Talking turtles

Part of the Get Outdoors Poconos series

Saturday, February 15, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Brodhead Watershed Association

Feb. 15: See the world from a bog turtle’s point of view

Now, in deep winter, all is quiet at Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Stroudsburg, Pa. Or so it seems.

These 6,000 acres under the protection of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service host an unusually large number of mammals, birds and other wildlife listed as “Federal trust species” — including five threatened or endangered species.

Find out more about one of the critters who depend on this complex system of habitats and the people who care for it. Come to a “Turtle Talk” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.

The star of the show is the bog turtle, a Pocono native. Maxing out at barely 4 inches long, bog turtles are the smallest turtles in North America. And the cutest. They eat just about anything that fits in their mouths, and most spend their whole lives in the wetland where they were born.

Even in summer, they spend much of their time buried in mud, able to survive without oxygen for long periods. Now through mid-April, they are hibernating in small groups. In spring, they will come blinking to the surface, ready to bask in the sun and look for a mate.

Females lay clutches of just three or four tiny eggs. Eggs and hatchlings are prey for birds and mammals, but if a young turtle survives, it may live 50 years. In all of North America, there may be as few as 2,500 bog turtles alive today, their numbers slashed by disappearing habitat.

IF YOU GO: Turtle Talk
Join Mike Horne, refuge manager, for a talk about bog turtles and other creatures that rely on habitat under Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s protection. Sponsored by the Friends of Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, National Fish and Wildlife, and Brodhead Watershed Association.

WHEN: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

WHERE: Meet at refuge headquarters at 2138 Croasdale Road, Stroudsburg. Ample parking. Please be considerate of adjoining private landowner. Trails at the refuge are open year-round. No pets or motorized vehicles.

DIRECTIONS: From south Stroudsburg, take Route 191 South up and over Godfrey’s Ridge, past Stroudsmoor. At the foot of the hill, take a sharp left onto Cherry Valley Road. Go about one mile. Croasdale Road is on your right.

NOTE: Thanks to citizens who worked mightily to make the refuge possible, and to voters who support funding for land acquisition.

COST: Free. Registration is not required, but appreciated.

INFORMATION: Call 570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727; email For information about this and other hikes in the free Get Outdoors Poconos series, go to The hike series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.


Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge
2138 Croasdale Road
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
570-839-1120 or 570-629-2727

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