Friday, June 6, 2014

Salt Springs State Park, PA

Salt Springs State Park - PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Salt Springs State Park - Friends of Salt Springs

GPS Coordinates 41.912346, -75.865700

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Parking at the main entrance near the barn.

Salt Spring State Park Map - PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Salt Springs Trail Map - Friends of Salt Springs
(I found the trail blazes and intersections to be confusing and not always consistent with the maps.)
Salt Springs State Park, PA at EveryTrail

Salt Springs State Park - 7.1 miles
hiked along with
Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve - 1.2 miles

Head from the parking lot towards the barn...
... veer right up the stone steps ...
... along the gravel then left uphill on the path at the Silver Creek Trail sign.
The path quickly becomes overgrown.
When the trail enters the woods it becomes well-defined.
Gorgeous trees all along with Silver Creek down below to the right.
Silver Creek
According to the maps this trail is supposed to be red but there are mostly blue markers with some orange (faded red?) and sometimes red painted blazes.
Old stone walls along the way.
There some downed trees here and there but nothing difficult to get over.
Blue does not go to the right - a cliff with a drop off down to Silver Creek is to the right.
Following the left arrow it's a steep uphill climb with the trail not always so well defined.
At the top looking down what might have been a nice waterfall in the past but is just a trickle now even after heavy rain.
Just came off of blue so this means white goes the other two ways, right?
Yes, but no, blue comes along, too!  And the yellow-blazed Meadow Trail?  Never saw any yellow blazes.
There is a meadow...
... and the trail follows along the edge of the woods.
The obvious trail comes out on a gravel road with no trail blazes but found them to the left a bit - seems the trail went through the overgrown meadow for a short distance but there was nothing to indicate that while on the trail.
Overgrown trail.
After blue leaves white to the right (and not sure where that goes since still no blue on the map in this area) white, which is the Connector Trail, goes through a lovely pine plantation.
It is actually very dark and a little creepy in here!
The trail turns left briefly on a gravel road again, then turns right into this fenced area ...
... through an old foundation?
Even though the turn blazes off of the gravel road are several steps farther along but point into an overgrown area along the perimeter of the fence.  This is a turn for the white, blue and orange/red trails but I don't know where all of the colors came from.
This blue trail is the Wetland Trail.
But it becomes impassably overgrown.  Shawnee is in there somewhere.  Can you see her?
There are pretty wildflowers everywhere.
Had to retrace on the Wetland Trail when I completely lost the trail which meant fording Fall Brook going the other way.  At this point we were still on blue however the marker on the other side, which is very hard to see, is orange.
Doesn't care about trail markers - just give her a creek to get wet in,
I brought water shoes and it was a good thing because the rocks a little farther upstream were extremely slippery.
Cold!  And deeper than it looks - was almost knee-deep in the middle.
Through the woods on the other side to a clearly marked intersection and the red-blazed Fall Brook Trail, which agrees with the maps.
A very pretty trail along Fall Brook.
A nice break area up above the water under the hemlocks.
A large old growth tree.
The Bunny Trail sign is pointing in the direction we just came from which is the Fall Brook Trail?
Found the other end of the Bunny Trail which goes uphill.
Yes, this is right, it's the Bunny Trail.
A tiny bit of a view.
When I came to this intersection after following a woods road I realized I had wanted to come up on this trail which goes by cliffs and supposedly has views but because of the confusing intersections and overgrowth I missed the turn.
On the white-blazed Friends Trail.
After crossing Buckley Road with the Bunny Trail parking lot on the left, the trail goes through a meadow.  There is no defined trail in the meadow so you just have to find your way from marker post to marker post.
Pretty wildflowers.
A field of buttercups.
Once back into the woods, more confusing intersections.
Keeping left you end up at the Hemlock Trail.
Going down to the observation deck ...
To see the waterfalls in Fall Brook.
Coming up on ...
Penny Rock
It is supposed to bring good luck to hammer a penny into the rock - if you can find a space where it will wedge.
Found a spot for our penny and hammered it in with a rock.  This is for good luck for Shawnee who will be having surgery to have a mast cell tumor on her chest removed and biopsied this Monday.  I think I found it early on so hopeful all will turn out well but wanted some additional good luck by adding our penny to the rock.  Shawnee's vet is a blog follower so just helping you out, Dr. F! :)
Salt Springs - the video shows the bubbles better.
The Fall Brook Trail that we were on earlier (the other end) actually starts here but you need to find your way along erosion and scramble up waterfalls.  This was too difficult for Shawnee with her arthritis so we did not do it although we would have if she had been able to handle it.
Taking the easy bridge over instead back to the parking lot.


  1. I always give you and Shawnee an enormous amount of credit for venturing on trails some other hikers might not, and you've both succeeded in doing that again w/this hike. Might consider trading in my plastic boot covers (thanks for that suggestion, too, btw) for water shoes' better traction on slippery creek rocks. Despite overgrown, undelineated and knee-deep wet trails, looks like the two of you had another great day together.

    Prayers & hugs for Shawnee on Monday. In my thoughts always. :)


    1. Thanks, Linda! Shawnee and I both appreciate it! I actually had both my plastic boot covers and water shoes along because I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I think the boot covers are best in the winter but in the summer, water shoes are definitely the way to go!


  2. It is just incredible to me that your dog is capable of seven miles of hiking. I have two elderly shepherds that have been hiking every day for at least five years. They are 12 and 14 now, and aren't doing so well -- our "hikes" are now brief strolls -- but on their BEST days, six miles would have been a record. What a good buddy you have in Shawnee. What a dog. PS: Like the nail polish color!

    1. Thanks, Suzy! I count my blessing every time we hike because I know our time is limited and each hike is a bonus at this point. Are your dogs arthritic? Shawnee gets Adequan injections - nothing short of miraculous. She would not be hiking if it wasn't for that. As far as that nail polish - yes, I like the color too! I am wearing it for a study and have to leave it on for another week - my right hand, not so pretty any more. About half has flaked off. So you won't be seeing that hand in any pictures!


  3. Hi Daniela: Thanks for the answer. Yes, they're both arthritic. I'm going to take both dogs to the vet this week to ask about Adequan because the customer reviews on the PetMeds site are tremendous! Thanks so much!

    PS: Thank you for advocating for rescue and shelter dogs. My "heart" dog, Wolf, is a shepherd from Pets Alive; he was on the "inside" for five years before we met him at the ripe old age of nine. He has been an avid, daily hiker since the day we freed him, and if there is a better feel-good story than watching a rescued dog (esp. a shepherd!) hike, I'd like to hear about it!!! Shawnee is such a lucky pup. If only they all could be so lucky.

    Nail polish study. Haha!!!

    1. Suzy - Yes, Adequan is awesome. It is costly, especially for the upfront loading doses, but the once-a-month maintenance is not so bad. I order Adequan from - they seem to have the best price. I have a vet tech I know give the injections because it is given in the muscle and I am not about to attempt that myself. I would say it has cut my cost in half, if not more, doing it that way.

      Pets Alive - UGH! There is a fine line between rescue and hoarding and well, 'nuff said. Wolf is one lucky dog that he ended up with you. I am sure that during those 5 years on the inside, he never in his wildest dreams imagined he would end up hiking, of all things! Shawnee was originally a foster I pulled from the inner city Newark shelter. She had no human socialization and was completely feral. I could not even touch her at first. She would not walk out the driveway, never mind up the street. Once I got her to come around I tried placing her and it lasted 4 hours before she was returned. I decided right then and there I would not traumatize her like that again and she stayed with me permanently - best decision I ever made! There is a group on Facebook called "Hiking with Dogs" and a lot of the hikers are rescues so if you need more feel-good stories, hop on over there!


  4. Nice photo report! Thanks for posting this.

    Interesting about the spring. Obviously outgassing CO2.