Power up and move together with energy from healthy snacks!
In today’s episode of Movin’ Together, Home Page correspondent Sara Vogt, along with her daughters, Johanna and Julianna, as well as Home Page staff members Lauren Gooch and Erin O’Shea, venture down the beautiful Pine Creek Rail-Trail to do some exploring with Linda Stager.
Linda, a native of Tioga County, is now retired after working for forty years in the social services field. She is also the author of the 2015 book, The Pine Creek Rail-Trail Guidebook.
Her inspiration to write about the scenic views and wildlife along the 62 miles of the Pine Creek Trail came about as she tackled a personal goal she had set for herself after retirement – to lose weight. It seemed a logical choice to begin that journey on the smooth and relatively flat former rail bed where so many outdoor enthusiasts come to hike, walk and bike; or take to the water to canoe or kayak.
Linda’s perseverance led to a life-changing transformation. Not only did she lose a significant amount of weight on her quest, but she also fell in love with the natural beauty and peacefulness of the Pine Creek gorge.
Today’s adventure will take Linda and her companions along a section of the Pine Creek Rail-Trail to the small town of Cedar Run, and they will stop at some special landmarks along the way—the first of which is Rattlesnake Rock, just off the trail.
Photo credit: Linda Stager
Linda summarizes the story of how Rattlesnake Rock was named as it was described in a book written by Philip Tome, originally published in 1854. Philip Tome (1782 – 1855), a renowned writer, hunter, adventurer and early settler in north-central Pennsylvania, recounts the story in his book Thirty Years a Hunter.
The story is of two men who, in 1794, were paddling up Pine Creek in a canoe scouting for elk and for native tribes. When they arrived at the location of the rock, there were so many rattlesnakes that they were afraid to stay on shore and instead anchored the canoe in the creek and were compelled to build a smudge pot fire to keep the insects and the snakes away. Based on the story, Philip Tome named the place Rattlesnake Rock.
These days there are far fewer snakes in the area, although they may occasionally be spotted sunning themselves, and Rattlesnake Rock is great place to stop and spend some time.
Linda invites the group to venture out to Rattlesnake Rock with her, “We’ll just keep an eye and an ear out and we’ll be fine!”
While hesitant at first, even Sara overcomes her trepidation, and with a bit of coaxing, enjoys the experience.
Later, when they meet up with Chad Lauer, Northcentral Region Waterways Conservation Officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, one of the safety concerns that he addresses is the presence of rattlesnakes in the area. “It’s great to take a picture,” he notes, “But whenever you are in their environment and you are on the rail trail . . . and you encounter a timber rattlesnake, just be cognizant—they are very docile if left alone, but if you do intimidate them . . . they may become aggressive.”
While the group did not have the opportunity to see one of these beautiful and naturally docile creatures on their current excursion, they are prepared for a future encounter and know that it is best to stay on the trail!
Next, they pass the bridge that appears in a photograph on the cover of her Guidebook. She recalls the moment that she took the picture and its significance, “I stood right over there and just shot this picture back at this bridge because it is such a magnificent railroad bridge, and it really speaks to all of us of the history of the rail trail. We think about the trail being a nice recreational path, and it is fun to walk and it is fun to ride. But the truth of it is: this was a railroad.” Linda explains that she added the image of the train to the photograph to give homage to the legacy of the trail.
For more information on the Pine Creek rail trail you may also purchase a copy of Linda’s book, which covers the entire sixty-two miles of the trail. Her books are available on her Facebook page The Pine Creek Rail-Trail Guidebook, through Amazon, and at several area business locations in Wellsboro such as the Penn Wells Hotel.
And to stock up on healthy snacks for your next adventure, visit Peggy’s Candies and Gifts in Wellsboro where you will find a creative selection of organic dark chocolate (an antioxidant-rich superfood) and gluten free goodnessKNOWS snack squares (full of fruit and nuts). Peggy’s also carries a brand of squeezables, full of fruits and vegetables such as carrots and kale—another easy way to get nutrients on the go.
For more safety tips on your next visit to the rail trail, you can download the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.
Next time on Movin’ Together, we’ll discuss hair and skin protection during the summer months. Thanks for joining us here on the Home Page Network.
A joyful heart is good medicine.
Always at the forefront of Movin’ Together is an emphasis on encouraging each other in a lighthearted way to be healthier. Numerous studies show that laughter helps to decrease stress, improve immune function and even reduce our response to pain. Laughter is sometimes called “inner jogging” because it releases the same hormones as movement.
Idea/Concept: Sara Vogt
Videography: Erin O’Shea
Video Editing: Erin O’Shea
Writing: Heather Weiner
Anchor: Amiee Jones
Correspondent: Sara Vogt
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Akiko’s Floral Arts