Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bear Creek Preserve, PA - Shades Creek

Bear Creek Preserve - Natural Lands Trust

GPS Coordinates 41.182318, -75.704151

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Bear Creek Preserve Trail Map - Natural Lands Trust
Bear Creek Preserve, PA at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  7.2 miles

I had originally planned on hiking at the Pennel Run Natural Area in Delaware State Forest but having never heard of Canadensis, PA, figured I should find how close that was to my hike since there was a manhunt in progress for a fugitive accused of killing a Pennsylvania State trooper.  Yes, a little too close for comfort so hiking plans changed.
When I returned home and watched the news conference I found out that while I was hiking the manhunt was taking place where I had originally planned on hiking.  Glad I looked up where Canadensis is and avoided that area.
So the hike was moved about half an hour farther west to Bear Creek Preserve.
The trails all start at the information board and gate.
We started on the red trail to the left of the information sign.
Lots of early fall color in the forest.
Turned left on gray to take the trail along Shades Creek.
The map shows this as a primitive stream crossing so pleasantly surprised to find a new bridge!
Not so amused that she has to stand on a log to get to the bridge.
Shades Creek from the bridge.
The trail often goes through thick rhododendron.  This must be gorgeous when the rhododendron is in bloom.
A random purple marker on the gray trail.
Shades Creek to the right below the trail.
Fall colors in the pipeline cut.
Fall flowers.
More bear and coyote scat on this hike than I usually see.
Interesting tree mushroom.
Taking a dip in Shades Creek.
This crossing is a rock hop.
I could have jumped across but I have had a couple of incidents of going down on slippery rocks recently so I decided not to risk it.
Water shoes for just such an occasion.
And she didn't mind munching her chicken jerky while I changed back into hiking shoes.
After crossing Shades Creek it's left on red then red/purple when purple joins in from the left.
Crossing the pipeline cut again but what is that?
A mourning dove enjoying the beautiful day in the pipeline cut.
A random gray marker on the red trail.
An ovenbird.
A snake in the grass.
At the intersection where yellow joins in, turn right on yellow to go to the overlook.
Coming up on the overlook.
Back at the car.
Someone really enjoyed this hike!

[  0.00]  Take the red trail into the woods to the left of the information board
[  0.40]  Turn left on gray when red goes right
[  0.70]  Cross footbridge then right right on gray when gray also goes left
[  2.10]  Veer slightly right in pipeline cut picking up woods road back into woods
[  2.20]  Gray continues straight as footpath leaving woods road that turns right
[  3.00]  Rock hop Shades Creek then left on grassy woods road which is the red trail
[  3.10]  Turn right on purple/red when purple comes in from the left
[  3.50]  Turn right on red when purple leaves to the left
[  3.90]  Cross power cut veering slightly right then back into woods
[  4.00]  Keep straight on red when unmarked trail goes left
[  4.70]  Keep straight on red when woods road goes left
[  4.80]  Keep right on red at fork
[  5.40]  Turn right at intersection (will still be on red)
[  5.50]  Straight on red/green when green comes in from the right
[  5.80]  Keep right on red/green at intersection
[  6.20]  Cross wooden bridge; turn right on yellow/green
[  6.30]  Left on yellow when green leaves to the right
[  6.60]  Overlook
[  6.80]  Straight on yellow when green crosses over
[  6.90]  Turn right at T-intersection following blue marker to parking lot (is yellow/red trail)
[  7.00]  Left on gravel road
[  7.20]  Back at parking


  1. I love the leaves changing color. It's a good thing you changed your hike destination! You wouldn't want to run into that guy in the woods.

    1. I wouldn't want to run into that guy anywhere! Lesson learned: Check for fugitives on the loose before planning hike.


  2. Yeah, it is good you changed your hiking destination. I got scared for you when I read that sign. Lovely pictures as always. I don't know how I got on this mailing list but glad I did. How do I get to post my picture and name instead of being anonymous, do you know? I love your dog Shawnee.

    1. Thanks Joanne! I think you have to have a Blogger or Google+ profile to not be anonymous. That doesn't mean you have to do a blog, you just need the account. I am guessing you must have signed up to be on the mailing list (the "Follow By Email" thing in the top right corner) - don't know how else you would have been put on because you get a confirmation email in order to activate it. At any rate, glad you are here, anonymous or not!



  3. Daniela,

    I presume you've read about the recent horrible bear attack. Clearly the hikers did a lot of things wrong, and there may be some good explanation (rabid bear etc.), but this certainly concerns me. I've seen bears 3 times this year on or near the AT in the Del Water gap area. There seem be more around this year than before.

    Have you ever considered (would you consider) taking bear spray on your hikes ? I always thought it was unneeded, but now -- I don't know.

    1. Yes, I did hear about that and in fact, my son was there hiking with a friend while the search was taking place. They were stopped by a police officer about 1 mile in and asked if they had seen that hiker, not knowing at the time what the tragic outcome was.

      I have heard that there is a shortage of acorns and berries this year and that bears are looking for food so that is probably why they have been more visible. I don't carry actual bear spray because it is just too large and bulky but I have always carried mace, which I understand is sufficient for black bear. Fortunately all of my bear encounters have been uneventful and I have never had to use it. Whether it is to defend myself or my dog against human or animal, figure it is best to have something on hand and hope that I never do have to use it.


  4. Have seen 7 bears in the past 10 years - 6 of them in the area Daniela did this hike, and 1 near the AT. One blogger had interesting advice for those who see a bear: Enjoy. it doesn't happen often, and it's quite a sight. Obviously if one attacks you, you have no choice but to use whatever means are available to defend yourself. But the bear is likely more scared of you than you him/her. Common sense applies: Don't feed them. Don't provoke them. Don't put food in tent.

    1. It's always been a thrill for me when I have seen a bear. I have only had to change my route once because of one that would not move. When you are a guest in their home, you play by their rules :)


  5. Hi, Daniella. I'm so excited to have stumbled on your blog! I am the director of communications for Natural Lands Trust, the non-profit organization that owns and manages Bear Creek Preserve. In addition to wanting to encourage you to visit our many other preserves (we own and care for 22,000 acres of land in PA and NJ), I was hoping you might consider allowing us to use a few of your great photos. We always give proper photo credit! You can reach me here: Thanks in advance! ~ Kirsten Werner

  6. Thanks for the inspiration and wonderful pics. My daughter and I are hiking there on Memorial Day and I'm really looking forward to it! Looks awesome!