Let’s Enjoy Some Fall Foliage and a Woodland Drive

Here are some photos of a recent trip to State Game Lands 110 and 211. SGL 110 is northwest of Hamburg. This game land runs along the top of a ridgeline on Blue Mountain. The Appalachian Trail also travels through this area. The leaves were starting to change color when I was there:

I next travelled into Dauphin and Lebanon Counties to visit State Game Land 211, the home of the Stony Valley trail, a former railroad bed belonging to the Dauphin and Susquehanna Railroad. This area was formerly the site of small towns supported by mining, timbering, ice harvesting and spring water bottling. The eastern end of the trail runs along side a well-known beaver pond.

Berks (and Schuylkill) Bridges and Some Curious Cows

A drive through Berks and Schuylkill Counties this past Autumn provided some scenic views. First up is the Zimmerman Covered Bridge in Schuylkill County. Originally built in 1880, it is 65 feet long.

Zimmerman Covered Bridge
The familiar Burr Arch Truss construction.
A neat old shed.
Are you looking at us?
These cows do not seem to care.

The Dreibelbis Station Bridge is a 172 foot long Burr arch truss covered bridge spanning Maiden Creek south of Lenhartsville, Berks County. The bridge was built in 1869 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1981. Another Berks bridge with a hex sign – I love it.

A pretty farm property

Kutz’s Mill Bridge is a historic wooden covered bridge located at Greenwich Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is a 93 foot long, Burr Truss bridge, constructed in 1854. It crosses the Sacony Creek. As the name implies, it leads to the Kutz Mill. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

Kutz’s Mill Covered Bridge
Kutz’s Mill

The Rock Covered Bridge is a single-span Burr arch truss 55 feet 7 inches over Little Swatara Creek in Schuylkill County.

Rock Covered Bridge

A Drive Along the Ridge

This Autumn I had an opportunity to take a drive through State Games Lands 110 in Berks and Schuylkill Counties. The auto tour provides an opportunity to explore roads not usually open to traffic along the top of the Blue Mountain ridge.

Deer, bear and turkeys are some of the wildlife you’ll find in Game Lands 110, a 10,310-acre forested area along Blue Mountain. The Appalachian Trail is located on the top of the Blue Mountain and runs the length of the game lands from Route 183 to Port Clinton. The area does provide some beautiful fall color. After a short but steep drive up the mountain, the route continued along a relatively flat road along the crest from east to west. Here are some of my shots from along the route:

Coming Attractions

Upcoming posts will feature a recent trip to Tioga and Bradford Counties, along with bonus locations. This will be followed by some very special “not in Pennsylvania” posts in Autumn. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some random favorites of mine.

Blue Marsh Lake
Clinton County hay bales.
Model airplane field, Valley Forge

Berks Perks

Berks County is the home to a few covered bridges and some very picturesque spots. Greisemer Covered Bridge is one of few I have seen with a hex sign. The oak design is one of my favorite hex signs. Here are a few views of the bridge. You will note the common Burr arch truss design.

A lovely church property stands between the two bridges featured in this blog. This is Salem United Church of Christ in Oley and its churchyard. The view toward the hills beyond is really lovely.

A nice view with the farm in back.
These cows were across the road from the church.
The Pleasantville Covered Bridge

The Pleasantville Covered Bridge is on more busy stretch of the appropriately named Covered Bridge Road and more difficult to photograph. As a white bridge, it provides a nice contrast with the red Greisemer Bridge. It is interesting that, although I see barn stars everywhere, I tend to see hex signs more often in Berks County.

Headed home, I came across this fantastic barn with hex signs.
Looks like soybean at this farm.

The Wertz Covered Bridge

The Wertz Covered Bridge, also known as the Red Covered Bridge (but aren’t most of them), is a historic wooden covered bridge located at Bern Township and Spring Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The bridge is a 204-foot-long, Burr Truss bridge, constructed in 1867. It crosses the Tulpehocken Creek. It serves as the walkway entrance to the Berks County Heritage Center, which also includes the Gruber Wagon Works. It is one of only five covered bridges remaining in Berks County. It is the largest single-span covered bridge in Pennsylvania.

The bridge was restored in 1959 and later in 1984, however, when the Warren Street Bypass opened, the bridge was closed permanently in October, 1959. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1978.

The bridge is part of the Berks County Heritage Center, an historical interpretive complex commemorating important eras of Berks County cultural history. The Gruber Wagon Works (a National Historic Landmark) the C. Howard Hiester Canal Center, Wertz’s Covered Bridge, Melcher’s Grist Mill, Deppen Cemetery, Bicentennial Eagle Memorial, the Distlefink statue and a salad and herb garden are all encompassed within the Heritage Center.

The view from Tulpehocken Road.
Inside Pennsylvania’s longest single span covered bridge.
The Bat Colony of the bridge. I love bats. They eat insects and are so cute.
A look around the Berks County Heritage Center…
A look up at the bridge.
The view from the other end.
Tulpehocken Creek

Let’s Hang onto Autumn a Bit Longer

Here are some late leaf season shots of Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County. I’ve been holding off on the Christmas posts as long as I can just as I was trying hold onto Autumn on this day in late October.

Blue Marsh National Recreation Area contains an artificial lake located northwest of Reading, Pennsylvania. It was constructed and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is fed by the Tulpehocken Creek. Blue Marsh was the name of the village that was located where the lake now is. It was the first settlement in Lower Heidelberg Township. The United States Army Corps of Engineers began constructing the lake in March 1974 with the impoundment of the Tulpehocken Creek and was completed in September 1979. The lake is now a popular spot for recreation, including swimming, boating, fishing, wildlife watching and picnicing.

A view toward the mountains.
One of several great overlooks toward the lake.
The Autumn color was haning on.
This snag looks great against the fall leaves.
A view toward the dam.
A lovely old barn.
This shoreline is very inviting.
The color of this tree is just … wow!
A great view of the lake.
A close-up toward the left.

Back to Berks

I was in the vicinity of Fleetwood and Lyons in Berks County one Saturday and came across these scenes:

Grain silos near Lyons, PA.
A farm raising up some calves.
A peek through the trees at this lovely barn.
I love the stone barn here.
That actually looks delicious … for grass.
I took this photo because I liked the rooster weather vane.
Another lovely Berks County farm.

Just a Little Snow

I took a drive through Berks County recently after a recent snowstorm. The snowfall turned out to be lighter than expected, so by the time I arrived the next day, not much was left. This is a pretty part of Pennsylvania, and I will have to return sometime this year to take some more photos.

A farm near Plowville.
I really loved the look of this red barn.
The obsession with Christmas tree farms continues at Plow Farms.

We’ve been a little light on snow this Winter. I count this as mostly a good thing. Snow does make for pretty photographs, though.