This loop trail showcases a forgotten history of early colonial settlement. Towering hardwoods and conifers now shade traces of Leffingwell, but a sense of former human presence is almost palpable.
Pass by a metal gate and map kiosk, heading gradually and steadily uphill on a wide gravel roadway. An intermittent brook has carved a shallow ravine to the right. In fall, the predominant sugar maples produce a shower of orange and yellow leaves. Quartzite boulders and a variety of ferns including interrupted, sensitive, Christmas, bracken, long beech, and the delicate maidenhair variety border the roadway.
Beneath a canopy of white ash and red maple, the spindly, spreading form of witch hazel puts forth modest yellow flowers in autumn, when you would least expect it. Indian cucumber root and false Solomon’s seal bloom here in early summer.
© 2015 Rene Laubach/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.