At Big Pocono, Color As Far As The Eye Can See

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TANNERSVILLE PA – Just miles from commercial competitors – a cluster of clothing outlets, the lure of summer water parks and winter ski slopes, and a wealth of hiking and riding trails – stands Camelback Mountain and the more than 1,300 accompanying acres of nature that comprise Big Pocono State Park. It’s a great sight at any time of year, but its bright-colored foliage makes fall its most impressive season.

Travelers from Sanatoga drove the 76-mile distance to the park in about 1-3/4 hours on Oct. 15 (2020; Thursday), enjoying a sun-drenched trip north on Route 663, Interstate 78, Route 33, and Interstate 80.

As elsewhere in much of Pennsylvania this year, thanks to abundant rain, trees crowding the foothills and mountain sides along those highways (at top) were ablaze with red, gold, yellow, pink, and some remaining green in a variety of shades. The foliage color peak at Camelback arrived about two weeks earlier than that in the Philadelphia area, year-round mountain residents said.

Well-marked paths and a locally produced map helped newcomers identify different tree species, including pitch pines, scrub oaks, and heaths that can withstand the mountain’s cold and snow, and what a brochure described as its “nutrient-poor soil.”

Visitors were warned, though, not to wander too far into the forest. Its large boulders, the debris of glaciers that existed 12,000 years ago, serve as excellent homes for eastern timber rattlesnakes.

Editor’s Note: When The Post takes a road trip, its readers go too. “Travels With The Post” is a series that reports on places and activities beyond our usual coverage area, but usually within a drive of three hours or less of Pottstown PA. Joe Zlomek, managing editor of The Post, is an accredited travel writer and a contributor since 2006. Read other articles in this series.

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