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Brodhead Watershed Assn. Get Outdoors Poconos Gravel Family Nature Preserve Hike April 22 In Monroe County

The Brodhead Watershed Association will host another in its series of Get Outdoors Poconos hikes on April 22 (Earth Day) at the Gravel Family Nature Preserve in Monroe County from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

The 179-acre Gravel Family Nature Preserve is in Barrett Township and already holds the promise of spring for hikers.

In the shadow of Mount Wismer, hundreds of wild blueberry bushes glow in a haze of orange-red, the leaf buds ready to open as the days grow longer. Past an open field, small wetlands gleam through stands of rhododendron.

Within weeks, these cold, silent places will be rife with salamanders, spring peepers, wood frogs, toads, and all the riot of new life.

The trail leads through white pine, hemlocks and Norway spruce. Beech, birch and shagbark hickory trees are also abundant, along with native witch hazel and the ever-present barberry.

Past the tumbled fall of boulders at the base of Wismer and around the edge of a 50-acre marsh, remains of last year’s cattails spike above this huge, wet meadow of sedges and water-loving shrubs. The abrupt “conk-la-reeeee!” of a male red-winged blackbird rings out — another promise of spring.

Naturalists Patti O’Keefe and Jackie Speicher will lead the 2-mile out-and-back hike to the headwaters of the Middle Branch of Brodhead Creek in Barrett Township.

Footing is easy to moderate, with leaves and rocks underfoot and stretches of wet ground. Walking stick recommended.

Call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727; email to: for more information on this hike.

For information about this and other hikes in this series, visit the Get Outdoors Poconos webpage. The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Brodhead Watershed Association website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Association.  Click Here to become a member.


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