Today we went for an afternoon hike in the Nescopeck State Park, which is very close to Freeland, Pennsylvania, where we are staying this week. The 3,500 acre park is located between Mount Yeager and Nescopeck Mountain in Luzerne County. The valley is special because it is one of the few areas here in Pennsylvanian coal country that was not mined for coal. The park does not have spectacular waterfalls or dramatic rock formations, but it is a just a nice, forested, relaxing area. We hiked along the Nescopeck Creek and it had many beautiful old, Eastern Hemlock trees along the banks. The kids were playing hide and seek. The trees and ferns along the creek, gave it the look of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which we saw last night. We could imagine the monkeys swinging through the trees attacking humans.
It is a newer park and I am glad the state was able to purchase and preserve the valley. So many people have moved out of towns and cities to build their 2 acres of paradise, that there are precious few unbroken forested areas left. Most of the park has a secondary forest feel however, but in about 50-100 years, it will look more impressive. They have a nice environmental education center. There are a couple of small lakes, many wetlands, and the Nescopeck Creek running through the valley. With a wet spring and all that water, the mosquitos and bugs were a bit bothersome, but overall it was another great day. I really love getting out into wilderness and showing my children the beauty and wonder of nature. As Nadia wrote on her Facebook page, I am in heaven!