Saturday, August 9, 2008

Anders Run Trail and Natural Area

My friends Bob & Jean from Florida came over today and we hiked the Anders Run Trail near Warren, PA. This is a beautiful wooded area with white pines and hemlocks that are 200 years old. The trail was a little tricky in places, but we took it slowly and didn't push too hard. We paused at one point to listen to the Wood Thrush singing in springlike rapture. It was a mushroomer's delight with at least 30 different mushrooms and fungi poking up through the duff. One area sported a bright golden coral fungus type, and we had numerous shelf fungi and varying sizes of cap mushrooms, some so tiny we almost needed a hand lens to see them.

It wasn't a long hike, just 1 1/2 leisurely hours and about 2 miles. But the vividly blue sky and filtered sunlight presented a mosaic of azure and amber amid the dark green of the pines. Several bridges cross the streams, and a few short but steep climbs challenge your stamina a bit.

Anders Run Natural Area is part of Cornplanter State Forest. It is 96 acres and was logged 200 years ago. The old growth trees are there now are the result of no further logging in the narrow Anders Run valley. Some of them are 200-225 years old. Wildflowers and other plants include trilliums, pink lady's slippers, several species of violets, Canada Mayflower, foamflower, partridgeberry, Mayapple, maidenhair ferns, many mushrooms and other plantlife. Big Trees of Pennsylvania lists a Nordmann fir found there as the largest of its kind in the state. It is 96 feet tall and 84 inches in circumference as of 2006. Click on the title of this article for a photo of this tree.

When you go to Anders Run, don't make the same mistake that I did by leaving the camera in the car. I am going to hike it again tomorrow, this time WITH the camera along, as well as the mushroom field guide.

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