Kevin J. Furst: Blog https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Kevin J. Furst kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:49:00 GMT Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:49:00 GMT https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u935858064-o27594938-50.jpg Kevin J. Furst: Blog https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog 120 67 Reducing your impact on nature https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/your-actions-matter-leave-no-trace-keep-nature-wild My Trail Notes Blog was created to document and share my hiking, kayaking, and camping adventures with you. 

Before launching the blog, I did my research and thought about the impact a blog would have on the locations that I shared. I looked at hiking blogs, local travel resources and spoke to other photographers and hikers before ever launching the blog. I even heard from two individuals who were unable to hike on rocky uneven terrain due to health limitations and they said a blog would give them the opportunity to see some places they could no longer explore. The feedback I received overall was positive but not everyone was as supportive. 

Location Dropping

The biggest pushback I received was with sharing the locations of some of the amazing places in Pennsylvania. I understood the concern and wanted to make sure my actions would not adversely affect these locations. I created a few guidelines to follow when blogging and posting on social media that align with the Leave No Trace, Keep Nature Wild, and Nature First Principles.

Some of the guidelines include...

  • Is the area already well-known and promoted (National park, State Park, Preserve, Recreation Area)
  • Has the area seen significant trail erosion, trash, or graffiti in the last few months/year
  • Are there any plants that are on the rare, threatened, or endangered list
  • Are there any animals denning or nesting in the area (fox, eagles, osprey)
  • Can the area support additional visitors with its existing infrastructure

The good thing about having a blog is that I have full control over the content and the ability to make adjustments when necessary. I regularly talk to Park Rangers when out on the trail and always ask questions to find out if there are any issues or if there are any trails they need help cleaning up. 

Are there locations that I do not share?

Yes! Most places I explore never even make it to my blog or social media accounts. 

These areas need to be preserved and protected by limiting the foot traffic and attention they receive. Extra foot traffic will ultimately lead to trail erosion, the creation of new trails through sensitive areas, trash being left behind, the trampling of crucial ecosystems including plants, microorganisms, and wildlife. 

Copyright © 2021, Keep Nature Wild.Copyright © 2021, Keep Nature Wild
Share with Care & Educate

The most important thing that I found missing during my research was the education portion about taking care of what we have. There are many gorgeous areas that have gone from pristine waterfalls lined with ferns and moss to trash floating in the stream, new paths right through the ferns, and moss along the falls replaced with mud and rock from being trampled. 

We can protect these locations and make them better by educating people on the trails while hiking and online in the communities we have built on social media. 

My favorite local waterfall is a hotspot in the summer months for its rope swing and cliff jumping. Every time I go there, I bring several trash bags, extra gloves, and ask the kids to help pick up. Not once did anyone say no and some have commented how much nicer their hangout spot looked when we were done. Some have even asked if they could take the trash bags to the trailhead when they left.

These small, positive interactions will stick with them on their future visits and make them appreciate what they have, maintain it, and take care of it. On future visits over the years, I have removed less and less trash from this location even though there are more and more people each summer.

The resurgence in the outdoor experience

The great outdoors is experiencing a resurgence right now with everyone getting cabin fever and quarantine crazy. If you are not an early riser lately, trailheads are packed, campsites booked, and boat launches are full by late morning.

I believe this excitement for the outdoors is a good thing because younger generations are finding a new appreciation for the outdoors or experiencing the outdoors for the first time. Getting younger generations involved will help protect what we have for future generations through education on leaving what we have better. 

How can we help reduce our impact?

Each of us plays an integral part in protecting and preserving our natural resources. Every time you go outside it is important to understand how your actions will affect plants, animals, ecosystems, and other people. Below are some of the principles that will help all of us as we explore and experience the outdoors together. 

1. Leave No Trace | website

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

2. Keep Nature Wild | website

  • If you pack it in, pack it out.
  • Always bring a trash bag with you and pick up the litter you see.
  • Understand the possible impact of your actions on your surroundings.
  • Use discretion if sharing locations.
  • Leave places better than you found them. 
  • Prioritize the well-being of nature.

3. Nature First | website

  • Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
  • Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
  • Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
  • Use discretion if sharing locations.
  • Know and follow rules and regulations.
  • Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
  • Actively promote and educate others about these principles

4. Backpacker Radio | website

  • Episode #97 with Ben Lawhon of Leave No Trace

 


Sources: Leave No Trace | Keep Nature Wild | Nature First

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling. 
 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) discover NEPA get outside hiking hiking blog keep nature wild leave no trace pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/your-actions-matter-leave-no-trace-keep-nature-wild Wed, 17 Mar 2021 16:19:28 GMT
Kayak the Francis E. Walter Dam https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/kayak-the-francis-e-walter-dam OVERVIEW 

Constructed in 1961 by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood management, the Francis E. Walter Dam spans the Lehigh River at its confluence with Bear Creek. The reservoir was named after local United States Representative, Francis E. Walter in 1963. Prior to the construction of the dam, the Lehigh River was subject to regular flooding events from large ice dams breaking apart after heavy rains. Some of these flooding events would result in waves 30 feet high that swept downstream destroying anything in its path. Since construction, the dam has prevented nearly $230 million in flood damages to the Lehigh River Valley.


In 1988, the Water Resources Development Act was passed, which directed the Secretary of the Army to prepare to regulate the Francis E. Walter Reservoir, and other areas, for recreational purposes. Today the 80-acre reservoir is used for kayaking, canoeing, and boating. Hiking, picnicking, fishing, and hunting are also available. The coordination between the Philadelphia District USACE, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Delaware River Basin Commission work together to continue flood management activities while scheduling dam releases for whitewater rafting.

There are two separate launch points on either side of the dam: one for kayaks/canoes and the other for motorboats. While paddling along the banks of the reservoir you can find water snakes cruising the shallows, rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the rock ledges, birds nesting on the cliffs, frogs, and toads, and a variety of landscapes. The views vary from a sunken forest, rock cliffs, pines, and shallow grassy areas. If you visit when the dam is low, some areas of the reservoir look like you are on a different planet. 
 

PHOTOS FROM THE RESERVOIR

TRAIL NOTES 

KNOWN FOR 
Human-powered boats | Motorboats (10 hp) | Fishing | Picnicking | Hiking | Photography | Disc Golf | Swimming is not permitted

TRAIL MAP 
Francis E. Walter Dam Site Map

MY PICKS 

The overall landscape here is beautiful. My favorite locations on the reservoir are the sunken forest and the shallows towards the back of the property where Bear Creek flows into the dam. If you visit the reservoir when the toads and frogs are looking for a mate, you will be serenaded by a lovely chorus of croaks.

GPS, HOURS & PARKING

146 Walter Dam Road, White Haven, Pennsylvania 18661
Open dawn to dusk.

NEARBY ADVENTURES

 

MORE OF MY TRAIL NOTES
Check out my other blog posts here.


Resources: USACE

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling.  

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) bear creek bear creek preserve discover NEPA get outside Hiking hiking blog keep nature wild leave no trace pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador wilkes barre https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/kayak-the-francis-e-walter-dam Fri, 05 Mar 2021 02:28:03 GMT
Panoramic Vistas & Waterfalls - Exploring Raymondskill Falls, Hackers Falls, and Cliff Park Trail https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/cliff-trail-raymondskill-falls-hackers-falls-delaware-water-gap OVERVIEW

This post was updated on March 1, 2021.

If you like spectacular panoramic vistas, this hike is for you...

The Cliff Trail has some of the best panoramic vistas in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and has become one of my favorite fall hikes. From the four overlooks along the cliff, you can see Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York on a clear day. During the peak foliage season in the Pocono Mountains, the colors stretch as far as the eye can see with the mighty Delaware River carving its way through the valley.  Over the DelwareOver the Delware

Getting to these views takes a little work but the effort is definitely worth the reward. From the parking area on Raymondskill Road, make your way across the road to the Cliff Trail/Hackers Trails. Depending on how much time you have, you can make a right and stay on Cliff Trail (white blaze) or do the full loop and go straight to Hackers Trail (yellow blaze). You will gain 300 feet in elevation in about a half-mile as you head up Cliff Trail. The trails are well maintained and a mix of gravel and dirt.

After the initial uphill climb, the trail will level out along the ridge giving you time to catch your breath at the Tristate Overlook. This is the first of four overlooks along the cliff. When exploring at each overlook, use caution and common sense, and stay behind the fence barrier. As you make your way to the next overlook, keep an eye out for hemlock trees, deer, bears, and Bald Eagles. The next two overlooks give you views of the Delaware River and the monument at High Point State Park (looking northeast). The last of the four overlooks gives you a birdseye view of downtown Milford, PA. 

There are two waterfalls in the area. The first is the impressive Raymondskill Falls (located at the trailhead). Raymond Skill Falls is a three-tiered waterfall that plummets 178 feet. If you add the drops from each tier together, the waterfall is only a few feet shorter than Niagara Falls. There are two viewing platforms for visitors. The lower platform provides you with the best place for photo opportunities. 

The second waterfall is located at the top of the ridge if you follow Buchanan Trail (orange blaze) from Cliff Trail. Hackers Falls is short but impressive, especially after a good rain. The fan shape of the waterfall drops sharply into Raymondskill Creek before feeding into Raymondskill Falls. There is a small area at the base of the falls to take a break.
 

PHOTOS FROM THE TRAIL

TRAIL NOTES
KNOWN FOR 
Family Friendly | Birding/Wildlife | Fall Colors | Overlook/Vista | Photography | Hiking | Restrooms | Waterfalls 

RESTRICTIONS
Swimming and wading are not permitted within 50 feet upstream of waterfalls or in the waterfalls themselves.

PET FRIENDLY 
Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash. 

TRAIL MAP 
Cliff Park Trail Map (pdf)

TRAIL STATS

White Blaze - Cliff Trail. Moderate 2.8 miles, one-way.
Yellow Blaze - Hackers Trail. Moderate 1.4 miles, one-way.

Orange Blaze - Buchanan Trail. Easy-Moderate 1.1 miles, one-way.

Over 8 miles of trail can be connected together in the Cliff park area. 

GPS, HOURS & PARKING

The trailhead is located on Raymondskill Road. GPS coordinates: 41.290291,-74.840466.
Cliff trail is open year-round, sunrise to sunset. 
A restroom is located at the Raymondskill Falls trailhead.
 

 

NEARBY ADVENTURES

 

MORE OF MY TRAIL NOTES
Check out my other blog posts here.


Resources: NPS 

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling.  

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) Cliff Trail Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area fall foliage highpoint state park Hiking hiking blog keep nature wild leave no trace overlook pocono mountains raymondskill falls vista https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/cliff-trail-raymondskill-falls-hackers-falls-delaware-water-gap Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:34:00 GMT
Pandemic Fatigue, Mental Health, & Mother Nature https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/Pandemic-Fatigue-Mental-Health-Mother-Nature It's 2019 and we were surrounded by friends and family and counting down the seconds as the ball dropped. 2020 was going to be one of the best years yet. So many plans for festivals, travel, photography workshops, family reunions, picnics, and sporting events.

No one could have predicted where 2020 was about to go. 2020 changed our lives drastically and we had to adapt quickly to this "new normal" way of living. 

Holidays, picnics, and birthdays were canceled. Sporting events, concerts, and festivals were canceled. Working from home while managing your child's virtual school. Closed businesses and restaurants. Curbside pick-up and home delivery. No toilet paper or sanitizer. Wearing masks everywhere. Social distancing. Job loss and the loss of loved ones. Fear of being around strangers. Fear of being around family because you could get them sick.

There is a lot to unpack when we talk about the pandemic because the events from 2020 to today were completely different for each of us.  Copyright © 2021, Kevin J. FurstCopyright © 2021, Kevin J. Furst

For me, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught me a lot about myself, my mental health, and what I need to do to take care of myself. 

The Pandemic Broke Me

Realizing there was something wrong was harder to see/admit than I thought. I have always had a low level of anxiety but it was manageable and only popped up around big events. This was different, a lot different. This time it was crippling. 

So much changed in such a short time that it was hard to identify the single event that took me out. I knew that I needed to start somewhere so I took a few steps to identify and remove some of my biggest stress points.

The 24-hour news cycle is enough to drive anyone crazy. The live ticker of positive cases and deaths was depressing. Breaking news every 30 minutes highlighting everything that was shutting down. The quick solution... I deleted every news app from my phone and stayed away from the television. Next came the doom scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. I set-up time restrictions on my iPhone to limit my daily social media consumption. The last step was completely shutting off all notifications, except for texts and phone calls. This was the quickest way to get temporary relief and unplug.

The biggest step was to get out of the house and get some fresh air - and often. Remember that "me time" is not selfish, it's essential. You cannot take care of others if you cannot take care of yourself first.

Turning to Mother Nature

Spending time outdoors can give your mental health a much-needed boost and break. Finding time to unplug, no matter what is going on in your life is always a plus.  

  1. Being outdoors can reduce your stress levels.
    You have a deadline in a few days and you have a mental block, no drive, or motivation. Reducing your stress can help your ability to be more creative and think more clearly. When walking, running, or even finding a quiet place to sit outside, your tension and anxiety melt away. My "time out" place is a nearby waterfall. Researchers in Holland and Japan have found that as little as 20-30 minutes of exposure to nature a day can significantly reduce cortisol levels. 

  2. Natural light and fresh air can boost your mood.
    Sunlight has the ability to lift you up, especially after the grays winter days. The feeling of the warm sunlight gives your body and mind a sense of well-being. If you want to cure your moody blues, exposure to natural light can improve both your mood and your overall self-esteem.

  3. Stop the go, go, go and give your mind a rest.
    If you have a tough day at work, frustrating commute, or lots of deadlines, outdoor activities can let your mind reset and declutter. If you are used to sitting at a desk for 8-hours a day, a walk or hike will let your body move in ways it hasn't for a while and rejuvenate your brain. If you are pressed on time and can't fit in a walk, a quick drive to your favorite overlook, park, the lake, or your favorite quiet place can help too. Give yourself some time in a place you can clear your head and stop thinking so hard. 

  4. Exercise.
    Hiking, climbing, running, biking and kayaking can make your body feel revitalized in just 30 minutes. You do not have to train like you're getting ready to break the sound barrier or complete a Spartan run to feel the change. If you have a favorite exercise, stretching, or yoga routine, take it outside and soak in the sun and get some fresh air. 

  5. Nature Fights Depress & Anxiety. 
    Nature has profound effects on our mental health. Researchers at Stanford noted that participants who spend time in nature showed less neural activity in the part of the brain associated with depression compared to their urban counterparts. Just 20-30 minutes per day spent in nature (or your garden) can significantly reduce cortisol levels and lower your stress levels. 

  6. Screen Time.
    We have all been there... Netflix binges and doom scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, and Amazon can create mental fatigue. Our brains have become trained to multi-task and always need stimulation even when we are doing something else. Our brains rarely have time to switch off and normalize, which is exactly what they do when we head outside. 

 

Everyone is different and may need different levels of support. 

If you or someone you know needs help please use the resources below.

 


Sources: Science Direct | National Institute of Health | Time.com | US News

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling. 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) Get Outside Hiking keep nature wild leave no trace mental health pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/Pandemic-Fatigue-Mental-Health-Mother-Nature Mon, 01 Mar 2021 17:16:03 GMT
Hiking Bear Creek Preserve https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/bear-creek-preserve OVERVIEW 

This place is simply stunning and has become my go-to hike when I need to get out for a quick adventure. Each time I go for a hike here I notice something new when I switch up my route from one loop to the next. This preserve is one that you cannot miss.

Covering a vast 3,565 acres, the Bear Creek Preserve is larger than many state parks and has become a favorite hiking location for many outdoor lovers in NEPA. From the parking area, you have quick access to multiple trails that are well marked and easy to follow - you can download the trail map using the link above. The trails vary in length and difficulty from a quick and easy 1-mile loop to a 6+ mile loop that is a little more difficult - there are over 31 miles of trails here. 

The trails are well maintained but can get pretty muddy after a good rain. Several bridges exist across the creek but some primitive water crossings do exist. I always keep an extra pair of shoes or flip-flops in the car just in case. You will find small benches scattered throughout the preserve that allow you to sit and relax and look for some of the native wildlife, including black bear, coyote, bobcat, fox, Bald Eagle, Osprey, and many species of migratory songbirds. 

The Bear Creek Preserve is part of a larger system of state parks and game lands that spans more than 150,000 acres.
 

PHOTOS FROM THE TRAIL 

TRAIL NOTES 

KNOWN FOR 
Family Friendly | Birding/Wildlife | Waterfalls | River/Creek | Fall Colors | Overlook/Vista | Photography | Hiking | Trail Running

PET FRIENDLY 
Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash. 

TRAIL MAP 
Bear Creek Preserve Natural Lands Trail Map (pdf)

MY PICKS 

No matter what trail you take, you cannot go wrong. Below are my favorite routes. 

🟡 Yellow Loop - Easy 1.1 miles

🟢 Green Loop - Moderate 2.1 miles

🔴⚪️ Red to Gray Loop - Difficult 6.1+ miles

GPS, HOURS & PARKING

Bear Creek Preserve is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
Parking is limited and can be found at 47 Rabbit Run Lane, Bear Creek, PA 18702.
You will be towed if you park on State Route 115.

Remember to stay on designated trails to protect plants and prevent wildlife disturbance. Rattlesnakes, bears, and ticks call this preserve home - always use caution when hiking.  

 

NEARBY ADVENTURES

 

MORE OF MY TRAIL NOTES
Check out my other blog posts here.

 


Resources: Natural Lands 

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling.  
 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) bear creek bear creek preserve discover NEPA get outside Hiking hiking blog keep nature wild leave no trace pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador wilkes barre https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/bear-creek-preserve Sun, 28 Feb 2021 23:28:59 GMT
Keep Nature Wild in the Pocono Mountains https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/keep-nature-wild I am a first-time Wild Keeper Ambassador for the 2021 Spring term with Keep Nature Wild.

Keep Nature Wild is a clothing company on a mission. They sell ethically manufactured products with a purpose. For each product sold they are committed to removing one pound of trash. How do they keep the pound-for-pound promise? Each month thousands of Wild Keeper Ambassadors participate in an Impact Day where we get outside and make a difference and keep nature trash-free. To date, 393,234 pounds of trash have been picked up with a goal of 1,000,000 pounds picked up by 2023.

A Wild Keeper Ambassador is someone who gets outside and picks up trash, follows outdoor ethics, is kind to others, and explores responsibly. I am proud to join them on this mission and to keep nature the way it is supposed to be - wild! 
 

How much impact can we really make? Copyright © 2021, Keep Nature Wild.Copyright © 2021, Keep Nature Wild

If we work together, a lot!

Every year, nearly 30 million people travel to the Pocono Mountains to experience its natural beauty. Let's imagine that each of those 30 million people left behind a single soda can. In one year, our lakes, rivers, beaches, waterfalls, and streams would be covered in 28 million pounds of soda cans. 

Now imagine if everyone who visited the Pocono Mountains picked up one piece of trash per day. during their stay. The impact would be incredible.  
 

What else can I do to help?

Each of us plays an integral part in protecting and preserving our natural resources. Every time you go outside it is important to understand how your actions will affect plants, animals, ecosystems, and other people. 

Below are a few ways you can Keep Nature Wild...

  1. If you pack it in, pack it out.
  2. Always bring a trash bag with you and pick up the litter you see.
  3. Understand the possible impact of your actions on your surroundings.
  4. Use discretion if sharing locations.
  5. Leave places better than you found them. 
  6. Prioritize the well-being of nature.

 

 


Sources:
Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau | VisitPA | Keep Nature Wild | National Park Service

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling. 
 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) Get Outside Hiking keep nature wild leave no trace pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/keep-nature-wild Sun, 21 Feb 2021 20:55:06 GMT
Hiking to Choke Creek Falls https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/choke-creek-falls OVERVIEW

The Pinchot State Forest is named after Gifford Pinchot for his contributions to forestry and his legacy of forest land conservation. Pinchot was a pioneer of U.S. forestry and is regarded as the "father" of American conservation for his unrelenting concern and protection of American forests.

The Pinchot State Forest is comprised of 50,000 acres in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, and Wayne Counties. This land is managed as a "working forest" where they are used for pure water, recreation, scenic beauty, plant and animal habitat, sustainable timber, and natural gas. 

The Thornhurst Tract (PDF Map) of the Pinchot State Forest is located in the southern part of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania and where you will find the beautiful Choke Creek Falls.

GETTING TO THE FALLS

If you are looking for a quick hike or a longer stroll through the forest, there are two ways to get there. The first is a 3/4 mile long out and back trail mostly on old access roads, the other is a 4-mile loop that takes you through a rhododendron tunnel, passes by wetlands, and through spruce and hemlock forests. 

Choke Creek Falls is a popular spot for kids in the summer for swimming and rope swings. Getting to the falls in the morning is your best bet for a little quiet time - nothing beats coffee and waterfalls in the morning. Because this location is a popular spot, there tends to be a lot of trash at the base of the falls. I always bring a trash bag with me when I go to the falls to keep it clean and beautiful. 

Choke Creek Falls features a deep pool surrounded by rock ledges, rhododendrons, and pine trees. The falls themselves are about 20 feet high with two drops. The water depth varies greatly depending on the time of year and water flow - use caution when jumping in. 

PHOTOS FROM THE TRAIL

TRAIL NOTES

KNOWN FOR: 
Family Friendly | Birding/Wildlife | Waterfalls | River/Creek | Fall Colors | Photography | Hiking | Trail Running | Backpack Camping

DOGS: 
Dogs are permitted. Must be kept on a leash. 

TRAIL MAP: 
Pinchot State Forest - Thornhurst Tract (PDF)

GPS, HOURS & PARKING:

The Pinchot State Forest is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
Parking is limited and can be found at an unmarked, 90-degree turn along Phelps Road. Use the following coordinates on Google Maps: 41.174697, -75.609054.
Do not block the gates when parking.

 

NEARBY ADVENTURES

-
 

MORE OF MY TRAIL NOTES
Check out my other blog posts here.

 


Resources: PA DCNR

Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling.  

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) Get Outside Hiking keep nature wild leave no trace pinchot state forest pocono mountains wild keeper ambassador https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/choke-creek-falls Sun, 10 Jan 2021 13:07:00 GMT
Who is Kevin Furst? https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/who-is-kevin-furst Welcome! Thank you for stopping by my photography portfolio and checking out my blog. 

I am a landscape and nature photographer who has a passion for exploring the outdoors. On any given day, you can find me knee-deep in a cool mountain stream capturing waterfalls, kayaking along the banks of a lake looking for wildlife, or camping under the stars.

I am most at home when I am completely immersed in nature with my camera at the ready. I have had an interest in photography since I was in middle school when my grandparents got me a subscription to National Geographic Magazine. When I picked up my first film camera, I shortly after joined the high school photo club and began developing images in the darkroom. It was not until college that I made the transition from film to digital and combined my love for the outdoors with my love for photography.

Throughout college, I explored various camera systems when I became the campus photography studio and darkroom technician. Sony quickly became the system of choice because the lenses from my Minolta film camera fit the Sony Alpha bodies. Today I shoot with the Sony A7r III and Sigma Art lenses.

My photography bucket list includes exploring more of our National Parks (Yosemite, Acadia, Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Arches), the Palouse, Pacific Northwest, and the Adirondacks.

Design space photo frameDesign space photo frameDesign space photo frame

What is your favorite genre and subject matter?
My two favorite genres are landscape and nature photography.

What do you enjoy most about photography?
I love the ability to share my love for nature and the outdoors with others. Photography is also a great way to relax and have some "me" time.

Do you have a favorite picture? If so why?
My favorite photos are a series of waterfall pictures that I took in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Toms Creek, Hornbecks Creek, Adams Creek) because they were taken over the course of several awesome days which I spent with a good friend who is also a photographer. We were out before sunrise, stopped for coffee and breakfast, packed a lunch, and stayed out until sunset. They may not be the best photos I’ve ever taken but the experience of sharing that time with a good friend and fellow photographer is what makes them my favorite photos.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to photograph?
My favorite local spots to photograph are in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Bear Creek Preserve, and the Pinchot State Forest - I love being able to see and explore the woods, streams, fields, and mountains all in one trip.

Photographic Goals:
I’m always looking for ways to improve my photography through workshops and shadowing other photographers. I want to explore macro photography and black and white photography more.

 


Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling. 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) cliff trail delaware water gap national recreation area hiking kevin furst Kevin J. Furst Pocono Mountains https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/who-is-kevin-furst Mon, 16 Apr 2018 03:02:00 GMT
George W. Childs Park - CLOSED https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/george-w-childs-park Note: This trail is currently closed due to storm damage. Please visit the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area website for all future updates. 

Now part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, George W. Childs Park was once a state park and the site of a 19th-century woolen mill. Joseph Brooks, a Welshman who had immigrated to Philadelphia, built the mill around 1826. The mill was made of stone, stood 3½ stories high, and employed approximately 80 workers. When Brooks died in 1832 the mill was abandoned. The ruins of the mill can still be seen along the banks of Dingmans Creek.

The site is named for George W. Childs, a noted philanthropist, whose widow deeded the land to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1912. The site contains three main waterfalls: Factory Falls, Fulmer Falls, and Deer Leap Falls and is a few miles upstream from Dingmans Falls and Silverthread Falls.

 

Length: 1.4 miles, loop
Difficulty: easy-moderate
Elevation Change: 144 feet
Trailhead Location: directions to George W. Childs Park trailhead

Facilities: Restrooms located at the trailhead. Gravel parking lot. 

 


Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling. 
 

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kevinjfurst@gmail.com (Kevin J. Furst) 800poconos child park Delaware Water Gap Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area george w childs park Get Lost Get Outside Hike Hiking outside Mountains Pocono Pocono Mountains Poconos Travel https://kevinjfurst.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/george-w-childs-park Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:50:25 GMT