The PA Wilds are a unique area of the state encompassing over 2 million acres of land. Each section of the PA Wilds offers something a little different and I can say some of my favorite places are within the Wilds. Clear Creek State Park is a 1,900 acre park nestled along the Clarion River in the Clear Creek Valley. This is a beautiful park for hiking, fishing, canoeing and most importantly relaxing! The first half day and night there the sky was moody and threatened rain, it was the perfect night to sit around the fire and enjoy the company of friends and family. Luckily, the rain held off and even though there were hardly any clouds in the sky in the early morning, by mid-morning, the clouds rolled and the sky’s got grey. I took that as a queue to head out on the days hike. Starting from the campgrounds is Ox Shoe trail, cross the stone bridge from the bottom of the camping ground and turn right into the open field next to Clear Creek Stream. This is a short interpretative trail that follow the stream and the back end of the upper camping ground. Ox Shoe connects to the longer (1.44 miles) Clear Creek Trail which traverses the length of the park. This trail gains 500 or so feet through mixed hardwood and pine forest. This is when the first of the rain hit and the beautiful sweet smell of pine filled my nose. One of my favorite scents that always reminds me of my time at Mt. Rainier in Washington State! The rain made the greens pop and the forest was covered with beautiful ferns along the forest. I’m not sure how far I was on Clear Creek Trail when I hit the connector trail Big Coon. This took me to it’s namesake picnic area where it looked like I could pick up another connector trail, called Korb Trail. Korb being ultimately where I wanted to end up for the day. So down Big Coon I went and sure enough, it lead me right to Korb. Korb trail was created by the fisherman who wanted to fish along the steam, it’s not far .4 miles in total but connected Big Coon Picnic Area with another Picnic Area which I didn’t grab the name of. Along the trail were beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers next to the stream, hardwoods and Mountain Laurel which is close to blooming. The rain kept it a nice walk and not too hot. I was always on the lookout for snakes as I always am, luckily I didn’t see any, but I did see a tiny red eft salamander. I absolutely could not have asked for a better hike, it was peaceful and I didn’t see a soul, despite the campground being crowded, I was able to find some solitude. Hiking around streams and rivers are my favorite and this place is magical. It feels like I’m in JRR Tolkien’s world every time I visit the PA Wilds.
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