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Nov. 4 – Drake Creek Trail

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” -Lao Tzu
Today we decided to hike the Drakes Creek Trail near Jim Thorpe. It was a fairly easy 3 mile hike along a well maintained dirt road. The trail descends about 500′ from the parking lot to the Lehigh River….meaning the hardest part of the hike was coming back to our car. Although the trees have lost most of their leaves the hike was still full of color, because the rhododendron form a thick, impenetrable wall of greenery along the slopes of the creek. We definitely need to come back to this area in July when they bloom. The road is used by rafting expeditions to enter the Lehigh River, but it looked like a difficult way to get into the river to me.

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Oct. 29 – Bear Creek Preserve

“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ~Anonymous
We’ve had quite a few wet cold days this week, so we didn’t want to waste this beautiful Saturday hiding away from the crowds. So after visiting the wonderful farmers market we found last week, we drove north just a bit to Bear Creek Preserve. 

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Oct. 28 – Jim Thorpe, PA

“A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle”. – Buddha
Today we drove down to Jim Thorpe to explore part of the Lehigh Gorge State Park. The Lehigh Gorge Trail follows 26 miles of a former railroad line along the Lehigh River, providing opportunities for hiking, biking and sightseeing. Our first stop was at the Rockport Access to the gorge. We hiked along the rail trail to see Buttermilk Falls and Luke’s Falls. I think we’d like to come back next summer with our bikes, so we could explore more of the trail. It would also be fun to do a rafting trip down the Lehigh River.

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Oct. 22 – Tobyhanna Falls Hike

“There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you.” ―Mehmet Murat Ildan
Saturday was a beautiful fall day and the temperature even warmed up a bit. We started the day by going to the Pocono Farmers Market…it was actually an Amish Market. Wow what a great selection of vegetables and fruits, meats, cheeses, baked goods and home canned items. I really like Amish markets.

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Oct. 21 – Shades of Death Trail

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” ―Elizabeth Lawrence

Today we hiked the Shades of Death Trail. The name is a little gruesome, but it’s the most popular and picturesque trail in Hickory Run State Park, and I can understand why. While it might sound scary, the trail is actually among the most fun trails to hike in Pennsylvania. The trail is an out and back hike about 2.5 miles that follows the Sand Spring Run and meanders through rhododendron thickets and unique rock formations. Along the trail, the creek cascades over two beautiful man-made dam waterfalls and a series of small riffles and waterfalls as it drops 300 feet to Hickory Run. There are also remains of logging mills. The ruins and dams date back to the early 1800s.

The first colonists chose this sinister name for the area that had rocky soil, numerous swamps and dark forests.

Remains of an old lumber mill.

The Stametz Dam was built 150 years ago.
Small falls along the trail.
The rock formations are so much fun to see and hike through.
This dam was built by the CCC during the Great Depression.
This beautiful lake was formed when the dam was built.
Shades of fall.

Saylorville Dam and Falls along Sand Spring Road.

Bridge crossing Hickory Run on Sand Spring Road.

Oct. 20 – Appalachian Trail in the DWG

“Great things never came from comfort zones.” ―Anonymous

One of the most beautiful areas in the Pocono Mountains is the Delaware Water Gap, where 40 miles of the Delaware River run between high bluffs and forested shores. It has beckoned visitors to the Pocono Mountains for centuries and is known as the Gateway to the Poconos. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a wonderful place to canoe, kayak, camp, fish and hike. It’s full of beautiful waterfalls and stunning vistas to enjoy. The DWG is situated within the most densely populated region of the United States and provides a unique opportunity to experience tranquil landscapes. Interstate 80 runs through the gap and has to be the most beautiful view from any highway I’ve seen.

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Oct. 18 – Hawks Fall Trail

“Take only memories, leave only footprints” -Chief Seattle

The house we are staying at in Lake Harmony is on the eastern edge of Hickory Run State Park. The park offers over 40 miles of beautiful hiking trails. Many of the trails were old roads from the towns of Hickory Run and Saylorsville that flourished in the area between 1830 and 1900. 

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Oct. 18 – Hickory Run Boulder Field

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” ~Benjamin Disraeli
After getting settled into our rental, which will be home for the next four weeks, we did a little exploring close to home. Hickory Run State Park is literally at our doorstep and has 40 miles of trails to explore. The most unique place in the park is the boulder field. Hickory Run Boulder Field is a product of glaciation, believed to have formed 20,000 years ago. The boulder field is about 16 acres in size and measures approximately 400 feet by 1,800 feet and 10-12 feet deep. It’s said to be the largest boulder field of its kind in all of the Appalachian Mountains.

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The Poconos

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.” –Hal Borland
We decided this year we would spend some transitional time in Pennsylvania after putting up The Pearl and returning to Texas. The Pocono Mountains are about an hour east of our son Kyle and full of waterfalls, hiking and interesting little towns to explore. We hope to enjoy the fall watching the leaves change and exploring another beautiful part of our country.

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Oct. 14 – The End of the Season

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” –John Burroughs

It’s that time of year again…fall has arrived in upstate New York. The temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter, so it’s time to begin our migration south. September seemed a little cooler and wetter this year, and the trees have really gotten pretty. The hills around Ithaca and our marina are gorgeous. I like the fiery red trees the best…they are truly breathtaking.

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