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Updated: Jan 4, 2021

In June the Cameron County Family Center, Cameron County Recreation Center, Cameron County Conservation District and Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities sponsored a “Turtle Crawl.” The event took place with families walking a section of the Rails to Trails just west of Emporium. CCOYA and CCCD volunteer, Jess DeLuccia led the 1/2 mile hike. The nearly 19-mile 4 season trail connects Emporium to St Mary’s. During the hike, the group enjoyed searching for items along the trail that were listed on a nature scavenger hunt. This time of year is mating season for turtles. Because of the diverse habitat found along the Rails to Trails and particularly the wet land areas, there is a good possibility of seeing turtles utilizing the trail to build nests. Snapping turtles are a common site along the trail. A female snapping turtle will typically lay her eggs in early summer. She chooses a nesting site in an area of loose soil, sand, loam, vegetation debris or sawdust, where she digs a nest 4 to 7 inches deep. The Rails to Trails seems to be a perfect nesting sites as several sites can be found while walking the trail. Unfortunately, no turtles were seen during the Turtle Crawl, however one nesting site was located and was listed as part of the scavenger hunt. At the end of the hike, Todd Deluccia set up a display and educated everyone on turtles. He also had his own pet box turtle, painted turtle and a red footed tortoise for show and tell purposes. Also visiting was Leonardo, the Woodland Elementary School’s Red Eared Slider. Thanks to all the families that took the time to participate in the event.


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