Editor’s note: This is the fifth 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 this week to Spring Creek Canyon from 2-5 p.m. Sunday and from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. Get reconnected with your health and community by walking along the banks of the beloved Spring Creek.
Once a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Spring Creek Canyon and the land around it was given new management in 2010 to allow for more public access.
Now, the canyon is open to hikers, anglers and bicyclists alike. The flat and scenic stretches along the water allow for hikers and bicyclists of different skill levels to enjoy exploring the meandering river up close.
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Spring Creek Canyon is a renowned location for recreational fishing. The Fisherman’s Paradise stretch is known for some of the best trout fishing in the country. Discover the creatures living beneath the surface, and experience the joys of fly-casting. Learn about the invasive mud snails damaging the waterway and how we can safely interact with water to protect it.
Hikers have the chance to explore nature under the shaded forest canopy. Wildflowers and ferns cover the sides of the path and spring up over the faces of the limestone canyon walls, attracting butterflies, beetles and other pollinators. Because there is such a healthy population of brown and brook trout, birds have made the woods around the canyon their home. Bring your binoculars and keep a look out for various warblers, ospreys, great blue herons and maybe a bald eagle.
Guests may participate in a taste testing activity while learning how to make healthy snacks that are perfect for future outdoor adventures. The trail is about 2 miles long and relatively flat. The hike should take about two hours. Wear comfortable shoes — such as sneakers or boots — that can handle the unpaved terrain. Pants are recommended to protect against the poison ivy that sometimes grows along the sides of the path. Leashed dogs are welcome, and please remember to pick up after your pet.
Spring Creek Canyon is at Fisherman’s Paradise, Spring Creek Canyon Trail, Bellefonte. Parking and the start of the trail can be found after turning onto Spring Creek Road. Please visit www.centredoutdoors.org for complete driving instructions.
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: Shiloh Road, State College