Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a nine-part weekly column about the Centred Outdoors program, organized by ClearWater Conservancy and community partners with funding from a Centre Foundation Centre Inspires grant.
Centred Outdoors invites you to the season’s second adventure at the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday and 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday.
Bring your binoculars to experience all the wildlife the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor has to offer. Wildlife corridors are areas of protected lands between larger habitats that have been split due to human activity. They are protected in an effort to provide habitats and safe wildlife crossings between larger habitats.
When ecosystems become fragmented, populations of native plants and animals may become isolated in smaller sections of land. Corridors provide plant and animal species the opportunity to mix and migrate through the patches of land, which is important to the overall health of these populations.
The Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor connects the woods around Bald Eagle Mountain to the Scotia Barrens and is home to a variety of important native plant species, which are essential for supporting the diverse animal populations.
The wildlife corridor is recognized as an important bird area and is home to rare Pennsylvanian birds, such as the golden-winged warbler. Amphibian species rely on the vernal pools in spring as they lay their eggs and develop through their early stages of life.
Hikers will tour the grass and wildflower meadows and woodland areas to learn more about the importance of wildlife corridors and the diverse community of bird, mammal, plant, pollinator and amphibian species they support.
Guests can enjoy the 0.66-mile grassy path, which can take about an hour to complete at a leisurely walk. Many of the different wildflowers are in bloom and are attracting a wide variety of pollinators. Also be on the lookout for birds, Appalachian cottontails and maybe even a fox.
Bring comfortable sneakers or boots for hiking. Long sleeves and pants may be preferred for protection from ticks and other insects. Dogs are permitted at the wildlife corridor.
Lanagan is a Penn State graduate in geoscience and science education. She is currently working for the National Parks Service.
If you go
What: Centred Outdoors guided outing
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor, Harness Downs Road, Port Matilda