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Centred Outdoors continues with fall adventures. Join in with a visit to Millbrook Marsh

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Centred Outdoors continues this fall with a visit to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. On Sunday, join guides from Millbrook and Centred Outdoors for an adventure along the boardwalk to discover the unique features of the marsh and fen ecosystems. Learn how Native Americans used the site, our connection to the former Farmer’s High School (now known as Penn State University) and enjoy wildlife viewing in the center’s beautiful wetlands.

The marsh area was a popular Centre County destination long before the establishment of Millbrook Marsh. It is thought that Native Americans flocked to the area as long ago as 8,000 B.C. Groups camped along the streams while procuring jasper for making new tools. Jasper pieces of good quality were roughly shaped at the quarry and then taken to a camp site where the pieces were shaped further.

While jasper procurement seems to have been the major reason many groups of people were here, they also used other local stone materials, such as chert and flint. The marsh also may have been a focus for hunting some animals and gathering plants that could be used for food or other purposes.

Fast forward to today, there are many features that continue to make Millbrook Marsh Nature Center one of Centre County’s most popular destinations, including a front-row view of 50 acres of wetland in the midst of an ever-growing urban setting. These wetlands function naturally to prevent flooding and filter water that enters the public drinking water supply and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. Millbrook Marsh is home to three different types of wetlands — marshes, swamps and fens. The calcareous fens at Millbrook feature a limestone base where alkaline water flows through limestone bedrock to create a unique ecosystem supporting rare plants and animals.

This week’s adventure offers two hike options. The first hike at 2 p.m. will be approximately 2 miles at a moderate pace, followed by a 3:30 p.m. nature hike that will be approximately 1 mile long and focus on the ecology and natural history of Millbrook Marsh.

Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:

What: Centred Outdoors: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

When: Sunday, with guided hikes at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Where: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, 548 Puddinton Road, State College

Parking: Parking is available off of Puddintown Road.

What to bring:

  • A refillable water bottle

  • Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen

  • Sneakers are sufficient, but some areas may be muddy

  • Long pants and high socks may be preferred for additional protection from insects and ticks

  • A light snack or picnic, especially if you plan to come early or stay after the hike

  • Child carrier/backpack is recommended for very young children

  • Binoculars for bird and wildlife watchers

Difficulty of hike: 2 p.m. hike is approximately 2 miles at a moderate pace, followed by an easier 3:30 p.m. nature hike that will be approximately 1 mile long.

Additional Information:

  • Pets must be kept on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets.

Next adventure: Centred Outdoors will be visiting Poe Paddy Sate Park on Sept. 22.

Hosted by ClearWater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors will continue hosting free, guided adventures through Oct. 6. The complete schedule can be seen at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can login to create their own profile, RSVP and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates.

Jon Major is the communications strategist for ClearWater Conservancy.
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