New trail… even better view

Posted: October 4, 2013 in Exercise, Footwear & socks, Hiking, Photography, Physical activity, Walking

So, Supportive Partner Woman and I tried something new the other day. I’ll get to that in a bit. First off, I set a new record for distance in a day. Well, not totally, but since I started this little project, After going to the gym and doing 4.3 miles on the elliptical, I went home and decided to go back out with SPW to the Lancaster Junction Rail Trail and did another 4.993 miles. All told, over nine miles (intentionally) in one day. Woot!

So, Wednesday, we decided to try something different. Most of the rail trails are, by necessity, flat or have a very minimal grade. There might be a few spots where the trail has a slope to cross a road, but that’s about it. The slopes are only in there because an underpass was opened up when the railroad abandoned the right of way. So, in search of a challenge, and a good view, we headed to Chickies Rock Overlook Trail.

We were slightly underprepared, not knowing what kind of terrain we would be looking at. For future reference, any future return to the site will involve hiking boots, as running shoes and rocks don’t necessarily make for good bedfellows. The climb is not a long one (only about 1/2 mile from the trailhead to the overlook) but for the two of us, it was challenging enough. The view proved to be worth it.

Panorama from the top of the rock

Panorama from the top of the rock

From one of the secondary viewing areas

From one of the secondary viewing areas

The actual overlook itself is on a couple of levels. The easier ones to approach are set back from the edge of the rock itself. They still provide some views, but with the trees still in bloom, you are limited to seeing what’s right in front of you. This makes me want to go back, both when the leaves start to turn and when the trees are bare. It should make for some good photographs.

There’s apparently another trail at the base of the cliff that runs about 1.5 miles. We did not try that, as it doesn’t quite meet our distance needs. Might try it in the future.

Mr. Tortoise

Mr. Tortoise

Thursday, we went back to the Enola Low Grade Trail. Sadly, we were unable to get the full distance in, due to a forgotten appointment. We did, however, come across a very cute little turtle (tortoise?) just kind of on the trail. I’m not sure if (s)he was alive or not, but was very tiny. If I would’ve had something to put in the picture to establish size, I would’ve. Given a chance to search Google images, I think it’s a baby snapping turtle.

One thing I have yet to mention about our visits to these trails are the sheer number of raptors seen. There are hawks aplenty and I’m pretty sure I saw a bald eagle. It makes me want to return to Hawk Mountain just to see the birds. It would be worth the trek up the hill and yes, I would wear hiking boots.

Hope you have a great weekend, folks!

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