Do you ever get the feeling that you know a place pretty well and then realize that you have been missing something pretty obvious and therefore don’t really know it well at all. I had that very experience myself while hiking a few weeks ago in the Nothstein Preserve in beautiful Paradise Township.
On more occasions than I can count, I have enjoyed hiking one or another of the loop hikes in that preserve. Because several bridges had been washed out sometime in the past and these stream crossings were necessary to complete it, I was never able to complete the main two mile loop trail.
That was, until this particular day when out of the corner of my eye I saw new trail blazes and a sign indicating a viewpoint. I followed them to a beautiful view of the confluence of several streams, but more importantly, the blazes continued to the right to the first of two new bridges. I didn’t immediately realize the implications of this new feature, but would shortly.
First things first, you can get to the Nothstein preserve from Mount Pocono by heading east on Route 940 for four miles to the junction with Route 191 north where you turn left for 0.7 miles to Cranberry Creek Road where you can only turn right for about a half mile. The small parking lot will be on the left. Park and pass through the gate and follow the yellow blazes about two tenths of a mile to the first large wooden bridge over Cranberry Creek.
After crossing the bridge turn left and continue along the creek keeping it on your left. Just before you start to climb a significant incline look to your left to see the yellow trail blazes to the aforementioned viewpoint.
After the viewpoint the trail continues to the right a short distance to a second much smaller wooden bridge. After crossing the bridge it can be a little harder to see the trail but if you lean slightly right and look for the blazes, the trail hugs the edge of a small hill for a few tenths of a mile.
Next it comes out to a less wooded area and meanders slightly left down towards the steam. The blazes then lead you right alongside the creek and curves left to another beautiful wooden bridge over the beautiful Cranberry Creek.
Here you will scramble just a bit up hill for several tenths of a mile all the while along the edge of a ravine. Next you will cross a short open area and continue until you come out to a wide dirt road. Here you turn left and continue another tenth of a mile or so until you come to the old quarry. I prefer to turn right just where you can look down into the old quarry.
I really enjoy the views of the Paradise Price Preserve Ridge from the ridge of the old quarry. Continue along the small ridge to the other end of the quarry where the trail connects with another dirt road and here you turn left. After a short distance the trail leaves the dirt road and turns left again. The yellow blazed trail meanders right and then left all the while generally down the hill. The trail descends significantly in some places, but only for a short distance each time.
Finally the blazes will bring you back to the same wide trail that you walked in one just about a tenth of a mile from the parking lot, so at this point you are only steps from your car and have completed almost all of the beautiful two mile loop Nothstein Preserve hike.
Hope you had fun.
An avid hiker, Maureen Cosgrove lives in Mount Pocono, with her three shelter dogs, and her husband, Tom Ford. Maureen has hiked trails across the country and around the world. When not hiking and enjoying the outdoors, Maureen is a nurse at LVHN-Pocono.