SALT SPRINGS STATE PARK
SALT SPRINGS STATE PARK
Dalton, Pennsylvania 18414
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Salt Springs State Park
© Marty Straub
A focal point of the 400-acre park is the old growth hemlock trees estimated to be between 600 and 700 years old. Also in the park are the waterfalls of Fall Brook, a stream that flows into Silver Creek.
The Friends of Salt Springs Inc. also have a Web site.
The idea for the park arose during the 1960s when local conservation-oriented citizens learned that the property was for sale by James Wheaton, whose family had owned the land since 1848.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the land with the assurance the state would buy it from them at a later date. On August 7, 1973, the Commonwealth purchased the first 129 acres for $81,500.
The Legend of the Salt Spring
Much folklore and history are associated with the salt spring. Information on the folklore and history of the area is available from the Susquehanna Historical Society, Montrose, Pennsylvania.
A well-known story about the salt spring was taken from an article printed in the newspaper (Independent Volunteer-October 11, 1832).
"At the time of the settlement of Susquehanna County, bands of hostile native Americans overran the country, and one of these roving tribes had attacked the house of a settler. After killing several of the native Americans, he was wounded, and taken captive, but his wife and children escaped.
"His captors, to avoid pursuit, made their way to a stream and followed its course until, just at dusk, they arrived at the mineral spring which gives to the place the name of Salt Spring. After drinking here they pass on into a little ravine, through which a second stream flows to join the first, intending to spend the night under its protection.
"It is a spot well adapted to shelter for on either side the banks rise for over a hundred feet and are crowned with dark forests which add to the gloom of the place. Between these black towering heights a series of beautiful cascades form a background for the weird picture of the encampment.
"The native Americans have bound their prisoner to a tree and are sitting around the fire, smoking and debating as to what shall be the fate of the captive. Their stern countenances foretell no easy one, but the poor victim is too exhausted to heed either their words or their looks.
"At last the fate of the captive is decided. The moment of vengeance at hand but from the dark cliff above rings out on the clear night air the war cry of the Oneidas, and over the precipice rock after rock comes thundering down. The native Americans quickly extinguish the fire, and an answering war whoop of defiance bursts forth as they recognize the song of their enemy, and they rush out to meet them, leaving the captive still bound to the tree.
"As soon as they leave the ravine, the wife who has followed them at a safe distance to their retreat, is at the side of her husband and has cut the thongs which bound him, and he is free. Knowing that the native Americans will only too soon find how they have been outwitted she hastens to assist her husband to escape but the surprise and joy have been too much for him and he sinks back into her arms, dead.
"Sorrowfully she conceals the body near the spot, and returning to her friends, bids them seek the remains of her husband beneath the shadow of the precipice that overhangs the Salt Spring."
"Take a Break" Hike
Take a break from your taxes and head for the hills of Salt Springs Park. We''ll tackle one of the lesser traveled trails, with a
3-mile moderately difficult loop. We''ll talk about the benefits of exercise and find surprises along the way. Wear appropriate layers and sturdy shoes, and bring snacks, drinks, and a camera or notepad. Meet at the Wheaton House. Fee: One or more nonperishable items for the local food bank.
Come tackle the trees with us on this first day of park cleaning in April. We turn dead trees into firewood to sell. Bring chainsaws and trucks if you can. Free food, drinks, and T-shirts provided to all volunteers. Please
pre-register (570-967-7275 or friends@ epix.net) so we have sufficient supplies on hand.
Whooo Gives a Hoot? Full Moon Hike
In honor of Earth Day, Nancy Wottrich will give a short presentation on our native owls as we wait for the full moon to rise. Then we''ll wander the woods "calling in" some owls common to the forest habitat. Bring a flashlight, wear sturdy shoes, and dress in layers. Meet at the Wheaton House. Fee: $10/person; members, $5.
On this second day of park cleaning in April, we tackle everything else! We''ll finish up with the firewood; clear trails, lawns, and flowerbeds; clean the buildings; attack
invasive species; and more. Free food, drinks, and T-shirts are provided to all volunteers. Please pre-register by phone or email (570-967-7275 or friends@ epix.net) so we have sufficient supplies on hand.