Rickard and Powell
Our plan today was simply to explore more of the Bear Pond Mountains
. Our first time to the area was just a few days ago when we did a hike of Sword Mountain
and made this trip report
. We had such a good time on that hike, and since it is so close to home we wanted to see what else was in the area to see and do. So my sons Mark and Matt and I were off for an adventure.
We started by parking at a parking area along Blair's Valley Road. No trails meant we just picked a good spot and started hiking. It was a pretty easy hike up the west side of the ridge, fields and hedgrows at the base then open woods as the climb grew. As we approached the top of the ridge footing got rough from the fields of talus rock that littered the forest floor. Among the rock were many of what we believed were Wolf Spiders. Once reaching the top of the ridge there was an old logging road that we followed north towards the summit. Along the ridge were a few looks west at Sword and Hearthstone Mountains.
After a short hike we came to the gasline right of way and the clearcut over the ridge. AT this point we left Rickard Mountain and headed east to Powell Mountain.
Following the clearcut over the ridge we dropped quickly into Polecat Hollow between Rickard and Powell Mountains. Many butterflies were found along the clearing through the woods.
At the heart of the hollow was a nice stream
Stream View East
After a short rest we started climbing up the clearing to the ridgeline of Powell where the only view we had from the mountain was found, looking east through the clearcut.
From there we headed north along the ridge following another old logging road to the summit. A small clearing of grass in the middle of an oak forest. No views, but it was the top. Along the way we saw an Eastern Box Turtle that refused to come of after I almost stepped on it.
Leaving the summit of Powell we headed north and somewhere along that line we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. Powell was nothing spectacular but we had a nice hike along the ridge enjoying nature and its offerings. Soon we were heading back up the north end of Rickard Mountain to its summit.
After leaving Powells summit and cutting across the ridge into PA we soon hit the ridge and summit of Rickard. From there we headed south along Rickards Ridge. From a tree stand we had a nice view down into Polecat Hollow.
Along the ridge there were a few views east towards Powell, but more and more the ridge opened up to the west with great views of Sword, Hearthstone, Cross, and Two Top Mountains.
It was relaxing sitting on the rocks looking west over Blair's Valley, watching the Turkey and Black Vultures fly on the thermals. We soon were at a talus field with nice views including a view of Abe Mills Mountain to the south.
After this overlook we were at the gasling clearing again, where we sat earlier in the day, and completed our circle. From there it was down off the mountain and back to the car with a wonderful experience and day spent exploring the Bear Pond Mountains! Looking forward to another trek in the area.
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