Good news! The Montgomery County PA Trail Challenge is on for 2020. We will be walking trails in our county to meet the goal of visiting 10 local trails.
For my post with a full explanation of the challenge, look here.
And here is the challenge website.
Here we go on trail #2 for the challenge, and my husband and I have selected the Green Ribbon Trail starting in Flourtown, PA.
This trail is very familiar to us – we have been coming here for 10 years or so. We stick to the paved/gravel portions near the Fort Washington State Park, but this trail winds 12 miles through the flood plain of the Wissahickon Creek, and in most of that is a narrow dirt trail with some stream crossings and other obstacles. We have done the majority of the trail over various times, but to us, the 5 mile or so Y-shaped route we took today is what we think of as the Green Ribbon Trail.
Here are our trail verification photos:
We are standing in front of the long bridge over the Wissahickon Creek – it’s a former railroad bridge. A short section of this trail runs on the railbed of one of the numerous short rail lines that used to exist in the Philadelphia area, so that is why this wonderful wide-open bridge is here now for us to walk over.
You may also have noticed in these photos as well as the ones from the Zacharias Creek that we have buffs for pull-up face-coverings (well, here I haven’t yet put mine on but my husband is all set with his around his neck). Pretty much everyone has a mask or other face covering on all the trails we visit; the way it works is, as you approach someone you pull it up, and once you are on your own again, you can bring it off your face. That’s the new trail etiquette. I appreciate what everyone is doing to keep us all healthy and able to be out here.
OK, let’s go. As I said, this trail is familiar to us – most of it is in the flood plain of the creek with a short portion elevated above it. We picked this location for today because we wanted to see what the tropical storm last week had done to the area.
The water had covered a vast area. Trees and tangled brush were non-stop along the trail with several uprooted ones sawn into pieces to clear the trail.
I was fasscinated by the wisps of dried grass caught in the trees. It seems to hang on to the smallest protrusion. In the first photo below, these stray grass stems are at my eye-level.
In the second photo, look at how the grass has twisted itself around a luckless vine.
See the dirt on these leaves? They are at my eye level. I am 5 feet 6″ tall. And there were more leaves like this a foot above my head.
Here is where I took the photo of the dirty leaves. Today the trail looks so…peaceful. But the evidence shows that if we had been here on the day of the storm, the water would have been at least 6-7 feet deep. And moving fast and furious.
More from the flood: this sign speaks the truth, don’t you think? And how. I might be low on my high-water level estimate.
And one last flood shot from under the railroad bridge:
I want to give a shout-out to the park employees, because I know from past experience this whole trail was covered with mud and debris after the storm. Today it is clean and very passable. That means they did a lot of hard work to get it back into shape. Thank you.
OK. After we passed the rail bridge, the trail ascends. I left some tiles on a bench at this overlook, which was high enough the flood waters did not get here.
Who would think such a nice peaceful creek could be so angry? Believe it.
We continued on the walk and completed the route – about 5 miles for today. All right! We have done two trails for the challenge and I enjoyed re-visiting this old favorite today.