Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Consturction Continues At Gilbert Farm Viewing Area

I arrived in Elk Country last week to find construction going full bore on the new parking lot atop Winslow Hill at the Gilbert Farm Viewing Area.  Thanks to photos posted on Facebook by Tom Dorsey and others and verbal reports from Ron, "Buckwheat" Saffer and Billie Cromwell, what I found was not a great surprise..  The first photo posted below is taken from Winslow Hill Road going north up the hill.  I was standing in Winslow Hill Road at the point where the new Dewey Road branches off from Winslow Hill Road.  Where the equipment is parked is just in front of the old parking lot.  At the time this photo was taken, construction netting was across the new section of road at both ends and also along the entire frontage with Winslow Hill Road.

New Dewey Road And Parking Lot Construction
Billie Cromwell reports that he was there on the day the hard surface was torn up.  A big dozer arrived with a scarifier attached to the blade and in a short time the blacktop was removed.  This section of Winslow Hill Road is now a narrow gravel road for the time being.  Below is the view looking up the hill with the old parking lot being on the left.

Winslow Hill Road
In the photo below I am standing in old Dewey Road and looking up the new portion of the road which was fenced off at that time.

New Dewey Road
 I was somewhat surprised to find that the old portion of Dewey Road was still there and was still being used  when I arrived, but I suspect that situation will change soon if it has not already as by Thursday the workers were spreading a coat of gravel on the new portion of the road, which seemed to indicate they were getting it ready to use in the near future.

Old Portion Of Dewey Road Still In Use Last Week
Spreading Gravel At Winslow Hill-New Dewey Rd Intersection
Below is a photo of the intersection of the old portion of the road with the new.  As I understand it the old portion will be covered over and landscaped into the new viewing area.

Intersection Of Old And New Portions Of Dewey Road
Spreading Gravel On New Portion Of Dewey Rd
It will be interesting to see what this all looks like when it is completed and how it impacts the elk viewing experience.  An important concern to many is whether parking will still be permitted  along the portion of Dewey Road that will travel along the meadow to where the old farm house used to be.  If parking is not permitted it is at least hoped that people will still be allowed to stand along the side of the road where the current parking strip is.  If this is not permitted and one must remain in the viewing area at the top of  the hill if they wish to watch this portion of the meadow it will effectively ruin elk photography at this spot.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

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