Giants' Graveyard  LbNA # 45171

OwnerWebelos Pack 2    
Placed DateDec 20 2008
LocationPenfield, PA
Found By Donegal Dysfunctionals
Last Found May 29 2011
Hike Distance?

Giants' Graveyard

The forests of the Pennsylvania Wilds were once rich with impressive timber of white pine, hemlock and scattered hardwoods. The light, strong wood of the white pine made it the jewel of the early lumbering. Ship builders in Baltimore prized tall white pine logs for the ship masts and paid premium prices. Full-scale lumbering in the area began around l870. Lumbering was hard work but profitable. The forests were cut and re-cut, first for the white pine because of its tall, straight characteristics. Later, the hemlocks would be culled for the tannic acid in the bark, used for tanning leather.

The lumbering discovery was advantageous for William Parker who leased the rights from John Otto. However, it was devastating for the forests left ravaged from the lumbering, fires and floods plagued the land. It was only after the landscape was laid barren did the desolation stop. The land was left on it own to grow back into the forests we enjoy today. Parker Dam State Park in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wild has claimed a small part of this forest as its own. Park rangers and office personnel will assist you in acquiring your map that will guide you on your trail of adventure.

You will need to use the second car parking area on Fairview Road near the entrance to the Quehana Trail/Logslide trail. There is no parking available in the campground. During winter months the Fairview Road to blocked off. Parking is available in front of the park office. Hike up the paved road to the entrance to the campground.

Seek the trail that starts in the campground and leads you to the outdoor amphitheater. The trail is home to 24 lanterns which will lead your way down the path into the past. Stop for a moment on the trail and look around. Stumps of the giant pines scatter the area. These mammoth giants towered over this location over two hundred years ago. There are only images of the massive white pines that remain. What was left by the wood hicks has long since been reclaimed by the forest floor.

Enter the clearing to the amphitheatre where a number of educational programs are presented about the wonders of nature. A small white pine waits for you in the yard. Another small pine is in view along the tree line just beyond the other. There is no danger of calamity for these young saplings except for an occasion buck rub or chewing from a resident porcupine. Take a moment and ponder how these small white pines will tower over this area, years from now. How majestic that will be.

Standing in front of the second small white pine, turn to your left. Your treasure is not far. There will be the remnants of a hemlock tree stump a few yards in the forest in front of you. A large mature oak tree will be gracing the background. Navigate your way around the right of the tree through the undergrowth. Another large tree stump will greet you on the other side. You will find yet another smaller stump in the undergrowth leading you through the graveyard of giants around a tall maple. This 3rd stump brings you closer to the last and final tree stump where your quarry lies. Turn to your right OR take a compass reading of 45 degrees. The remnants of a large, rotting hemlock tree lies next to a cluster of beech trees, behind a small group of saplings. Weave your way through the young saplings to your final destination. Several small branches and leaf litter are covering the stump reclaiming it as part of the forest floor again.

The stamp you seek is hidden inside the tree stump. It is a reminder of how our actions affect the future of our world.

You may wish to continue your journey down the Stumpfield trail if you chose to take a turn to the right as you walk out of the amphitheatre. Your path will turn to dirt through long grasses and fern-covered undergrowth. Wild blueberries also grow along the path during the summer months. Carefully gaze through the forest and you may spy the remnants of additional tree stumps left from years of lumbering, devastating the woodlands. The trees you see before you are new growth from the turn of the century.

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.

This letterbox location has been approved by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
until 12/18/11.