Lackawanna Lake – October 2017
Lackawanna Lake – October 2017
Lackawanna Lake – October 2017
Flight over sunset. – September 2016
Jeff Mitchell, who has inspired me to hike in several locations due to his blog and books, somewhat recently hiked the South Branch trail of Lackawanna State Park. He writes:
What a place to hike on a hot summer day, I thought. It was noticeably cooler in this deep, shaded glen along the creek. We reached a powerline swath and here it got a little confusing. The trail goes up the swath a short ways and then continues along an old grade higher above the creek. It was still a nice hike, although the floodplain along the creek is worth exploring.
Yes, it is a great place to hike when it is warmer. Here are my photos and notes of the trail. And yes it is cooler there. Also, I agree it can get confusing in this area he’s mentioning. Even if there isn’t snow cover it can be a little odd. This area of the park can use some attention.
He ended up going a little further than I did on the trail itself and then doubled back. Perhaps I’ll do the same thing the next time I hike this area because the journey I took ended up being 6 miles.
Lackawanna Lake panorama – October 2016
Along the path – October 2016
Sunset through pines, Lackawanna State Park – October 2016
Aerial, Lackawanna State Park – July 2016
The colors of fall, Lackawanna State Park – October 2016
Fall leaves on the forest floor, Lackawanna State Park – October 2016
Sunlit ferns, Lackawanna State Park – October 2016
Rowlands Road, Lackawanna State Park – September 2016
The canopy, Lackawanna State Park – September 2016
Moss on tree – October 2016
Fall on Bullhead Bay – October 2016
Hiked in October 2016 – Approx. 3.2 miles – I ended up jogging most of these trails rather than my normal casual hike. Because of this I ended up not taking near as many photos as I usually do.
I parked in the same parking location, at the end of Lake View Drive, as I did for my Northwoods hike. This time, however, I found the proper trail to get to the dam as quickly as possible. In order to find this trail you need to start directly behind the bathrooms next to the parking lot.
When I got to the dam there was a father and son fishing just over the waterfall of the dam. It didn’t seem like they were catching too much but I’m sure they were enjoying the beautiful fall day as much as I was. One other thing about this area of the park — you can’t hear anything. The waterfall, small though it may be, drowned out so much sound that it isn’t until your pretty far away that you begin to hear the sounds of the forest or other people in the park again.
I started on Frost Hollow Trail by crossing the Benton Road Bridge. I turned immediately left and hugged the edge of the water’s edge up the cliff. This is a very steep climb. If you’re not able to do this section, you can continue up Benton Road until you hit Sunset Road and there is an entrance to Frost Hollow there that takes a much easier trek.
After cresting the cliff the trail begins to level out and even begins to descend once you get close to the pole lines. I decided to stay next to the water and follow Snowflake Trail all the way to South Shore. Along this stretch are a few opportunities to pop out of the woods and enjoy a full view of Lackawanna Lake and the bridge on 407. From these areas you can hear everything going on in the park beyond. Children laughing, people playing games. The lake might as well be a megaphone for every sound and it funnels them all to you on the other shore.
That is why at this point I could hear planes flying at the airfield. I had my UAV and I had stopped at the airfield on my way to the hike to see if anyone was flying. No one was there. Sometime between me parking, hiking up the cliff, and getting to the edge of the lake someone had showed up and gotten into the air. I couldn’t believe it! So, I jogged nearly the rest of the way.
I really enjoyed the jog. There were a few places where jogging was impossible. My ankles would have snapped like twigs over some of the wet mossy boulders in some areas. But I was able to finish all 3 miles in about 45 minutes. Given the inclines and wetness, and that I was wearing pants, hoodie, etc. I was happy with this pace.
Snowflake Trail isn’t the most interesting trail in the park, but Frost Hollow Trail has some really neat features and is worth meandering your way up the cliff to see.
I got to the airfield to find it empty. Missing the pilot by just a few moments according to two grouse hunters that were also in the parking lot.
On my next and final hike in the park, where I finish up this journey, you’ll see that it is in this area of the park that has the best view in the entire park. So stay tuned for that and tons of photos next week.
Hiked in early October 2016 – Approx. 5.2 miles – If you’re looking at the map, the trails I hiked on this particular day rest just southeast of Bullhead Bay on Lee Hill. Lee Hill is mostly thick woods from Rowlands Road to the lake and the elevation changes from 1000′ to 1200′ several times throughout the hike.
I started my hike on Kennedy Creek Trail heading north. Kennedy Creek Trail meanders a bit more than the map leads on. At one point, crossing Kennedy Creek, just before it his the conjunction with Abington Trail, Lee Hill Trail, and Basset Path, is an area of pines that came out of no where. I don’t know if it was the lightening on this particular rainy day but the area was a bit striking. In fact, as you loop back out of the pine you see this – a split between the pine and the wood. I quipped on Twitter that it reminded me of West Side Story.
I decided to redo Basset Path since I had been in a rush to complete it the first time. I’m glad I did. This backstretch of the park is a great place to hike. Once I met up with Abington Trail, just above the lake and almost to Cole Road, I swung west. This particular section of Abington Trail – from Cole Road all the way to the Kennedy Creek Inlet – may be the flattest area in the park to hike. I think it’d be great for a leisurely stroll or even a bike ride for most people.
Rather than continue all along the lake for the entire way I decided to head back up hill on, well, the lazily named Abington Trail. (Lee Hill is wrought with terrible names for trails. There is more than one Abington Trail and more than one Lee Hill Trail. It would be a good idea for the park to consider stretching their imaginations to find two more names. May I posit “Colin’s Trail” as an option?) This area is a beautiful uphill climb. Prior to meeting up at the aforementioned conjunction, though, it splits. I believe the trail appears to continue straight but it is really a washout. The signs lead you on the proper path but it doesn’t matter much as you end up in relatively the same location. I hiked both just in case.
I then took Lee Hill Trail – the one that goes over the very top of Lee Hill – and made my way back to Kennedy Creek Trail. You’ll see just about everything at the top of Lee Hill. Woods, open areas with shrubs, younger patches of forest, and more. There was a spot where you could see down the side of the entire hill so I sat there for 10 minutes (I used my watch to force myself to sit that long) and let the surroundings soak in.
When I met up with Kennedy Creek I doubled back on the second Lee Hill Trail – the one in between Lee Hill and Lakeshore – to head back in the direction of Bullhead Bay. All of this back and forth messes with your sense of direction slightly. I remember coming to the lake’s edge once and thinking I knew which feature of the park I was across the lake from only to find out I was way off. Those that have paddled from Bullhead Bay to the Kennedy Creek Inlet know it is a fair stretch between the two. The map doesn’t do the size of the lake justice. Lee Hill is at least a half mile in length.
Once I hit Abington Trail again I needed to get in a bit of the trail that I had missed when I came up the hill. So I walked that section twice just to be sure I could color it in on my map. It was at this point I realized that Abington Trail didn’t really stretch along the lake – but rather Lakeshore Trail did. Again, another confusing bit given the signs on the ground when comparing them to the map.
I followed the flat Lakeshore Trail all the way back to the Kennedy Creek Inlet, which was a nice change of pace from the ups and downs of the rest of Lee Hill’s trails. When I hiked Ranger Trail with my Dad there was a part of the trail I had missed. It wasn’t the part that I got when I hiked Turkey Hill but rather a small piece parallel to Rowlands Road that ends up hitting 524. I thought since I was here and that I’d likely not revisit this area of the park for a while I’d get it.
Lee Hill is about as diverse an area of the park as you will find. Flats along Lakeshore, up and down the hill along Abington Trail and Lee Hill Trails. And the pines of Kennedy Creek near Basset Path.
UAV, Lackawanna State Park, PA – October 2016