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Mystery gnomes placed in nature preserve

A nature preserve in Pike County is known for trails, woodlands, meadows, wildlife, and now, something else right out of a storybook.

PIKE COUNTY, Pa. — The Cornelia and Florence Bridge Nature Preserve in Dingman Township, near Milford, is a 300-acre conservation site that's been attracting visitors from near and far.

Those visitors include garden gnomes. These folklore figurines, hidden in hollow tree trunks and small crevices, have made the preserve their home.

"We brought the kids out to come up here, Michael is a friend that told him about the little gnomes, and we decided to take them out so that they can look for them," said Sheryl Potter of Milford.

People who have been walking the trail more than two times a week had no idea these figurines were even there.

"The last time I was here, which was a few days ago, I noticed a big gnome in one of the trees, and so I thought I would come back and take a picture today, and then I ran into you, and I found out there are little gnomes all through the trails, which is so fun," said Will Voelkel of Milford.

The ceramic dwarves are all different sizes ranging from five inches to about a foot tall, and you can find them doing a variety of things -- playing the saxophone, taking a nap, or holding a flower, for example.

Whether you come on the trail to hunt for gnomes or if you're just walking by and happen to see one, people we spoke with on the trail say behind these figurines there's a deeper meaning.

"I think it represents fun for them. Honestly, something to break up their minds. My daughter is very smart, and she now understands the virus, you know and causing us to not be able to do a lot the things we would normally do with them, so for her, it was just a way to get out, run around, have fun and do something different," said Potter.

"I think anything that brings a smile or a laugh to our faces at a time like this is well worth the walk," said Voelkel.

While nobody knows how the gnomes made a home in the nature preserve, one thing is for sure; they are bringing a smile to many people's faces.