In the Poconos, you can find everyday wonders not just in deep woods, but on manicured trails right off the road – such as Red Rock Trail, part of the Mount Airy Trail Network in Paradise Township, Pa.
On Saturday, July 15, Brodhead Watershed Association will host a moderate, guided hike 2 – part of the Get Outdoors Poconos series.
The map at the trailhead kiosk shows 4 miles of trails. The center loop is a wide, gravel path of about a mile. In early spring, the wetland at the start of the trail is alive with salamanders, spring peepers, wood frogs and other creatures laying their eggs. Dense stands of native mountain laurels put on a stunning show here from late May into June.
Single-track spurs of gravel curve out and around the center, providing views through oaks and maples toward the north and Camelback to the south. The spur to Mount Sophia takes you to a pine and hemlock upland at 1,600 feet. When the leaves fall, your climb is rewarded by lovely, long views over hills in all directions, and toward the edge of the Pocono escarpment in Mount Pocono.
The Nature Conservancy calls the naturally beautiful Poconos, with clean air and pure water, “one of the last great places on earth.” This hike will illustrate why.