The Sacred Grove

Cole, a PA Bucktail and Monthly Youth Blog Correspondent, writes about his trip to the Delaware Water Gap – we can all take his advice about taking some time to step back and appreciate a moment with nature.

This summer, I went to the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey with my girlfriend and her family. It was about 2 hours away from where I live in Bucks County. We stayed at the Mohican Outdoor Center, which is a rest stop and campground that intersects the Appalachian Trail. The lake was gorgeous. We kayaked through the water lilies. There were lots of deer and chipmunks frolicking through the forest. I woke up every morning to the drink-your-tea of the Eastern Towhee. It was a paradise away from all of the struggles of normal life.
My girlfriend’s uncles thought it would be a good idea to hike a part of the Appalachian Trail. I was reluctant at first, but I thought it would be fun. Even though I got dehydrated afterwards (always drink lots of water, guys), it was so worth it. Everything was beautiful. We stopped at what was one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen. A brook bubbled out of the mountain and formed a crystal-clear waterfall. There was an ancient grove filled with Eastern Hemlocks, Striped Maples and Rhododendron. The Hemlocks were very, very tall. I felt truly at peace. We all sat there for an hour, in awe and wonder. I was very glad to experience this sacred grove.

After the grove, we continued down the trail to find a bridge across this creek. There were names carved into the rotted wood, and yet somehow I was glad. I was glad that so many others experienced this sacred grove. We found an abandoned mine, and some more trails. However, we soon turned back, and ventured through the wilderness once again.
Even though it is November, there is always time to go outside and enjoy nature. There is plenty of time to go and find that “sacred grove”. My sacred grove may have been two hours away, but even the shortest trip to your local park can provide a sense of tranquility and a better connection to nature. Autumn is my favorite season, and I try my best to spend time in the woods. And I encourage everyone else to do the same.