Woodlands Campus Highlights
Keystone is fortunate to have 160-acres of woodlands as part of the 270-acre College campus. There are hiking and interpretive trails accessible to both our students and the surrounding community. Keystone’s three interpretive trails include the Water Discovery Trail, the Riparian Trail, and the Nokomis Forest Stewardship Trail. These trails consist of stations and guides that offer a wealth of information about the many assets and points of environmental interest on Keystone’s Woodlands Campus. Individual Interpretive Trail Guides are available at Lackawanna Hall, located adjacent to the Water Discovery Trail Head.
Nokomis Suspension Bridge
This bridge serves as the main entrance to Keystone’s Woodlands Campus. The concrete abutments that are found on the trails are all that remain of the first suspension bridge at Keystone College. This bridge was 300 feet long and spanned the ravine and Nokomis Creek until the 1940s. During the snowy, winter months, local residents dared to use the steeply sloping bridge as a sled run! The current bridge was constructed in 1986 by the Nokomis Project.
A vernal pool is a contained basin depression lacking a permanent above ground outlet. They contain water for a few months in the spring and early summer. However by late summer, a vernal pool is generally, but not always, dry. Many organisms have evolved to use these temporary wetlands. These "obligate" vernal pool species must use a vernal pool for various parts of their life cycle. These species can be used to identify a vernal pool from other wetlands. A few easily recognizable obligate species are the spotted salamanders and the wood frog.
Northern Electric Railway Station and Trolley Bed
This concrete platform marks the old La Plume Trolley station of the Northern Electric Street Railway that ran from Scranton to Montrose. Construction began in 1906, with a maiden trip on July 1, 1907. Tracks were laid and stations built in Chinchilla, Clarks Summit, Clarks Green, Dalton, and La Plume, in Lackawanna County. The Northern Electric passenger cars had a capacity of 48 to 50 persons and offered regular service every hour, and during peak periods, every half hour, from 5:30am to 11pm. The cars traveled on a single track except where there were switches for trolleys to pass. Over most of the track, trolley speed averaged about 30 mph, although some conductors were reported to “let ‘er rip” up to 60 mph on more rural stretches. The Northern Electric adhered to strict schedules and operated in a timely fashion.
Seamans’ Cemetery and Pond
Both points serve as reminders of Seamans’ family farm that became a part of Keystone’s campus in 1960’s. The old farm house is located beyond the baseball field, adjacent to the Edward G. Boehm Memorial Field. Now, the only part of the old Barn that remains standing is the Silo.
This fence was erected in the summer of 2001 to demonstrate the impact of deer on forest regeneration. As you can see, after only two months there was a significant difference between the presence and absence of deer. Inside the fence there are many seedlings, while outside the fence there are few. Deer exclosure fences are not the solution to deer problems because they are not economically feasible. The only way the impact of white-tailed deer on our forests can be reversed is to directly reduce their population and to implement forest management strategies that will help re-establish understory plant communities.
The Sugar Shack
Keystone College is very fortunate to have its own small maple sugaring operation, funded by a grant from the Overlook Foundation. This includes a sugar shack with a hobby-sized evaporator, and of course a sugarbush, where we have approximately 275 taps deployed. Sugaring usually begins around mid-February and ends sometime in March. Keystone offers a maple sugaring field biology class in the spring semester.
The Bailey Field Suspension Bridge
Feel free to take a break and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoor stage. The open air stage was once used when Keystone Academy held graduation ceremonies here in the early 1900s. The largest class was 25. Parents and family members came with horses and wagons and made a day of it. A band played the graduation march while the procession came from Bailey Field.
The Biology Pond
This pond serves as one of Keystone’s many fantastic outdoor classrooms. Students gear up in waders and grab their nets in hopes of catching a few of the ponds inhabitance for study. This pond highlights one of the greatest assets of having trails right in the college’s backyard. The Woodlands Campus provides students with invaluable educational resources that are simply not available in a class room or text books.