Saturday, October 05, 2013

Hickory Run State Park

The National Parks may be closed right now due to the government shutdown, but the State Parks are open! Saturday was a beautiful day to enjoy Autumn colors at their finest at Hickory Run State Park. We had the unusual combination of hot weather and peak foliage that made for a gorgeous Fall hike.

Boulder field

View of Hawk Falls from the side

I love the colors and reflections of Autumn.

Hawk Falls

Waterfall over a dam on the Shades of Death trail. Today a ranger explained to me the origin of the name "Shades of Death". Apparently, the Native Americans called the whole park area Shades of Death because not much would grow here. The conifers dropped so many needles the high tannin content in the soil inhibited other plants from growing. I much preferred my more dramatic but untruthful theories of the name (grizzlies, fugitives with hatchets, that sort of thing). He did tell me that it is the trail that causes the most injuries in the park due to twisted roots and slippery rocks along the creek. We stepped carefully on this trail!

Pretty miniature waterfall.

Rhododendrons lining the creek on the Shades of Death trail.

A view of Autumn splendor in the Lehigh Gorge from Fireline Trail.



At 5:38 AM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

I remember that park from my childhood, Anne. My dad used to take us camping there. My brother and I were talking about that boulder field when we were in California a couple of months ago. I guess as kids, that made a big impression on us.

Shades of death is not a good marketing term to get people to use that trail! ;^) It is good to know where the name comes from.

Lovely photos, lovely spot!
Enjoy the day! Art

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

PS: the federal shutdown is just ridiculous. It is like we want to commit national suicide!

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Art, Thanks! Yes, it's a beautiful park! The boulder field is very unique. I love the Shades of Death trail because it sounds like I hiked a very challenging and treacherous trail when it really isn't! Plus it's a very pretty trail. Yes, the government shutdown is heartbreaking, imaging having all our National Parks closed!

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Racn4acure said...

A quote from Will Rogers, something like "When Congress is in session, people feel like when they see a baby with a hammer." Only in this case, they can cause so much damage, it is more like a baby with a flame-thrower! Terrible! Yes, the parks and so many other things.

For sure, being a veteran of hiking the Shades of Death trail makes you sound like a serious explorer, venturing where few would tred! "Yup, I hiked the Shades of Death Trail. It was touch and go for a while, but I managed to survive!"

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Art, yes, the whole situation is so frightening! I usually like to stay informed, but I haven't been watching the news about this because I find it so aggravating. And now we have to worry about the debt ceiling too!
Yes, Shades of Death sounds like a trail not for the faint of heart. But it really is a pretty trail along a stream. I've been told it can be quite the ankle twister though!


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