Take Route 34 exit off Route 322, go south on Route 34 through Newport, PA and just after a sharp bend in the road to the right (near the feed mill), turn right onto Little Buffalo Road. Continue for a mile or so and turn left onto State Park Road. Pass in front of the Blue Ball Tavern Museum and cross the one lane bridge. Turn right onto the first lane and proceed to the parking area on the left.
The red path shows how to get to the Day Use Area and where to park. The yellow circle marks the best place to find Spring wild flowers in Little Buffalo State Park.
The Day Use Area is set up for picnics with plenty of picnic tables and pavilions, grills, a playground, and easy access to trails and scenic overlooks.
Walk toward the creek and through the covered bridge. Take the Mill Race Trail if you want to see the Spring wildflowers. It’s an easy trail, only one-half mile long, and it is the best place to see the Spring Ephemeral flowers at Little Buffalo State Park. You’ll see some wildflowers on the hillsides and other flowers in the lowlands near the creek. Shoaff’s Mill is an attraction in itself – the water wheel is supposedly one of the biggest in existence!
Spring Ephemeral flowers blooming on 3 April 2010 –
- skunk cabbage
- round-lobe hepatica
- spring beauty
Also saw the sword-like leaves of the trout lily, but its yellow flowers were not visible yet.
Spicebush trees or shrubs were blooming along the far end of Mill Race Trail near the creek. Bright yellow clusters of flowers bloom all along the length of the branches before any leaves appear.
If you’d like a more challenging hike, stop by the visitor’s center and pick up a map of the park. Try the Volksmarch 10K loop, the Buffalo Ridge Trail, or the Fisherman’s Trail.