August’s trail of the month is the Cliff Trail at Salt Springs State Park. Get your tail on the trail and log your miles at the location “Salt Springs State Park” through August 31 for the chance to win a gift card.
We are officially halfway through our 165-Mile Challenge! Register online and log 165 miles—the length of the D&L Trail upon completion—through November 7, 2022, to earn a fitness incentive. Past incentives have included insulated mugs, t-shirts and more. Share your trail selfies on social media with #GetYourTailOnTheTrail.
Explore the Forests of the Endless Mountains
Along the northern reach of PA Route 29, just 10 minutes away from the New York border, lies the remote and beautiful Salt Springs State Park. Salt Springs is a rustic park with 15 miles of trails woven through 405 acres of land owned by the state and 437 acres owned and managed by the nonprofit organization Friends of Salt Springs Park.
If you’re visiting the park during a summer weekend, first make a stop at the Visitors Center to grab a map and talk to the Friends. The Wheaton House is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. from May 1 through September 30.
From here, follow Salt Springs Road to Buckley Road and park in the Friends Land parking lot. The Cliff Trail is marked by blue blazes and will take you steadily up an old logging road. It briefly joins the Bunny Trail (orange blazes) before it splits off, so make sure to stay on the right path!
After joining the Summit Trail (red blazes), the trail reaches an interesting spring area and vernal pool. Take a close look at the pool, especially in the springtime to see frogs and other amphibians in their breeding habitat. At the pond, the trail turns northeast and follows the contours of the land, descending back towards the Bunny Trail. All along this section are boulders and cliffs worth exploring. Visitors enjoy taking pictures at special features like the Tarzan Jungle and old rock quarry.
The Cliff Trail Is Just the Beginning of the Adventure
Although the highlighted Trail of the Month is the Cliff Trail, there are several beautiful spots throughout the park that are worth a hike. Connect from the Bunny Trail to the Wetland Trail for a great opportunity for wildlife viewing, especially if the frog pond piqued your interest. On the DCNR land, explore the Creek Trails and wander through meadows along the riparian buffer.
As you hike, watch carefully for moths, butterflies, bumblebees, birds and other native species that benefit the beautiful plant life. Several butterfly gardens on the property also allow these insects to flourish, providing necessary pollination for the vibrant, native flowers.
The Friends of Salt Springs Park regularly plan engaging, themed programs that are open to the public. View their calendar for a list of upcoming full moon hikes and guided treks. The Friends also hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including the Taste of the Endless Mountains Beer & Wine Festival happening on August 13, 2022. Tickets are just $20 in advance and can be purchased at a number of different locations in Montrose.
Things to Do Near Salt Springs State Park
Although Salt Springs is fairly remote, you don’t have to go far to enjoy a beverage after your hike. Just a mile east on PA-29 North is Endless Brewing, a local spot for great craft beer. They also have a small food menu featuring favorites like grilled cheese, hotdogs and chili. Looking for a special, upscale experience? Luna Wine & Table pairs homemade wine with freshly grown vegan food served in an eclectic home on an old farm. For a hearty meal for the whole family, head into Montrose for a bite at the Uptown Grill or one of the many other locally owned restaurants in town. While there, make sure to walk the main street and visit some of the unique stores, like Little Leaf Natural Products.
About Friends of Salt Springs Park
The Friends of Salt Springs Park is unique in the state of Pennsylvania. They are the only nonprofit, charitable, tax-exempt organization formed specifically to fund and operate a state park. With only five part-time employees, the park staff rely heavily on volunteers to help build and maintain trails. Read more about the organization’s unique mission and its relationship with DCNR, or volunteer to get involved today by calling 570-967-7275.
Thank you to Debra and Tami for providing the information for this blog.