WPSU Virtual Field Trips WPSU Virtual Field Trips


Hiking Trails

view down hiking trail at Shaver's CreekThe many enticing hiking trails at Shaver’s Creek wind through the surrounding 7,000 acres of woodlands, hillsides, and marshlands of Penn State’s Stone Valley Experimental Forest.

trunk of a dead tree with many holesNot too far from the Visitor Center, we came across this dead tree. Did you know that dead trees are excellent habitats for all kinds of animals?

close up of person's finger pointing at larger hole in the trunk of a dead treeYou can see holes made by woodpeckers. If these holes get big enough they could serve as a shelter for other animals such as snakes and squirrels.

yellow rectangular birdhouse on a metal pole along a wooded trailAlong the trails you can see bird houses. These houses were built by humans and birds use them to build their nests and raise their young.

view of the reflection in a round mirror of a nest of  baby birds inside a birdhouse Here, with the help of a mirror, you can see recently hatched baby birds inside.

young woman turning over a log in the woods to look underneathJust like the standing dead tree earlier, trunks and branches that have fallen onto the ground can be habitats too. What can be found by turning it over? Do you see the toad?

side view of an eastern American toadHere is a close up of the toad.

a brown salamander in damp groundHere you can see a salamander.

white strands of mycelium in damp dirtThe white strands you can see are mycelium, which are the underground root-like parts of a fungus such as a mushroom.

slug attached to a logMost of the things that live under logs, such as this slug, are decomposers. They help break down dead things into soil.

insect on a logFungus, bacteria, and insects are a very important part of our ecosystem. Sometimes we call them “nature’s recyclers.”

Next: The Lake