place names: Buck Hollow Road (there could be more than one of those), St. Peter’s Village (hmm, we have one of those), and finally, French Creek State Park (well, there’s only one of those!).
The hike Backpacker magazine was highlighting was an overnight trip along parts of the trail right here near Crow’s Nest Preserve, with overnight stays camping in French Creek State Park and a new campsite on PA Bureau of Forestry land—land recently protected by Natural Lands.
Much of the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail is co-located on other trails: the Horse-Shoe Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, Perkiomen Trail, Mason-Dixon Trail, and Appalachian Trail, among others. And some of these large sections are not yet connected—which is where the effort to protect lands and build trails currently lies. When finished the trail will connect south central Pennsylvania with eastern Pennsylvania on the Delaware near Riegelsville. Wait—that’s where Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary is located! Imagine hiking from here to there!
The Pennsylvania Highlands website also lists many of the attractions along the way. The effort really draws attention to what is special about our own region—there’s some really great hiking and beautiful places to see right here!