The Riverside Nature Trail offers arare opportunity to observe fourdistinct ecosystem communitiesduring a hike of just a half mile.You’ll return along the same path,making a total journey of one milethrough riverine, wetland,successional forest and openfield ecosystems.The trail begins near the parkinglot for the "Old Schoolhouse"area, about two miles downstreamfrom the Raystown Dam. The firstmajor community you’ll encounteris the riverine, which providesplants and wildlife with a constantsource of running water—in thiscase, the Raystown branch ofthe Juniata River.Continuing downstream, you’llnotice a wetland developing tothe left of the trail. Wetlandsare covered by water orhave waterloggedsoil for long periodsduring the growingseason andoften includeswamps,marshes, bogs,wet meadows or shallow ponds.The waters in these areas containmany microorganisms, insects,crayfish and fish, and serveasimportant nesting, migrating andwintering areas for waterfowl.The trail follows the wetland toa 55-foot-long arch span bridge,built by Penn State Universityengineering students in 1994.An observation deck at the southend of the bridge offers a goodvantage point for spottinganimals that make their homein the wetland.Next the trail passes through asuccessional forest, demonstratingthe development of woodlandsfrom shrubs and plants totowering trees. The finalcommunity along the RiversideNature Trail consists of openfields that have been cultivatedfor wildlife food and cover.
Childrenstudied in aone-roomschoolhousein the early1900s, givingthis area thename "OldSchoolhouse."The SnappingTurtle lives infreshwaterhabitats anddoes nothesitate todefend itself.
Raystown Lake • R.D. #1, Box 222 • Hesston, PA 16647-9227Baltimore District • US Army Corps of EngineersPO Box 1715 • Baltimore, MD 21203-1715
What Did You Do on Your Hike?
Kids, fill out the hiking journal below andbring this page to the Visitors Center for a free
"I Hiked the RiversideNature Trail"
certificate!• I hiked ___ miles.• I saw _______________________________________• I heard ______________________________________• I touched ____________________________________• I smelled ____________________________________• What I liked best _____________________________
What Did You Find on Your Hike?
Write down what you found on the trail::• In the riverine, I saw __________________________• In the wetland, I saw __________________________• In the successional forest, I saw_____________________________________________________________• In the open field, I saw_________________________
Christmas Ferns like theseare commonly found inthe successional forest.Water is the dominantfactor in wetlands.A relaxing place for a picnic.
For updated trail conditions or more information, visit our website: