At 1,900 feet above sea level, Chestnut Mountain is one of Monroe County’s jewels of conserved land, open to the public. It is part of the miles-long Pocono escarpment in northeastern Pennsylvania — that massive procession of folded rock bluffs that marches across the county.
On Sunday, Oct. 21, Brodhead Watershed Association will host a guided hike at this view-strewn mountain.
Starting in the West End, near Hypsy Gap, familiar landmarks punctuate the escarpment’s rocky heights — Camelback, Pocono Manor, the Knob in Mount Pocono, Cresco Heights. Then Chestnut Mountain, Spruce Mountain, Mount Wismer, and Skytop’s West Mountain.
The preserve’s large parking area off Route 191 is a relic of the days when the previous landowner heavily timbered the mountain. Formerly the loggers’ staging area, it is open to the sun, and so has been overrun with opportunistic non-natives such as stilt grass, barberry and multiflora rose.
Just ahead, the blue-blazed trail leads into the woods. Moving downhill, the trail dries out, and, like trails throughout the Poconos, becomes rocky.
Hikers will move through tall, old stands of native rhododendrons, past the bear-clawed beech tree and through the woods of beech, maple, ash and many kinds of oak. Deep among the trees, enormous glacier-dropped boulders look like a mammoth sculpture garden.
IF YOU GO
Join hike leader Patti O’Keefe for this moderate-to-messy nature hike of about 2 miles out and back. Sturdy boots and walking stick strongly recommended.
WHEN: 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018
WHERE: Off Route 191 in Barrett Township. Register for directions.
COST: Free, but registration is required.
INFORMATION: Call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727; email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about this and other hikes in the free Get Outdoors Poconos series, go to brodheadwatershed.org/gopoconos. The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.