Not playin’ possum at Opossum Lake

Have we mentioned that Pennsylvania is a beautiful state before?  Well, let me take a sec to mention it again.

And we’ve only seen about 5% of it.

So on Sunday morning, we decided that we wanted to go for a hike and keep it close to home.  So we decided to check out a place that we had passed the night before while out on a evening drive the day before.

Opossum Lake is a 59-acre lake that is situated in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and included activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and bird-watching.  There are quite a few picnic pavilions here as well and plenty of folks were out after church enjoying the cooler weather and beautiful scenery.  It was really peaceful here and so green.  It seems like there hasn’t been any place that has been as green and lush as Pennsylvania and the weather was so fantastic today, so a hike we went for.

We parked in the not-so-crowded lot and made our way over to the trailhead of the lake trail.  Since Aaron and I are birders (newbies, still) we were also on the lookout for birds.  There are over a 100 species of birds here, so we spotted quite a few of birds right away.  There were lots of bluebird boxes  spread throughout the park and these beautiful birds played in the sky above our heads as we explored the waters’ edge.

Lake trailhead. Not creepy as the overcast sky makes it look.

The trailhead starts in the parking lot that is at the end of the road to the park.  The trail is 4 miles long and is shared between hikers and cyclists, with a lot of the trail being so narrow we aren’t sure how hikers and cyclists could even get around one another.  On this particular day, the trail was a tad big muddy, but only on a few sections.  We passed one cyclist and luckily, it was in a section that was easy for both of us to get out of way so one of us could pass.  We also came across sections where birds were abundant, and saw northern flickers, tufted titmouse, catbirds, cardinals, and white-breasted nuthatches.  HERE is a link that lists birds that have been sighted in this area in the past several days.

The dam that is a part of this lake has to be one of the coolest ones that we have ever seen.


Very interesting dam!

The trail on this side of the lake takes you out onto the main road, alas not busy though.  It was a great place to stop and admire the local “art” that the locals had taken upon themselves to create out of the road signs.

Someone was bored…

We crossed the other side of the road and stopped to admire the view of the Cumberland Valley.

Cumberland Valley and Opossum Lake.

From here, it was a nice, quiet hike around the other side of the lake, although the gnats were pretty bad.  We walked through a section of hardwood forest and even found a little treasure left behind by some random hiker or fisherman.

I swear it took longer than 4 miles to get around the lake.  At least it wasn’t too hot that day and the weather was perfect for a hike.  We made it back to the car after a few hours and dicovered that more people had shown up and were BBQ’ing around us.  We also enjoyed this busy lil’ bee’s company for a few minutes while before we headed out.

If you ever catch yourself in the Carlisle, Pennsylvania area, go and check out Opossum Lake.  Also, pack a picnic lunch and bring your fishing pole and/or your binoculars to do some bird watching while you are there!

Website:  Visit Cumberland Valley-Opossum Lake

Address:  Easy Road/Opossum Lake Road Carlisle, PA 17015


Ashley Welton View All →

Freelance Graphic Designer based in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. I enjoy creating digital art, illustrations and photography. I also enjoy hiking, birding, cooking, reading, traveling and a nice bourbon or two.

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