Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trail-Blazing

One of my favorite activities for the Spring-Fall is hiking! I usually aim to do it at least half a dozen times a year. Whether I go with friends or just Lola, it's a nice way to decompress, take in nature and rid yourself of daily stresses.

I've done a couple different trails in SoCen PA, and today I'm going to tell you a little bit about my favorite spots.

Tumbling Run

Located in Gardners, PA, Tumbling Run is a pretty steep hike. I remember the first time I did this it was shortly after I broke my foot. A friend Jason had taken me up and it was gorgeous--I couldn't believe that I'd never been before! Some people choose to walk IN the falls, along the rocks...while others hike the gravel alongside. I did the latter. Once you get to the top of the falls, there is a rock formation to look out from. I, of course, did not...as I'm deathly afraid of heights! LOL! But it was a nice walk and I think it was the equivalent of between 3-4 miles.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

View from atop Pole Steeple

Also located in Gardners, PA, Pine Grove is a favorite among locals not only for hiking but also swimming. The state park contains two man-made lakes ( Fuller and Laurel ) that are hot spots for swimming, tanning, hiking, and cook outs. I remember as a kid having my sister's birthday parties there...and going with friends to get some sun during the summertime. Behind Laurel Lake there is also a nice hiking trail called Pole Steeple which many people frequent. I'm unsure of the mileage of this trail, but they have the ability to choose a less-steep or a more-steep option. The top of the mountain has a nice rock look-out, and it's large enough that I can look at the view without feeling like I'm going to fall.

Colonel Denning State Park

My Favorite Murder podcast always tells the ladies to "STAY OUT OF THE WOODS!" but I did not follow that advice--this is where Nathan and I's first date took place. Located in the mountains of Newville, PA, it's a nice little park with many trails. There is room for camping, cookouts and swimming, also, but the lake seems to contain lots of water snakes anytime I've been there. I've heard that it also has Flat Rock but I've never been.

Gifford Pinchot State Park

This park is right around the corner from where I live now, but I haven't explored it yet. Located in Lewisberry, PA it's quite a large state park with lots to do. They have boat, kayak and canoe rentals and a playground in one of the parts. There's also local eateries like Forry's Ice Cream where you can grab a drink and a snack after hiking all day. 

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and...it's free! So put on some sneakers, grab a friend or your four-legged friend and explore

Do you have any favorite spots you like to hike?