Upper Pine Bottom State Park   NR, Cook Forest
  Sep 10, 2003 18:35 PDT 


I chose a different route back to civilization from the Lebo Run N.A. along RT44 which brought me down Upper Pine Bottom Run and through Upper Pine Bottom State Park. The only thing that lets you know you're in a state park is that there is a sign and one picnic area. The rest is a nice curving road down the valley with the run twisting on the right and left side of the road. Keep your eyes open for some decent sized hardwoods here. There may be some decent white pine on a bench to the north just out of sight from the road about 3/4 of the distance down from the top of the watershed. I did stop a couple times to take some height measurements on some trees in the valley along the stream that made my feet hit the brakes.

There were a number of white pines, hemlock and even sycamore in this valley as you work your way down the run which is actually a tributary of the Pine Creek Gorge. The white pine height of 121.5ft wasn't out of the ordinary, but I was surprised to find a nice sycamore in the valley to 121.5ft, and a gnarly tuliptree to 129.3ft. These were the only three trees I could measure before I ran out of time. There very well may be a couple of surprises to be found here, not only in the Upper Pine Bottom Run, but in the Pine Creek Gorge watershed as a whole. Just guess where I'd be if I ever moved closer to this area. The Pine Creek Gorge (PA Grand Canyon) has the potential to house some noteworthy trees and virtually unexplored old growth areas.

I really have no reason to leave the state of PA. There is just so much here, that I could easily spend a lifetime exploring all these coves for old growth.