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Wildlife Watching at Keystone State Park

Keystone State Park hosts a wide range of plant and animal life. Stop at the visitor center for a bird checklist or to learn about the natural sites and wildlife of the area. Each season provides an opportunity to see a diversity of plants and animals.

During spring, wildflowers bloom before the trees leaf out, such as:

  • Hepatica
  • Spring beauty
  • Bloodroot
  • Cutleaf toothwort
  • Trout lily
  • Rue anemone
  • Large-flowered trillium

Warblers, kinglets, buffleheads, mergansers, herons, osprey, and many other birds migrate through the park. Some birds only stop for a brief refueling visit, while others stay for the summer.

During summer, many young birds and mammals are born and can be seen, but be sure not to handle the wild animals. Fireflies dance and display their lights in midsummer.

Frogs and insects sing a nighttime chorus in the marsh area in the eastern end of the lake. Yarrow, joe pye weed, ironweed, boneset, fire pink, goldenrods, and daisies peak in late summer, providing food for butterflies.

The shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn cause the deciduous trees to erupt with color before dropping their leaves. Birds migrate south to their winter homes. The temperature is usually perfect for hiking and exploring.

During winter, you can find animal tracks in the snow and find bird nests that are revealed after leaves have fallen from the trees. Native birds like chickadees, cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeckers travel in groups hunting for seeds and insects.

AMD Wetland Treatment System

Below the dam, across from the entrance road to the cabin colony, is the former entrance to Salem #2 Mine.

This entrance has been sealed and can no longer be seen by the untrained eye. An orange liquid, called abandoned mine drainage (AMD), seeps from the mine, polluting McCune Run.

Four agencies have worked together to put in an AMD Wetland Treatment System. Heavy metals and sediment are removed from the AMD as it flows through limestone-lined pipes and several ponds.

The cleaned water then flows into McCune Run. A series of wayside exhibits explain the mine and the treatment system. The self-guided tour begins in the parking lot across from Pavilion #2.