Gretna and the Geese
Operated by: TerraMar Adventures
Event Leader: Carl
, PA 0
Here we have a nice heart pounding mountain climb followed by a trip to view one of the most spectacular animal migrations in Pennnsylvania! If you live in the Philly area and enjoy nature, you must witness the snow goose migration!
We will set off along a pretty trail dominated by great boulders and small spring fed streams. As we climb around the back side of the mountain to reach for the summit, we will come upon a great tower. Erected in the 50's by an eccentric oil tycoon, if you dare to climb to its deck, you will be rewarded with a 360º panaramic view that stretches into five counties.
Sounds simple, but the climb is a little creepy if you have any fear of heights or claustrophobia. Navigating the system of ladders is tight and seems to go on forever before you are cast out into the light.
After the hike, we will head out to the snow geese. After a short drive, we will only have to hike a half a mile to get to the prime viewing area.
About the Migration and the Geese: In late winter, just as the ice is starting to thaw, massive numbers of snow geese, tundra swans and Canada geese start their annual migration back north for the summer. Along that route, central Pennsylvania has become an amazingly popular spot for the birds to stop and fatten up a bit on waste grains in the local farm fields. When conditions are right, more than 100,000 snow geese, 10,000 tundra swans, 10,000 Canada geese, and a wide variety of ducks are reported to stop on their way up north.
Obviously, the arrival of migrating waterfowl is not something that can be predicted exactly. But, the good news is that though this winter was so lousy for winter sports, it's very hospitable for a good migration. The warm winter means there is no ice on the main lake and with that large area of open water, the birds have already begun to arrive. When we went up to scout this trip earlier this month weekend, there were 35,000 snow geese on the lake along with a couple thousand tundra swans.
The lack of snow cover on the surrounding farms also invites large flocks to feast on the waste grains. It is like a migratory pit stop and good swimming with good eats means this is the perfect year for you to discover the geese for yourself.
The first weekend in March is knows as one of the best times to visit. Make sure to bring along a camera with a good zoom and/or binoculars. We know you will want to take pictures and your iphone just will not cut it for this. Don’t miss this one. You don’t get a lot of natural opportunities like this near Philly and it only lasts a few weeks.
See some pics from our scouting trip here!