by Peggy Mazyck
Warm temperatures and sunny skies offer the perfect time to enjoy an adventure on Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail in Mercer County, PA. The four-mile trek through hills and valleys offers fascinating historical, environmental, and wildlife sights. The trail is situated among 100 acres of scenic forest. One different aspect of the tour is that you can choose to explore the trail on a trail buggy instead of walking or biking. Sights to enjoy along the trail include a cascading waterfall (Spirit Falls), beaver dams, deer, wild turkeys, eagles, a swamp, Indian hunting grounds, and historic buildings such as remnants of an iron ore furnace and a stone house and barn built in 1824.
My choice for exploring the trail was a trail buggy. I received a brochure that gave details on the historical and environmental significance of each stop. The paths and stops were clearly marked. One of the first things I noticed about the trail was the peace and tranquility. As my trail buggy wound up and down hills, I was struck by the beauty of the forest. The trees were of many types, tall and thick, providing a canopy of shade.
My first stop was at “Spirit Falls,” a cascading waterfall which is rumored to be the place where the spirit of an Indian named “Harthegig” lingers. Many reports have been received that people visiting the area hear moans, groans, laughter, and screams coming from the falls. On my visit, I didn’t hear groans or laughter, but I enjoyed standing on the ledge looking out at the falling water with the wind against my face and the sounds of nature in the background. It was the perfect scene for taking pictures.
As I traveled the trail I saw the remains of a beaver dam at Lackawonnock Lake, which is a bog lake created from glaciers. The Iron Ore Furnace was another interesting landmark. In addition to the furnace, this stop showcased the remnants of an old stone bridge.
Along the trail were berry patches, ferns, and incredibly, a swamp. Later I climbed a lookout tower which gave a fantastic view of the entire area. My final stop was the barn at Hell’s Hollow Farm. On display were vintage implements dating back to the 1800s.
This tour was fun, educational, and adventurous. For more information on planning a jaunt on Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail, visit www.hellshollowwildlifeadventuretrail.com or call 724-662-1999.