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."
Summer Solstice Celebration
Enjoy the longest day of the year at Salt Springs with solar viewing, solar lessons, solar panels, and other demos on-going all afternoon. Bring your picnic to the park-blankets or lawn chairs and snacks, food, and drinks. In the evening we'll have story-telling around a bonfire and revel in the long daylight until the stars begin to twinkle. Program fee: Free-will donation.
Father and Son Sunday
Spend the afternoon together delving into some environmental education and recreational activities like treasure hunting, orienteering, rock scrambling, and more. Pack the charcoal and end the day with a picnic dinner, or gather around a campfire to roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Meet at the Carriage Barn; most activities are outside.
Amphibian and Reptile Workshop / Survey
Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS) representative Marlin Corn will give a morning presentation, beginning with general information about PA amphibians and reptiles. This will be followed by a detailed "how-to" about reptile and amphibian field surveying. After lunch, we'll hit the trails to conduct a field survey. Bring lunch, water, notebook, and camera. Meet at the Wheaton House.
Two-Wheeled Tour of Salt Springs Park
Every fourth Sunday of the month we'll bike the roads and trails to the edge of the park. We'll explore a different road and/or trail each month, with easy to moderate riding, depending on participants' skill levels. Meet at the Wheaton House.