Hiking

All posts tagged Hiking

By Joe Sebastiani, Seasonal Programs Team Leader

Early spring is hiking time around here.  The winter weather has eased, flowers are blooming, and hiking conditions are ideal.  Meadow grass is green, but not so high you can’t walk through it, and temperatures are not too hot, not too cold.  So, during the past few weeks, I led three of our most popular exclusive day-hikes.  I say exclusive because these walks cross private property where the Delaware Nature Society has permission to lead walks occasionally. 

The Ashland to Coverdale Farm Preserve loop hike is 4 miles through oak-hickory forest, meadows, and involves a wet-foot crossing of Burrows Run.  The Ashland to Bucktoe Creek Preserve hike is 6 miles, and crosses rolling open hills of spectacular piedmont scenery.  Finally, the Flint Woods Preserve to Granogue Estate hike is 3 miles through some of the best old-growth woods in Delaware, and ends atop the Granogue water tower where you can see north to Downingtown, PA and south to Delaware City, DE.  Enjoy the photos of these walks below.

The group of Delaware Nature Society hikers prepares for the Ashland to Coverdale Farm Preserve loop hike. Photo by Tom Davis

The wet-foot crossing of Burrows Run is always a memorable moment. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Some hikers opt to cross Burrows Run without the wet feet. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Hiking from Ashland to Bucktoe Creek Preserve is a commitment of 6 miles, which was a 600-calories hike for one of our participants who had a calorie watch.  This hike features the Delaware Nature Society’s Red Clay Floodplain property, Auburn Heights State Park and Preserve (not open to the public…yet), several private properties, and finally, the 300-acre Bucktoe Creek Preserve (also private).  Luckily, after the hike, we take a van back to Ashland and don’t have to retrace our steps.

The route of the Ashland to Bucktoe hike passes this rock cut, where we are able to examine Piedmont rocks that are hundreds of millions of years old. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

The Ashland to Bucktoe hike also passes the 8th PA/DE border marker from 1892. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Finally, the very popular Flint Woods to Granogue hike starts with a gourmet meal prepared by Michele Wales, Coverdale Farm Program Coordinator.  It ends atop a stone water tower at Granogue, one of the most famous duPont estates.

Michele Wales describes the food she has prepared for participants of the walk at the Flint Woods Preserve. Gourmet and yummy! Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Dave Pro, Ashland Property Manager, finds an old pot at a historic dump along the walk. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Our goal is in sight. The Granogue Water Tower. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

Looking north from the tower, we gaze up the Brandywine Valley to Downingtown, PA. Photo by Joe Sebastiani

If you are more interested in the short version of these hikes, register for the Evening Walk Series which features 6 hikes at many of the above locations on Thursday evenings, May through July.  More information on these hikes can be found here.

By Joe Sebastiani, Members Program Team Leader

This past Sunday, Dave Pro and I led the Delaware Nature Society’s Teen Naturalist group on a hike called “The Pinnacle”, which is near Hawk Mountain.  This is one of Pennsylvania’s classic hikes and is 8.7 miles long, partly following the Appalachian Trail to the hike’s namesake overlook, then back down the mountain on an old dirt road. 

The Pinnacle is a classic hike near Hamburg, PA which follows the Appalachian Trail up to a mountain ridge to a beautiful overlook.

The Pinnacle is a classic hike near Hamburg, PA which follows the Appalachian Trail up to a mountain ridge to a beautiful overlook.

Six Teen Naturalists attended this hike on what was a cold but beautiful day after the area’s first snow.  Heading north, we discovered that it had snowed a bit more than in Delaware.  The snow clung to the branches of every tree, making a beautiful scene.  Once we got to our hiking destination, we discovered a pristine world of snow from treetops to the ground, and anticipated a beautiful day. 

We reached an overlook called Pulpit Rock, which was a nice view.  Further along the ridge, you can see the pinnacle overlook, which is the highlight destination on this hike.

We reached an overlook called Pulpit Rock, which was a nice view. Further along the ridge, you can see the pinnacle overlook, which is the highlight destination on this hike.

The hike to Pulpit Rock was a steep scramble through boulder fields and rocky trails.  At Pulpit Rock, we could see The Pinnacle overlook in the distance along the ridge, still a few miles away.  Lunch would have to wait until then, but luckily the ridge-top trail was flat and the going was easy.

The Teen Naturalists enjoy lunch at The Pinnacle, one of the best viewpoints along Pennsylvania's section of the Appalachian Trail.

The Teen Naturalists enjoy lunch at The Pinnacle, one of the best viewpoints along Pennsylvania's section of the Appalachian Trail.

We realized how cold it really was once we stopped for lunch.  The chill quickened our break, even though another hiking group offered us freshly cooked scrapple they had grilled.  The patchwork of snow-covered fields below us and the dusted trees and rocks will be hard to top on the beauty scale. 
Saw hi to our snowman if you decide to hike "The Pinnacle" this winter.

Say hello to our snowman if you decide to hike "The Pinnacle" this winter.

If you know a teenager that would like to join the Delaware Nature Society Teen Naturalists, please get in touch with us.  We meet once per month for nature-based field trips and take a week-long adventure trip every August.