Splash Dam  LbNA # 45168

OwnerWebelos Pack 2    
Placed DateDec 20 2008
LocationPenfield, PA
Found By Monarch Lady
Last Found Sep 10 2011
Hike Distance?

Splash Dam

Parker Dam State Park takes its name from William Parker, who leased lumbering rights from John Otto, who owned the land. Parker built one of his 5 splash dams on Laurel Run at the site of the present lake.

Loggers used an impressive technique to move the massive trees out of the area to the lumber mills. Downriver, “woodhicks” felled the trees and moved the logs down log slides to temporary pools called splash dams. The dams ("walls") were constructed of wood. Logs were held until the splash dams were released each spring, allowing the trees to float downstream to the saw mills further east. The logs would journey from Laurel Run to the Bennetts Branch, then to Sinnemahoning Creek, and then into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River towards their final destination of Williamsport and beyond.

Long after the last tree was felled, and fires and floods plagued the area, the natural resources were finally restored to the area through the hard work and dedication of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Nature’s creatures such as bobcats, bears, snakes, elk, and whitetail deer among others returned to this area.

Your journey begins at the trail beside the giant steps near the campground.

Follow the blue (will change to yellow in 2009) trail blazes to the Laurel Run stream below the dam or lake spillway. Seven stones will guide you across the stream that the Indians use to canoe on into this area of Pennsylvania. A 60’ white pine tree will meet you on the other side.

There is an alternate route to this trail if the water is too high. That trail begins behind the CCC museum before the steps that lead down to the spillway. Rows of trees and blue (will change to yellow in 2009) trail blazes will guide you to the white pine.

After exiting the stream, turn right at the white pine.

Cross the 1st wooden bridge and find your way along the outside of the chain link fence.

Next, cross the 2nd wooden bridge marked by the large flat rock.

Finally, cross the 3rd and final bridge next to an old stump.

The trail will take you alongside the stream near piles of rocks. The rock walls/dikes were used to keep the stream channelized and the water and logs flowing downstream.

Beware of the muddy and rocky path. Laurel Run can be deep during the spring months. Please supervise young children hiking with you beside the stream.

Watch for 3 enormous flat boulders that mark the next clue. One sits in the stream; one sits across the stream; and one sits beside the trail. Stop when you have reached the first giant boulder in the trail and look straight ahead on the path for a crooked “S” shaped tree next to the water. It’s across from the giant boulder on the other side of the stream. Standing with your back against the tree and facing away from the stream, take a compass reading of 300 degrees to the large pine in front of you.

The box is located behind the tree under a pile of moss. Now although it is mostly a vegetarian, beware that the stamp you seek doesn’t bite.

Caution is recommended when exiting the trail to the treasure. Beware of the occasional snake and/or deer tick. Insect repellant is highly recommended during the summer months. It is also recommended to bring drinking water for the trip.

You may wish to continue your journey on this trail to the next letterbox called the Indian Canoe Portage.

This letterbox location has been approved by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
until 11/11/11.