Scotia Barrens

 Walk through the past as we explore an area rich in history and ecological significance. Guests can elect to enter State Game Lands 176 from any number of directions and trailheads. History buffs can expect to find the most in the northeast section, site of the former iron exploitation and see the, aptly named, Ten Acre Pond. Nature enthusiasts can find unique ecosystems composed of barrens habitat and the rapidly draining soils above karst geologies along the eastern reaches.

Graysdale Park

Port Matilda, PA 16870, USA

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Scotia and Iron History

Scotia is an area rich in cultural and geologic history. A humble pick-and-shovel operation that eventually turned into one of main focuses for Andrew Carnegie; join us as we explore some of the more fascinating anecdotes with the leading historian on the subject.

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Geologic Formations

We have an unusual geologic history in Pennsylvania, our rocks are upside-down! All of our young rocks make up the valley floors while the older formations are what make up the higher ridges. The same ridges that define our region also helped shape the socio-economic development of our communities. Take some time to explore why rocks rock!

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The American woodcock is a fascinatingly strange bird. Commonly referred to as the timberdoodle, the American woodcock inhabits wet, scrubby woodlands and produces one the greatest mating ritual feats of the avian world.

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Summer Birds

The spring and fall bring the greatest diversity of birds to our region, but what about all the ones that call this place home? Dive into a new understanding of our summer avian residents and learn about some of our friendly flying friends. We will explore species that have adapted to cohabitate with humans and secretive forest dwelling birds.

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Spring Birds

From the first signs of spring, with the return of robins, to their eggs produced around Easter, spring is synonymous with birds.

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Our first weekly feature will focus on amphibians and their migration to vernal pools, a type of seasonal pond, in and around the Scotia Barrens. Each spring these guys and gals saunter back to the exact same spot to find a mate often crossing hundreds of yards, a massive journey for a 2-inch creature!

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Historic Land Uses

Take a trip back to the early days of human exploration of central Pennsylvania. From the earliest inhabitants to the rapid progression of colonial expansion land use in our community has changed drastically. Follow along as we dive into our unique cultural history and what these important events mean for us today.

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Pennsylvania Trees

There are around 200 common species of trees in Pennsylvania, and about two-thirds are natives.

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This project was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, using Environmental Stewardship Funds, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and the generous support of Mount Nittany Health and the Hamer Foundation.

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