For this hike I decided to go a little further afield, and visit Sugarloaf Park, where I’ve cycled, and visited the Observatory, but not yet hiked. Oh, or maybe I have hiked, but long enough ago and I don’t quite remember, so it would be pretty much new to me.
Alas, I was running a little late – meaning to be there at what I thought was the opening time of 0700, but arriving about 15 minutes later. However, the gate was not open. And the parking area before the gate was blocked off, as that area of the park is still closed from last year’s fires. I waited a few minutes, but as more cars arrived and the gate still did not open I decided to redirect, and went over to the Lawndale trailhead of Trione-Annadel State Park.
Even on a bike, Lawndale feels like “the other side” of the Park, and a bit of a commitment to get to, so I figured that it would probably be pretty quiet at this time of the morning. There was one other vehicle in the parking lot, with several mountain bikers that seemed like they were getting ready for a ride. I kept expecting them to come past me, but they never did.
In fact the entire time I was in the Park, all the way up Lawndale, past Ledson Marsh, and back down Schultz Trail, I did not see anyone else!!! It was super duper amazing, and totally made me forget my disappointment and slight annoyance at not getting in at Sugarloaf.
Besides having the trails to myself, noteworthy on this hike were dramatical skies, passing through areas burned in the 2017 fires, fungi and other delightful trailside nature details. Most excellent!
1/30/2021, 7.0 miles