Hiking in Pennsylvania

(Lake Arthur. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

It’s raining here in the Bogs today. We needed some rain. The pond is low and the land is dry. Even though I’m not parched like the land, I found myself issuing a soft “ahhhhh” of delight early this morning when I woke to the sound of rainfall.

I’ll be taking Izzy and Bella for the booster shots today.  They seemed to have missed me over the weekend.  They had M the Younger here to keep them company, but I suspect he was spending more time with his girlfriend than with the kittens.  And so it should be.

In blogging news, I hope to get back to Harpers Ferry as well as our trip to the Jersey shore one of these days. But for now I think it’s best to move on to our recent adventures while the details are still fresh.  Good for me.  Maybe not so good for my readers who might prefer to be spared all of the details.

Our three day weekend turned out to be quite an adventure.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself here so you’ll have to wait until I get to the exciting bits in the order in which they occurred.

We left here on Saturday morning around 11:00, a little later than planned even though we weren’t in a great hurry. Our trip wasn’t long as far as driving time (about 90 minutes or so), but we did want to have time to fit in a hike before sunset. Sunset is fairly early these days, now that we’re so far from having sprung forward and close to falling back in terms of time.

The weather was gorgeous. Cool, but not cold, with some gusty winds. Clouds moved in and out, but it was mostly sunny. My kind of autumn weather. Exhilarating. Perfect hiking weather.

Our first stop was the town of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. We located our hotel and then found a sandwich shop so we could pick up lunch to take with us on our hike. Slippery Rock is the home of Slippery Rock University. It’s somewhat like West Chester, being a college town and all. It’s not quite as big as West Chester, and doesn’t have nearly as many choices when it comes to dining.

We found Bob’s Sub & Sandwich Shop. The place was hopping, doing a pretty brisk business. That’s usually a good sign. We bought an Italian sub and some chips to go. The sub wasn’t bad. It was no hoagie, that’s for sure. The roll was a little too wimpy for my taste (I like the good, hard rolls you can get in the Philly area). Other than that, it was a good sandwich and satisfied our needs when it came time to eat it.

(Lake Arthur. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

With lunch in our backpack, we set out for the south shore of Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park.

A brief word on why we decided to make our long weekend a Saturday through Monday instead of the usual Friday through Sunday trip. M, being a wise man and having thought it through, reasoned that leaving on Saturday and coming back on Monday would give us almost three full days to hike and enjoy the great outdoors, whereas leaving on a Friday usually means leaving after work, giving us one less day of fun and adventure.

There’s also the matter of this being hunting season. One of the great things about hiking in Pennsylvania during hunting season is that hunting is not allowed on Sundays. So, any hiking we wanted to do in areas that permit hunting (and most of the state parks do have such areas, usually where the remote and/or rugged hiking is) would be best done on Sunday rather than on a Friday or Saturday (or Monday, for that matter).

(Fishermen on Lake Arthur. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

Lake Arthur is a man-made lake, a re-creation of a glacial lake. Moraine State Park is named for the ground and end moraines formed by glaciers (although this is something of a misnomer as there is little morainal topography in Moraine State Park). Moraines are, basically, deposits left behind by glaciers and can range from silt to boulders. The last glacier to visit the area left around 23,000 years ago.

(Lake Arthur. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

Our first hike of the trip was on Wyggeston Trail. Here is the trail description from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR):

Wyggeston Trail: 1.5 to 4.5 miles, moderate to difficult hiking, orange blazes
The northern end of the trail can be accessed from Christley Road just west of Route 528 and the southern terminus from Old Route 422. This trail can be hiked either as a 1.5-mile loop, or a 3-mile or 4.5-mile trail that will not return you to your point of origin. This trail has rougher, rockier terrain and is a more challenging hike than the other trails on the South Shore. The extra effort is well worth it because the trail takes you into a remote, undeveloped section of the park and by an old house foundation, stone fences and a historic oil pump house.

(Wyggeston Trailhead. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

We did the loop and went off to include some of the 3-mile hike so that we could explore a little of the area that is said to be worth the extra effort. It was a thoroughly enjoyable hike although the hill that brought us by the old house foundation, stone fences, etc. gave us quite a workout on our way back to the loop.

Because it was a Saturday, both M and I wore bright orange hunting colors. We didn’t see any hunters while we were hiking, but we did hear a gunshot or two.

(Wearing orange. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

About half way through the hike we stopped to enjoy our picnic lunch while soaking in some of the wonderful scenery. It was wonderfully quiet and peaceful out there, near the lake. We didn’t see any other people until we were almost at the end of the hike.

One of the purposes of the trip, besides spending time together and hiking, was to have a gander at the fall foliage. As mentioned in a previous post, the drought this year has made it hard on the trees. While the colors are there, and very pretty, I don’t think they are nearly as bright and brilliant as they were last year.

(Along the Wyggeston Trail. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(Fallen foliage. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

Our first hike of the trip was relatively easy compared to subsequent hikes. It was a good way to break ourselves back in after a month or two lacking in any substantial hiking.

(A glimpse of fungi. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(An “in your face” leaf. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(On the trail. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(Still on the loop part of the trail. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(A peek at the leaves. Photo by Robin. October 2007)

(More yellows.  Photo by Robin.  October 2007)

Yellow seems to be the dominant color this year.  There aren’t many oranges and reds to be seen.  I suppose that’s why they stand out so much when I do come across them.

(Along an old road.  Photo by Robin.  October 2007)

I’ll leave you here, where we went off of the loop trail to explore the areas along this old road.  The road goes downhill for about a mile.  This is the hill we had to traverse on our way back.  It doesn’t look like much in the photos, but I can vouch for the fact that one gets a very good workout on this hill.

See you tomorrow with more from Lake Arthur.

3 Comments on “Hiking in Pennsylvania”

  1. This looks like a beautiful Hike. I love traveling and I’m about to start a marketing tour on a bus for track Kayak. Come and visit my blog.

  2. Robin says:

    Thanks, Travelingyogamama. You have a beautiful website. 🙂

  3. […] Robin added an interesting post on Hiking in Pennsylvania.Here’s a small excerpt:(Lake Arthur. Photo by Robin. October 2007). It’s raining here in the Bogs today. We needed some rain. The pond is low and the land is dry. Even though I’m not parched like the land, I found myself issuing a soft “ahhhhh” of delight … […]

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