Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Along the Rail-trail

The weather forecast was for a temperature of a bit over 90° and miserably high humidity – UGH! H and I decided to take our bikes and ride the southern end of the Pine Creek Rail-trail early in the morning. The trail came into being after the last train passed through the valley in 1988; here it is, the last train –

The temperature was really pleasant as we headed north along the shady grade. Approaching the first (Torbert) bridge across Pine Creek we saw an osprey flying upstream from the south. As it neared the bridge the bird turned and landed on the tip of a limbless dead tree –

After a minute or so it took flight heading back downstream. We headed in the opposite direction, upstream, though the fields where some thin-leaved sunflowers were still in bloom –

After passing through the fields, the trail enters a damp woodland where pale jewelweed bloomed in profusion –

In addition to the jewelweed, white snakeroot also bloomed in abundance in the woodland –

A large pipeline right-of-way crosses both the rail-trail and Pine Creek in the wooded section. The clearing was covered with blooming wingstem –

A little further along is the site of the former Camp Kline, a Boy Scout camp that hosted campers for over 50 years. The camp’s dining hall had been a theater, dance pavilion or roller skating rink (there are various reports as to its original use) that had been dismantled and brought to the camp on the railroad –

The camp also had what was reported to be the longest foot suspension bridge east of the Mississippi River, the bridge was downed by high winds the in the 1970s –

More wingstem bloomed in this section –

As did the early goldenrod that attracted hordes of bumblebees –

Shortly we came to the Ramsey bridge which has been re-decked for the trail –

There we watched a bumblebee grooming –

And saw a red admiral butterfly basking in the sun –

The temperature was climbing so we decided to turn about and ride back to the car before the day reached its forecast high. On the way we stopped to admire the trailside waterfall on Little Bonnell Run –

Near the waterfall we saw a couple of interesting fungi: chestnut bolete and strict coral fungus –

And white wood aster in bloom – fall’s on its way –

Amid the trailside vegetation were twining vines of wild cucumber showing both flowers and some immature seed pods –

There were patches of scouring rush, a horsetail with a high silica content that pioneers used to scour pots –

After again passing through the fields it was back across the Torbert bridge with views up and down Pine Creek –

And back to the car before it got too darn hot.


Addendum – Camp Kline was originally farmland that had been purchased by James Kline and given to the local Boy Scout council. Most of the camp buildings were constructed in the 1920s and the camp flourished for many years, hosting thousands of scouts. The 409 foot-long suspension bridge was built in 1955 and blew down on April 14, 1974 during a violent windstorm. Without the bridge there was limited access to the camp via a steep narrow road impassable to passenger vehicles. Due to the restricted access, use of the camp dwindled until residential camping ended in the 1980s. The picturesque dining hall collapsed under a heavy snow load following years of inattention. The acreage was gradually acquired for the surrounding state forest and the final buildings demolished in 2016.


The Furry Gnome said...

That looks like a really nice ride. Iinteresting photos and a stunning photo of the Osprey! Wonder how that Scout Camp came to an end?

eileeninmd said...

Great capture of the Osprey. Love the flowers and views of the Camp.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post.
Take care, enjoy your day!