Today was a stay in place day. We decided to explore Smuggler’s Notch State Park hiking trails. Since the three of us are novice hikers, we opted for easy trails. One of our selected locations involved looking for a waterfall. Here is where I should mention that the last time we went hiking and looking for a waterfall, I acquired a bionic ankle. Not really bionic, but I still have the plate and screws in my right ankle to prove that I am a novice hiker – and that was in 2000. Today, we tried out our new walking sticks from Mom and Dad’s collection that they acquired several years ago.
My children and family will appreciate these 2 pictures – a moss-covered log, and the waterfall we were looking for. What they will appreciate even more is the fact that my ankles are still intact!
There is a section of road in the park that could put Glacier National Park to shame. The road narrows, boulders jut out, and switchbacks are abundant. You can’t see the oncoming cars/trucks, and there is no center line in the road. And, yes, on the passenger side, you can’t see the bottom over the edge. All that said, it is absolutely lovely!
The first trail we hiked was Lunch Box – about ¾ mile (1.4 round trip) – with lots of exposed roots, rocks, and a variety of hiking surfaces. The colors are starting to change, and it is lovely. This path included some swamp areas, beaver dams, and lots of foliage. Piper truly enjoyed the experience – she was acting like a puppy, exploring, sniffing, and doing doggy things. She even waded in one of the small creeks. Our elevation gain was about 75 feet.
Our second hiking adventure was Mill Trail – and Bingham Falls. The path here was well-defined and wide, very few tripping hazards, and a continuous gentle climb – and ascent of about 265 feet. The Falls were interesting – not a dramatic fall of water – but the water tumbled over some really amazing huge boulders and rock formations. Piper enjoyed this trail just as much – waded into a puddle that was shoulder high for her. At the time of writing this, she is snoring loudly beside my chair, with twitchy legs and a few yips.
On our way back home, we were delighted to see a grist mill, a covered bridge, another tiny bridge and a waterfall/hydroelectric plant.
Back at the campground, I went for another walk, and discovered the “plumbing” used to collect maple sap in the spring – we are definitely in maple syrup country!
Side note: I hit 1000 miles today! I have intentionally walked/ran 1000 miles in 2019 – my goal for the year is 1200.
59 miles traveled today.