Yellow Run Swamp

Lat/Long: 40.9705161,-75.6233031

Do you know about Yellow Run Swamp and scrub barrens in the Weiser State Forest, Penn Forest section?   It is in northern Carbon County across from the Hickory Run service area of the NE turnpike extension.  It is accessible from Stony Mountain Road DCRN Bureau of Forestry parking lot.

It is an interesting place that deserves more attention.  There are some Golden-winged Warblers in the canopy gaps of the forest where there are scrub oaks and rhodora (a spectacular northern azalea).  There is a boreal swamp, the Yellow Run headwaters, with many northern plants including red spruce.  Many birders know the right-of-way that they follow up to this section from Wild Creek/Penn Forest, but it is actually the scrub barrens and swamp that supports the Golden-winged Warblers—at least at this point.

The Weiser State Forest staff is now considering management of the site to promote more Golden-winged Warbler habitat.  More visits and general attention from the Lehigh Valley Audubon and other birders/naturalists would be a real asset. If birders do visit the area, I advise making the eBird trip specific to the Weiser State Forest – Penn Forest hotspot.  That would make the data more specific to the management unit.   I’ve made it a hotspot.

You have to walk (or bike) in about a mile to the good spots but it is a nice trip.  Woods full of Scarlet Tanagers. Other birds there: Northern Waterthrush, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Canada Warbler, Red-shouldered Hawk.  Only 1600 feet or so, but it is boreal habitat right next to a scrub barren.  Only in the Poconos!

Adam Smith goes in there pretty regularly.  Good guy!

Douglas A Gross, PA Game Commission

Photo: Golden-winged Warbler. Photo by Caleb Putnam CC-BY-SA 2.0