Another very nice day. I took a drive up to the Poconos for a trash hike on State Gamelands I wanted to explore. I had been to this area before, but I only covered a small portion of the area. This time I wanted to go further and see where some of the trails lead. I am not sure why the game commission cut back the vegetation on the sides of the trail. They may be trying to increase the amount of edge habitat for game species like deer. Much of the access roads I took on this trip looked like this.
When I got to this lake I decided that I wanted to try to go all the way around it. I wasn't sure if there were trails or not, but I was going to try.
A good portion of the trash collected on this hike was found around the lake. I found this pile of water bottles to be odd. It was on a small point that went out into the lake. Who piles up empty water bottles and just leaves them?
Found a couple pieces of foam along the lakeside. Not sure how they would have gotten there. I don't think the stream that feeds this is very large and I don't think it runs through any populated areas. I can't think of a reason anyone would carry foam in either.
I am not sure why, but I liked this view of the lake. The habitat on the back end was much different than the trails in. Along the trails were mostly deciduous forest and here Pitch Pines dominated the area. I know several places like this in Eastern PA and they are like walking through small sections of New Jersey's Pine Barrens.
Another great view of the lake. If it wasn't such a hike in I would definitely take my kayak out here.
At the upper end of the lake I started to find turtle shell after turtle. At first I was puzzled. What could have possibly killed this many Painted Turtles?
After looking at a few of the shells, I think I had my answer. The marks on both the top of the carapaces and on the sides of the shell looked like repeated chew marks. There is only one thing that I can think of that would do this. An Otter. Although they are making a comeback Otters are still very rare in Pennsylvania. I could be wrong, but that is the only thing that I can think of that could leave those kinds of marks and would kill adult turtles like this.
There were no trails that looped around the lake and I ended up just following more access roads on the side I was on. They eventually led back to the trail I came in on and with a good amount of trash collected I decided to call it a day.
A decent amount for just walking trails. There are still a lot more access roads and trails in this area to walk and I am sure there is much more trash. I am going to try to get back to this location in the summer.
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