Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Featured Trail: Ft. Harrison SRA

 

Pros:
  • Scenic and Shady
  • Both flat and hilly portions.
  • Wide & Paved portions.
  • Occasional benches.
  • Overlooks, shelters, & parking.
 

Cons:

  • 4-5 dollar admission.
  • Hilly.
  • Parking at only one end [not at the Duck Pond].
Description of Hiking Trails***   [***from DNR literature ]
"Harrison Trace Trail: EASY — 2.5 mile loop via Duck Pond.This is an asphalt surface trail intended for walkers, bicyclists, and joggers. The trail begins at the Delaware Lake Picnic Area. After passing Delaware Lake, the trail follows the rolling upland above Fall Creek. Although the trail is graded and paved, it is not flat. Much of the trail is tree covered and wildflowers grow next to the walking surface all season long. This is the easiest route to Duck Pond. Fall Creek Trail: MODERATE — 1.1 miles to Duck Pond. Start this trail at the northeast corner of the Delaware Lake Picnic Area. The trail follows the lowlands along Fall Creek and then heads uphill as it nears Duck Pond. Overall distance can be shortened or varied by taking one of the three cut-off trails that connect to the Harrison Trace Trail. Excellent for birding, fishing access, wildflower and tree identification. Camp Creek Trail: MODERATE — 1.0 mile to Duck Pond. Pick up this trail at the northeast side of Delaware Lake as it branches from the Harrison Trace Trail. The trail follows a woodland ravine, then climbs to the upland forest. This is the choice for the earliest spring flowers, and a wide variety of trees."
For other trails south of Schafter Rd. check back here regularly or be sure to get a map from the ranger when entering the park.

-click arrow to start/restart slide show-

 

Several well mapped trails and traces: all cross each other so you can choose an unpaved circular [hiking] route or a paved circular [walking] route or a combination of both. The first time out I say my first 'peleated woodpeckers', there were two of them and they were huge! I had never seen woodpeckers like these or this big but when I first saw them all of a sudden the cartoon character 'Woody Woodpecker' made since to me.

If you take the paved Harrison Trace [blue] from the Cherry Tree parking lot around both the Delaware Lake and Duck Pond you have a 2.5 mile trek with an elevation of 75ft. By taking a counterclockwise direction you have a steeper rise with a slow decline; by going clockwise you have the opposite. You can add .91 miles to your distance each way if you start the Harrison Trace at its origin west [brown] of the lakes on Scafter Rd. This stretch is flat but with no shade.
If you take the full unpaved Fall Creek Trail [red] from the Delaware Lake Picnic Area parking lot and connect to the Camp Creek Trail [green] you will end up on the lower portion of the Harrison Trace Trail [blue] where you can return to the starting point via the Harrison Trace Trail. This route is shady and has a long flat area with gradual inclines and is about 2.1+ miles. It has timber overlooks along Fall Creek but does not encounter Delaware Lake. Washouts or 'runoffs' demonstrate natural erosions all along the route.
There are several other cutoff trails that connect the various trails. I haven't taken any of the trails south of Scafter Rd. yet, but these three are so nice it will be awhile before I finish exploring them.

[SRA: State Recreation Area]

 

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