Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Ridley Creek State Park Yellow Trail (10/2/2019)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
We drove up PA-252 N, taking a right on Gradyville Road to find an entrance to Ridley Creek State Park on the right.
Hmm, something to do with insect control?
From the west side of the first parking lot, we started on the Yellow Trail. So far, this has been the best marked trail we have seen in the Media area, with trail marker posts and the traditional painted blazes.
Start of the Yellow Trail, said to be 4 miles long
You start on a paved path that takes you around an abandoned greenhouse and maintenance building.
Apparently the "melting bark" look is typical in
very old Platanus occidentalis/American Sycamores
The Yellow Trail leaves the paved path
Likely Amanita brunnescens/Cleft-footed Amanita, but I am not
going to handle mushrooms to look for gills and annulus rings!
Bridge over Big Run, which we cross several times
Several times the Yellow Trail follows the paved Multi-use Trail.
Ye olde horse trough that is fed by a spring, leftover from the days
when much of the park was an estate of the Walter Jefford family,
who enjoyed horseback riding and fox hunting
Not sure why rows of benches are on the bank of Big Run;
old stone bridge
Big Run from the stone bridge (KSS)
Just across the stone bridge was a Pollinator Garden, with
local plants for native bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds
One of the former mill tenant houses that is still occupied
The sign indicates a Safety Zone for the wildlife in the park!
Sandy Flash Drive S is carried over a culvert, as the Yellow Trail
turns left to climb up to that road
The Yellow Trail crosses Sandy Flash Drive S
and heads again into the woods for a steep climb!
But first a "boardwalk"
It's the season to be careful of falling black walnuts,
or of unknowingly stepping on one and having
your foot slide out from under you
The bottoms of 2-liter soda bottles were nailed
upside-down to sticks and a tree trunk, part of
a research study by West Chester University
The hole left of center was big enough to stick in a thumb,
so what created this sandy pile?
This Terrapene carolina carolina/Box Turtle tripped up Kent
The Yellow Trail followed part of this person's driveway
Back on the Multi-use Trail, where we passed the marker for
the Yellow Trail we had reached during the GFE Nature Walk
Instead of continuing on the Yellow Trail,
we switched to the Blue and White Trails
An extra-long bench at Ridley Creek
Ridley Creek (KSS)
Our final crossing of Big Run
Big Run upstream from the bridge (KSS)
Big Run downstream from the bridge, with a tiny waterfall (KSS)
The water in Ridley Creek was very clear
Tree roots helped create steps for our final climb
Unbelievable that this is a vine of Toxicodendron radicans/
Eastern Poison Ivy, with thousands of aerial roots
We followed the Blue Trail to its start in another parking lot, then took the paved roads back to our car.
Yep, crossed the pipeline a couple times
Hidden Valley Farms, a private equestrian farm within
Ridley Creek State Park

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