Lackawanna State Park

Lake Lackawanna

Lackawanna State Park is a great place to hike.  Over the years, a profusion of trails have been built, mostly by mountain bikers, that explore every corner of the park.  Today, it was crystal clear and cold, revealing deep blue skies.  I took Leigh Ann and Christian for a hike in the park, and began on the Orchard Trail.  This is a fun trail as it crosses over small streams with several views of the partially frozen lake.  We also passed the trail’s namesake: several old, twisted apple trees.  Christian was more interested in smashing any ice he could find and bombing it on the lake with rocks.
 
We reached a road where we saw some kayakers on the lake.  We then followed a trail along Whites Creek into a thick hemlock forest as sunlight sparkled across the pools.  Here we crossed on a moss covered, floating hemlock log.  While Leigh Ann and I were satisfied with one crossing, Christian had to try it three times.
 

Sparkling Whites Creek

The next highlight was Trostle Pond, but before we got there, we had a pit stop:
 

Christian looking into an old outhouse

And for further clarification:
 

A window for the girls

We crossed a meadow and reached Trostle Pond, which is open for youth fishing and was added to the state park thanks to the Countryside Conservancy (http://www.countrysideconservancy.org/).  Christian continued his war on ice, by fighting ice with… ice.  He threw ice and snow on the frozen surface, which created an odd whistling sound as it skidded.
 

Trostle Pond after being attacked by Christian. The pond won.

We decided to take a shortcut back to the car.  Along the way I thought we should check out Big Bass Pond, one of two ponds hidden in the interior of the park.  Once again, Christian re-ignited is war on ice by piercing it with our hiking poles and threw a tree branch into the pond, which simply planted itself in the ice- half in the water, the other half sticking out.  The ice was mocking Christian.
 

Big Bass Pond

We made our way back to Lake Lackawanna through hemlock forests and open meadows with a profusion of deer tracks.  When we reached the lake, there were dozens of seagulls encamped on the ice, glowing white in the sun.  They preferred the ice to the open water.
 

Seagulls on the ice

We soon reached the car, but not before Christian made one more attempt to defeat the ice with the biggest rocks he had yet to employ.  The ice wasn’t having any of it.  The ice simply consumed the rocks as flat, silver bubbles of air wandered below the frozen surface.  His last barrage from the bridge fared even worse- there was no ice.  So he settled for trying to hit a seagull feather in the water.
 
All in all, a good hike.
 
For more information about Lackawanna State Park, including online maps, go to:  http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/lackawanna/index.htm
 
 
 
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