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Serpentine Barrens Loop

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A popular loop through an often overlooked park that was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 2008.


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Map Key

3.1

Miles

5.0

KM

Loop

508' 155 m

High

341' 104 m

Low

328' 100 m

Up

328' 100 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

11%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Geological Significance · River/Creek · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Flat, forested trails with facilities and easy access.

Overview

This loop links the Feldspar Trail, Buck Trail, and Doe Trail together with easy access from the McPherson Lake trailhead. Because the trails are open to two-way travel and have been seeing closures due to logging, visitors can adapt their hikes to better suit their needs or the available trails.

Look for posted signs or visit the Park Office for more information on closures.

Need to Know

Port-a-potties available.

Description

From the McPherson Lake trailhead, head east on the connector to access the Feldspar Trail. Turn right at this first intersection and continue south past the Doe Trail to cross a bridge before coming to the Mystery Hole historic quarry site, which has a fence around it.

Continue past the old quarry site to meet up with the red-blazed Buck Trail, the longest trail in the park, and the only somewhat steep hill climb along this hike. Turn left onto the Buck Trail to continue south making sure to follow the red blazes, avoiding the firebreak trails that head to the boundary of the park. When in doubt, stay left at each intersection or keep an eye on the Hiking Project mobile app for on-trail navigation.

After crossing the Serpentine Savannah, just before the two-mile mark, look for the white-blazed Doe Trail to the left. This provides the final mile of trail to return to the Feldspar Trail and parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Unfortunately, Nottingham Park been affected by pine beetles, which has lead to logging efforts and thinning forests.

History & Background

Serpentine barrens refer to the type of rock (serpentine) found in only a few areas across North America and the area that it's located in (barrens), which is characterized by low nutrient levels in soil and as a result, varying or minimal plant growth. Many barrens are named after the predominant tree in the area like the well-known New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3723

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Photos

Asclepias incarnata pulchra
Feb 24, 2020 near Oxford, PA

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