Looking for a late fall hike to catch the final color while exploring an unusual structure and the 5,700-acre lake and wetlands associated with it? Head to Hawley, PA to traipse the Wallenpaupack …
Looking for a late fall hike to catch the final color while exploring an unusual structure and the 5,700-acre lake and wetlands associated with it? Head to Hawley, PA to traipse the Wallenpaupack Creek Trail (WCT), located just off Route 6 near the Wallenpaupack Area High School.
According to educational signs along the trail, the WCT follows the same path where the Wallenpaupack Creek meandered in the 1920s, before the massive flow line that transports water to the Wallenpaupack hydroelectric plant was built (between 1924 and 1926) to generate renewable energy.
The 14-foot-wide, 3.5-mile line carries water from the Wallenpaupack Dam to the power plant. It was originally constructed of Douglas fir brought in from Washington State; the wood was replaced with steel in the 1950s.
Hikers will have the opportunity to view the dam, which holds back 70 billion gallons of water, at the site where Wilsonville Falls once powered a grist mill.
The mile-long trek leads to a long staircase and deck overlooking the wetlands where the Wallenpaupack Creek once ran. When water is released over the dam’s spillway to reduce the threat of flooding, it flows through the former creek and into the Lackawaxen River. Today, other tributaries contribute water to the creek bed.
The wetlands provide habitat for water-loving plants such as skunk cabbage, joe-pye weed, ferns and blue flag iris. You might also encounter various amphibians, birds, fish, insects and mammals during your visit.
While there, make time to visit the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center near the trail entry point along Lamberton Lane, Hawley, PA. The center features an auditorium, science laboratory, resource library, glass museum and Native American artifacts. Lots to do in Hawley, too!
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