The Daily Item
WEIKERT — August 10 is Family Day at the Union County West End Fair in Laurelton, but before entering the fairgrounds, head further on down the country road to Weikert to take in the natural wonders of Union County’s “Tight End.” A guided moderately-challenging short hike and climb over a rocky path to Chimney Rock providing a spectacular view of the Penns Creek Valley will be among the morning’s features that also include old Tulip Poplar trees, Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel, wild flowers, a walk along majestic Weikert Run, and a short side detour to Fossil/Pulpit Rock on Penns Creek. View firsthand the looming forest devastation caused by the Woolly Adelgid attack on Union County’s Hemlock Forest and observe nature’s roll as the comeback kid. Historical and natural interpretations will be offered by local guides Pat Arduini, Dahle Bingaman, Karin Fullam, and Tony Shively.
Chimney Rock is located near the summit of White Mountain which is part of a 3,581 acre wild area within the Bald Eagle State Forest. Chimney Rock, which rises over 200 feet above the Penns Creek floor, is a product of differential erosion and consists of free-standing sandstone around which the softer shales have been eroded. In summer, bird populations are at a peak and birds nesting in treetops are often more easily heard than seen. One may hear the call of an osprey, or glimpse this magnificent raptor gliding high above Penns Creek in search of prey.
Parking at the trail head is limited, so the expedition will gather at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club at 9 a.m. to carpool to the trailhead. After a short briefing at the Club, the group will move at 9:15 a.m. Hikers should be back on the road in time to grab a noon hour lunch at the West End Fair. In as much as Chimney Rock and the hike to it is across private lands, this is an outstanding opportunity to visit.
The Union County Sportsmen’s Club is off Weikert Road just east of the village of Weikert. The club’s navigational address is 50 Sportsmens Club Lane, Millmont. Allow 45 minutes travel time from Lewisburg to reach the club. The club also offers a small wildlife zoo which may be viewed before or following the hike.
The trail surface is uneven and rocky in places so appropriate footwear for the hike would include hiking boots, hiking shoes or hiking sneakers with a gripping sole. A walking stick (if available) might be a welcome aid. Insect repellent and a camera are suggested. Water will be provided at the Sportsmen’s Club for refreshment before and after the hike. Restrooms are available at both the Sportsmen’s Club and trail head.
This free event is the latest offering made possible by the Union County Bicentennial in partnership with the Merrill W. Linn Conservancy. For the latest Union County Bicentennial happenings and for a schedule of upcoming events visit UnionCounty200.com or on Facebook.