A few weeks ago I returned to SGL 57 to explore more of this wilderness wonderland. The goal this time was to hike along Bellas Brook, explore a tributary with some potential waterfalls, reach Mehoopany Creek, and explore two of its tributaries in search of waterfalls and views.
It was a clear, cool day as I set off, passing two older hikers at Wild Fowl Pond. I soon reached Bellas Brook, left the road, and hiked down the creek with its cascades and pools. Hundreds of painted trilliums dotted the forest floor. The creek entered a series of deep spruce forests that were beautiful as they were impenetrable. I circled around one spruce forest and reached a large spring flowing from the ground. Thinking this may be the tributary with waterfalls, I hiked up it. Oddly, this creek flowed underground, covered with talus. I hiked up its glen, but rarely saw the creek that carved it. I retraced my steps back to Bellas Brook.
The brook flowed through meadows and more spruce. Some of the spruce were large, clearly old growth. It was a beautiful creek with rapids, boulders, and cascades, often lined with moss. At one point, there was an oxbow bend where you could see the creek flow towards, and then away from you.
I reached the tributary I was looking for and hiked up it. I found the right one as the creek dashed down a glen with stair-step cascades over red bedrock. It looked to be recently carved by floods. One falls fed a secret pool. None of the falls were high, but it was a beautiful spot. On the way back to Bellas Brook, I passed a tree with a series of perfectly circular woodpecker holes.
Bellas Brook continued to charm with meadows, forests of black cherry, and more riffles. I hiked on an island in the creek with a large hemlock and a beautiful place to camp. I soon reached the Mehoopany Creek.
My plans were soon dashed. The creek was too high to cross and I was losing daylight. As a result, I could not explore two more tributaries in search of waterfalls. I hiked up Mehoopany Creek; here, few people have seen the beauty of this creek as it flows through one of the finest wilderness areas in the state. I reached a gorgeous waterfall and slide that emptied into a swirling pool. The water was reddish from the tannin in the hemlocks, spruce, and swamps upstream. I relaxed here for a while as puffy cumulus clouds sailed across the deep blue sky.
I decided to head back and climbed a steep bank to the gated game commission road, passing more trilliums. I hiked back out, taking a side trip to beautiful Creveling Pond and then Wild Fowl Pond as a shower passed to the south. Swallows darted across the surface of the water as a few frogs croaked. I was soon back at my car.