Explore Vernal Pools

Discover the important role of vernal pools, and catch a glimpse of the incredible creatures who make their home here.

Vernal pools are shallow seasonal areas of water found in the forest, are devoid of fish, and team with activity each spring as amphibians congregate to lay their eggs.

Vernal pools are fed by rain, fill with water in late fall and remain wet until mid-summer before drying up. Not only are vernal pools wet for a small portion of the year, but they also tend to be extremely small, usually only fragments of an acre in size.

Each spring, salamanders emerge from their underground tunnels and begin navigating towards springtime pools to find a mate and breed.

The sounds of green frogs clacking resonate across the chilly waters of shallow woodland pools.

Many species of dragonflies make their home near forested vernal pools. 

Newt eggs scattered like jewels in a West Branch Wilderness vernal pool.

The pools at Kings Gap are essential to the survival of several amphibian species including Jefferson (pictured), Spotted, and Marbled Salamanders and Gray Tree Frogs.

The Minsi Lake Corridor is home to one of the largest collections of vernal pools in Pennsylvania.

Interested in learning more? Join us for a vernal pool hike at King Gap this March!


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