HIDDEN TREASURES #2 – Pennsylvania

Welcome to part two in our exploration of the most amazing places in the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains — this time exploring some of our most fabulous Public Lands.

Black Moshannon

Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli

The most unique aspect of the 3,400-acre Black Moshannon State Park in central Pennsylvania — a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s — is the 1,992 acres of protected bog lands that form a rare biosphere home to three species of carnivorous plants, 17 varieties of orchids, and other plant and animal species normally found farther north. At 1,919 feet, the park sits atop the Allegheny Plateau and just west of the Allegheny Front, a steep escarpment that rises 1,300 feet in four miles. More than 20 miles of trails and a network of unpaved state forest roads adjacent to the park provide ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking and cross country skiing. As part of the state’s Important Bird Area #33, Black Moshannon is considered a top birding destination in the state; bird watchers have recorded 175 different species, including the Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, the Alder Flycatcher and the Common Yellowthroat. While not as “hidden” as some of our other treasures (Black Moshannon Park is on “The 20 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks” list), the sheer diversity of unique plants and birds makes it an intriguing prospect for any naturalist at heart. — JG

More Info: Located nine miles east of Philipsburg on PA 504. Visit: dcnr.state.pa.us

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