It was a decent Sunday, so I thought I’d try a Pennsylvania hike for a change. Not – a rocky one like Hawk Mtn – but something different. The AllTrails app lists a 5 mile hike on East Shore trail, Eagle Pass and Cliff Trail at Prompton State Park as ‘moderate’. Only an hour away, so off I went.
The joy of autumn 🍂 hiking! Crisp leaves crunched underfoot, frightening a flock of turkeys as I approached. The well worn path was hidden beneath the colorful carpet. This caused me to retrace my steps a couple times to return to the marked trail.
So happy to enjoy the lovely colors and feel of autumn!
Love old stone walls!
Heading downhill, these stone ledges concerned me at first, but looking back at them, I can see how they are terraced, making it an easy drop!
After car camping with a friend in the Adirondacks last month, I knew I wanted to return and try it alone. So recently, after a very spur of the moment decision, I made camp reservations for 2 nights near Lake Placid. Planning solo made me much more cautious about what I needed and what to bring. Also, even though the days would be warm and sunny, it was going to be cold at night.
On the drive up, the views were so gorgeous, as the trees were just beginning to wear their autumn colors. Stopped near Tupper Lake for a quick sketch.
A tiny island in Tupper Lake
I arrived to camp late afternoon, with just enough time for a quick walk at High Falls Gorge. Yes, it costs $, is very touristy and only a mile long, but it really packs a powerful experience in that short walk.
The next day, my plan was to hopefully find a waterfall that I was fortunate to experience in my early twenties. Back then, three others and myself hiked to the top on a hot summer day and swam in pools at the top. It was such a perfect event that I have always wanted to return, but didn’t know the name or even where exactly it was. I was told Roaring Brook Falls sounded like what I was looking for. (Thanks Jamey!) And it was!
After parking, as I followed the sign for the top of the falls, each step made me more sure that this was the place. At the top, there were the pools we swam in, and there was the view! Wow.
I sat and sketched, and then did the short walk to the bottom of the falls. Not much water right now, but the memories were as crystal clear as the water.
Sketched while relaxing at the top, color added at home. The view of Mount Marcy was an added surprise!
Top of Roaring Brook Falls looking back. The water was crystal clear, not at all how my sketch ended up!
Roaring Brook Falls – at the base
It was quite cold (yes, 30°!) the first night, but I doubled up on nightclothes and was plenty warm the second night.
It was an easy hike and I’m so happy to have found it again!
Earlier this month I was looking for a decent hike on my way to Virginia. I found it at Hawk Mountain. This refuge for birds of prey was founded in 1934 by Rosalie Edge, who saw the impact of raptor hunting in the area. With 2,600 acres, this is now a research center, a learning facility and one of the best places to view the annual fall hawk migration.
So I was in, of course! I arrived ready to hike and see some hawks! At the very beginning, I tripped and skinned my knee. No problem, I thought, just get going. Aptly named, The River of Rocks trail was only slightly challenging. So I decided to add a short loop since the entire day was devoted to this place. That loop was followed by a steep ascent of 900 feet, with no switchbacks, which took a while as I had to stop every 200 ft or so to catch my breath! Whew! But I pushed on, as I was looking forward to arriving at the top of the ridge and the final 1.5 miles as I thought “skyline” meant you’d have a view. Instead, the last portion consisted of giant boulders and cautious footing, meaning forget the view! Just finish this thing!
Hawk Mountain hike along ridge. The red circle indicates the next trail marker!
The very last climb was the hardest for me, as I was tired, bruised and achy. I asked a younger lady who had just passed me, to please hold my hike poles and backpack, as I couldn’t get a leg up onto the last giant boulder with them.
Now, finally, at the top, feeling safe and catching my breath, there were the magnificent views. Except – only one hawk was viewed that day. No – really! The day before they spotted 37 raptors, and on my day, only one! Not terribly disappointed as I felt pretty smug that I was able to complete 5.5 darn difficult miles!
Here are sketches started on site, but completed and color added at home.
Stay tuned to hear about my latest hiking adventure!
After a one night test run at our local State Park, my friend and I figured we’d go up north and challenge ourselves with 2 nights of car camping and a couple hikes. Little did we know we were following the tail end of hurricane Isaias!
So our Tuesday drive and setting up camp was in the rain and for most of the evening, a downpour. Very lucky a friend insisted I borrow their 9x9x6’ht tent! Very lucky. We were still soaked just setting it up, but once we settled down, we could wring out a few things and enjoy some snacks and wine.
After our coffee Wednesday morning, we headed for Cascade Mountain, a 6 mile hike (in and out) with 1,900’ elevation gain. My Alltrails app described it as “moderate”, and I disagree, although maybe I would agree with (a lot!) more hiking experience. Boulders or bigger rocks were found along much of the trail, making each step another piece of a climbing puzzle. Add to that, mud in between the rocks, making slipping a real possibility. (Which we each did at least once!).
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
The panoramic views at the top of the surrounding mountains were well worth the rain (yes, again!) and mud. The rain mostly stopped, and the mist and clouds opened up a bit so we could quickly enjoy that view. The wind, however, was very inhospitable and we headed downhill a bit before taking a break. No sketch was done at the top, as my supplies would have been blown away!
What with snack stops and being careful and stepping aside to let people pass, it took us 7 hours. We had planned to do a quick walk after at High Falls Gorge, but it was closed due to all the rain, so – back to camp. We enjoyed hotdogs grilled on the blazing campfire, and for me, more wine! 🍷
Thursday we went to Wilmington and hiked Cobble Lookout, rated easy, which we both wanted after yesterday. Really quite easy, with 3 miles out and back, and only 240’ elev. gain. Another fantastic view with wonderful sunshine! And finally a chance to get a quick couple of sketches in.