Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2015 - 11
The canyon's rugged cliffs were utilized by the
U.S. Army in World War II to prepare soldiers
for combat in the mountains of Europe.
This pretty spot is along the Yellow Birch Trail.
another. Yet, the ice floes stopped moving southward
in central Pennsylvania. In the case of Balanced Rock,
erosion wore away the lower part of a fissured rock,
leaving the top part untouched.
Continue on the spur trail, come to an intersection,
turn left and soon cross a footbridge over Shay Run.
The Rhododendron Trail comes in from the right; stay
left on the Balanced Rock Trail, but swing left onto the
paved cabin road at 2.75 miles. Re-enter the woods on
the Cherry Lane Trail at 3.1 miles and bypass any other
trails in a forest populated by birch, maple, hemlock,
cherry and many beech trees.
This healthy woodland did not always look this
way. Loggers so denuded the mountains in the late
1800s and early 1900s that the layer of humus and
duff, which was several feet thick, became so dry that
it caught fire and sometimes burned for months. By
the late 1930s, so little soil remained that it could not
May/June 2015 11