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Wolf Creek Narrows: Amazing Wildflowers and Hiking near Slippery Rock

Wolf Creek Narrows in Butler County is a little known and absolutely wonderful nature reserve. It is home to many species of wildflowers and beautiful trees, within the narrow gorge of Wolf Creek. The creek itself is more akin to the size of a small river and its display of spring wildflowers is about as overwhelming and spectacular as any that I have ever seen. The myriad of species documented at this location includes several that are rare/nearly extinct. While the hiking trail is only about a mile long, this property offers a little bit of everything, with creekside walking through the woods, and decent elevation change as you head up the sides of the gorge. 
We can thank the amazing Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for preserving this fine tract of land. Their preservation work has lead towards the creation of multiple state parks, including Ohiopyle and McConnells Mill, and many other public lands.
 Skunk Cabbages in March
 The lower area that is home to the most wildflowers consists of vernal pools. In March, you start to see the wildflowers emerge, with skunk cabbages being the most prevalent. The leaves of the other wildflowers begin to emerge as well.

Here is the same view just three weeks later in April. 
 The appreciation of the work that has gone into preserving this property is just beautiful. Several individuals are memorialized throughout the property. This sort of recognition is so beautiful.
The back half of the mile long hike leads into a beautiful second growth forest that is filled with hemlocks and hard wood deciduous trees.
 CeCe absolutely loves this place. 
There are a few really old trees, including this enormous and oddly shaped Sycamore. I have never seen a sycamore with this kind of angle. It demonstrates just how abrupt the gorge is on this side of the creek, with the tree growing outwards to get more access to light.
Of the places mentioned in our Wildflower Hotspot List, of the early spring wildflower locations, this will likely peak last. It is still likely a week or two from peaking. Mid April through May is the spring peak for early wildflowers in this location, and we highly recommend checking it out. 
 As I said before, CeCe is all about this trail. 
Wolf Creek Narrows is extremely easy to access, with a small parking lot located on the opposite bank of the creek. This side of the creek also leads towards another tract, the Miller Woods Tract, which is preserved by Slippery Rock University. The parking lot is located on the tract. To get to the Wolf Creek Narrows tract, you simply need to cross the metal bridge from the parking area. You can also hike the other direction from the parking lot to head through the Miller Woods Tract. Dogs are allowed, but the MUST be leashed, especially because this is such a sensitive and internationally recognized habitat for rare wildflowers.

For more places that made the cut for our PA Wildflower Hotspots, check out this article. 

GPS Coordinates to the Parking Area: 
41.063798, -80.087992

Walk across the metal bridge to access the Wolf Creek Narrows Trail, or walk to the end of the parking lot to pick up the trail through the Miller Woods Tract.

For more background info, check out the website for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

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