A few weekends ago I met up with some friends to hike the trails at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. There are about 12 miles of trails that connect to each other, offering a variety of route options. We began on the easy Two Ponds Trail, that passes, as it its name implies, two ponds, including the larger of the two, Pickerel Pond.
The trails at PEEC are fairly well blazed, and are well established. Next was the Tumbling Waters Trail, probably the nicest trail at PEEC. The trail descends through a hemlock forest along a deep gorge. A side trail leads to a beautiful series of waterfalls that tumble into a pool. A higher falls is downstream and more waterfalls are upstream, off of the trail. The Pennsylvania side of the Delaware Water Gap is famous for its waterfalls, with these being one of many. Unfortunately, it was so sunny, my pictures of the waterfalls did not come out that great.
The trail then climbed along the ridge, offering many views across the Delaware River; New Jersey’s Kittatinny Ridge rose in the distance.
The trails here offer a lot of diversity, from waterfalls, hemlock shaded gorges, ponds, views, forests of hardwoods and pine, and even fossils. We followed the Fossil Trail as it descended to some fractured rock outcrops with shards of rock that had countless small fossils.
The final trail we followed was the Scenic Gorge Trail. This trail entered a gorge along a stream with small waterfalls and cascades. The hemlock forest was battling the wooly adelgid, but they were still alive.
We then came across a fallen tree that landed on its branches and supported itself, to make it look like it was walking.
We continued up along the small stream with its numerous cascades, framed by moss covered ledges. The trail left the stream and climbed through a drier oak forest, before returning back to the parking area.
PEEC is a great place to take a hike. For more information about the trails, including a downloadable maps, click here.