Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2 – Boulder Field and Hawk Falls

Today we visited two areas inside Hickory Run State Park.

The Boulder Field is as the name suggests is a large field of boulders. An area like this is unique in the eastern USA and rare throughout the world. It is 400 feet wide and 1800 feet long and sort of looks like a fish from above.

This is a Google maps view.

Google Maps

The reason it is here is that just a bit north of here was the southernmost extent of the glaciers in one of the ice ages. It is a glacial moraine, which is all the debris ploughed up and moved ahead of the glacier. As the glacier started to melt, the freeze / thaw cycle broke up the rocks and regular erosion smoothed them out.

We had two options to reach the field. One was a 7 mile round trip hike through the forest or we could drive to a parking lot right next to it. Guess which one we chose.

The road was a nice one way loop through the forest.


It kind of ruined the serene mood when we had to drive under the interstate that bisects the park.


It is very weird how abrupt the change is from forest to rocky field.



The park brochure said that it is 10 feet deep in some places. They warned to keep keys and other small items in secure pockets because if you drop them down a gap they are gone for good.

Jennie wasn’t really thrilled about walking out on the rocks.


She didn’t like how some of the them moved so she got this far and said that that was enough.


I had downloaded a brochure that had a GPS tour of the field that gave the co-ordinates of each stop. I have an app on my tablet that, after entering the latitude and longitude, displays the distance and a compass to show you the way.

Off I go.



There are were signs warning of large fines for defacing the rocks but there were marked up rocks all over the place near the parking lot.


I just don’t get why people feel the need to do this.


They also say not disturb the rocks and not to try and find the bottom but of course people do not listen. Around the edges there were a lot of pits. Some made it all the way down. That must have taken a lot of effort for an unknown reason.


This is a drainage area for a nearby lake so there is water at the bottom.



There were spiders everywhere on the rocks, which freaked a lot of people out. They all had this weird looking abdomen.


Lots of butterflies as well.


One even liked my pants.


At one of the stops the brochure said that, near the edge, snakes like to come out to sun themselves. I did see one but he was too fast and I was too slow for a picture.


The GPS tour was really just an excuse to get you to walk around the edge of the field. One good thing about it was that it took me to the side field that you can see in the Google satellite view. It is hidden from the main area and very few people know enough to go there. This is my eventual path.

Google Maps-path

To get to the side area you have to go through the bush for a short way.


This is where the really big boulders are.


There was a group of people already there having lunch. I think they were a bit annoyed that I had found their private spot.


Some of the rocks here are up to 25 feet across. Since Jennie wasn’t with me I had to use the camera’s timer to take some pictures so that you could have a reference for size.


It was certainly tougher moving around here.


After I returned to the main area I headed up to the far end. The rocks near the parking lot where mostly very rounded and small. The ones at this end were much larger and angular. I really had to choose my path carefully here.


One of the stops on the tour was at the very end and I thought that I would skip it but there was a clue there that you needed to find the last stop.

Looking back from the far end. All the tiny people around the start.



Once again there were only a few people when we got here. By the time I got back it was much busier but most people did not go very far.


We headed back to the RV for lunch.

Afterwards we did the very short drive to the trailhead from the 1.2 mile return trip to Hawk Falls.

The rhododendrons are just starting to bloom here. They must be late this year because my guide book says they normally bloom in late June.



I actually like the unopened buds better.



My Hiking The Poconos guide book must be a bit old because it said we would have to ford Hickory Run to get to the Falls. They use Run here for what I would call a creek. Thankfully there is a bridge because with all the rain the water was just blasting down.


There was a vey short side trail that took you to the top of the roaring falls.


It seems that Jennie is getting much more comfortable getting close to the edge.




This old tree had an interesting root system.


Another longer side trail took you near to the base. I got a little side tracked going up here but it was a dead end.



The view was OK but not good enough so I had to get closer.


It did mean I had to climb up this short rock face, which caused me to pause for a few seconds.


Jennie, just casually leaning out over the run on a tree, to take my picture.




We continued down the trail for a short while, beside the run. It was really moving.


The water was very clear.


Even though the water looked really high, from the debris on some of the bushes it had been higher.



We headed back through the rhododendrons.


On the drive back we saw a tree full of turkey vultures, right beside the road.




The park is starting to fill up for the long weekend.

1 comment:

  1. OK, that's it! Boulder Field - Mother Nature's just awesome!!! Gotta go there for sure!!!