HIKE EVENT: Explore the natural state of Cherry Valley refuge

A year ago, a former golf course in Stroud Township, Pa., became the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Since then, its fairways and greens have returned to nature, no longer hyperfertilized, mowed or manicured.
On Sunday, Aug. 5, hikers will witness the wide-ranging effects: what was once a site for birdies is now populated by birds – and so many other natural beauties besides.
On a hot, still July afternoon, the true beauty of this place unfolds like a new butterfly. The rolling hills are now paradise for pollinators. Queen Anne’s lace, yellow tickseed, daisies and black-eyed Susans, milkweed, Joe Pye weed and 6-foot candelabra of mullein fill the open areas.
Cherry Creek, with some assistance from Trout Unlimited, looks healthier. No longer mowed right up to the edge of the banks, the water is shadier and dappled with sunlight. Its musical bubbling is delicious to hear. Two bridges across the creek have already been rebuilt.
Along the cart paths, interpretive signs suggest plants or animals to look for, describe how a power line cut can be beneficial in a natural landscape, and explain why good water quality is important, and other items of interest.
Hikers will feel welcome here, and well able to appreciate the place’s newly natural state.
Join hike leader Carol Hillestad for this moderate hike of about 2 miles.
WHEN: Noon on Sunday, Aug. 5
COST: Free, but registration is required. Directions will be provided upon registration.
INFORMATION: Call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727; email info@brodheadwatershed.org. For information about this and other hikes in the free Get Outdoors Poconos series, go to brodheadwatershed.org/gopoconos. The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
MORE: From 1 to 4 p.m. on the same day, Brodhead Watershed Association’s Ramble will be held at Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Take part in the Ramble to see other highlights of the beautiful Cherry Valley, from winery to organic farm to wildlife rehabilitation center! See brodheadwatershed.org/Ramble.html for information.