Recently, I went hiking for the first time at Nescopeck State Park. I was pleasantly surprised. The park covers over 3,500 acres, has 19 miles of trails, an impressive environmental education center, and a wide diversity of habitats. The park is home to over 160 species of birds and 600 plant species. The trails we hiked are easy, exploring several ponds and the beautiful Nescopeck Creek with verdant hemlock forests.
We began by hiking around Lake Frances as the water reflected the blue sky and clouds above. Next we followed the Nescopeck Trail; most of the trails are wide and grassy, and most trail junctures have signs. A right turn brought us onto the Creekside Trail, the most scenic trail in the park. We crossed streams over bridges and reached the broad, deep Nescopeck Creek. We were a little confused, a collapsed cable bridge crossed the Nescopeck Creek, and we thought that was where the trail also crossed. However, the trail actually turned left and followed the creek upstream without crossing it.
The Creekside Trail was a pleasure to hike as it explored hemlock forests and carpets of ground pine. There were many smaller wooden bridges over streams and wet areas. Vernal pools dotted the forest floor among meandering rivulets. This place must teem with life in the spring and summer.
The hike up along the Nescopeck Creek was very beautiful. The creek was deep, flowing under a green hemlock forest. The hemlocks looked healthy and were luminescent in the bright sunshine. The peaceful creek reflected the forest perfectly. There were some large hemlocks, the long branches arched over the water. The sound of rushing water soon filled our ears and we walked down to the creek to see a rapid and boulders, with a large, dead tree embedded between them.
The trail entered a bare hardwood forest and we walked around another pond. The trail soon brought us to the Lake Frances parking area. I look forward to returning to Nescopeck State Park again and exploring more of its trails.
More information on Nescopeck State Park.