Indian Canoe Portage  LbNA # 45173

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

Indian Canoe Portage

In the 15th & 16th centuries, Indians were making settlements in Pennsylvania. Of the many tribes, the Susquehannocks were probably those that lived in the Parker Dam State Park area. After the arrival of the white man, Indians traded furs with them until the Beaver was almost made extinct. Friction among the tribes led to the Beaver Wars, which began in the 1640’s. As a result of this, and diseases brought by the white man, the Indian population was diminished. By 1675, the Susquehannocks were chased from the area and the Iroquois began to establish peace.

Since the area of Central PA was left empty & defenseless, the Iroquois allowed the Delawares, who had been uprooted by the white man, to take over the area. The first white men to arrive were amazed at Clearfield Creek area and its forest wealth.

William Penn bought the land from the Indians rather than taking it by force. Piece by piece, the settlers moved west into the Alleghenys. By 1750, settlers occupied most of the Indian lands around the Parker Dam area. In 1818, the John Bliss family were the first to move into the immediate area.

The land was sold to the Commonwealth in 1784 by Chief Cornplanter of the Seneca Indians. Part of his payment was a piece of land in Northern PA, which is now flooded by the Kinzua Dam. Once the Indians were gone from the area, Parker Dam was left untouched for nearly 100 years.

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. These rock walls or “dikes” were used to flood the run to float logs downstream. These are the remnants of the man-made splash dams needed to transport the logs to market in Williamsport.

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. Continue along the trail until you have reached a clearing (power line). 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.

Follow the trail back into the wooded area. Your journey will take you over a small swampy swale or muddy ditch. The trail continues through thick grass and overgrown trees. Caution!!! Beware of mud and an uneven trail. Don’t stop until it turns into a rocky path of large, moss covered boulders and bedrock.

Navigate up the trail over the rocky path. The path will gradually slope back toward Laurel Run and you will leave the rocks behind. Look ahead on the trail for a large fallen tree to the right of the trail next to the stream. The tree is covered in moss and bears the remnants of several broken limbs. Your treasure lies next to the fallen giant inside the stump were it once stood. The stump is rotted and covered with bark. This may have been the very site where the Delaware Indians would portage their canoes out of the stream and rest in the stony outcroppings in this area, before walking west to continue their travels into the next watershed, which could take them downstream as far as the Mississippi River.

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