Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Return to Lowell Lake

August 5, 2021                                                            Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill                                     North to Emerald Lake
Arlington Vermont                                        Nearby Lake Shaftsbury State Park

When David and I were in Vermont in 2016 we discovered Lowell Lake and visited twice.  Both visits were spectacular.   Here’s a link to our first visit filled with loons and pitcher plans, venus fly traps and this gorgeous setting.

Since I was reasonably nearby, about 28 miles, I was anxious to return to this lovely spot.  This has been a rainy summer in Vermont as I’ve reported and today’s visit was under cloudy skies which set a rather somber tone as did returning to a place which David and I had so enjoyed together without him.

It’s still a lovely quiet place but was pretty gray today.



I think I found 4 beaver lodges around the edge of the lake.  Not sure they were all still in use.  Some were on the bank.


And some had created their own peninsula.


Wish I’d seen some of the beavers but no luck.


I did spot some Pitcher plants but not nearly as many as last time when we were here about 2 weeks later than I am this year.

The old cabins were still on the opposite shore bank and on each of the two islands.  I think it’s sad that the park service doesn’t rent them out and they are just deteriorating.  I guess the upkeep is too much for them.

You can obviously get out on the dock and look around despite the No Trespassing sign. We did that last time but I did not today.  Seems they’d get rid of the dock if they were serious about No Trespassing though that wouldn’t stop folks from just pulling up on shore.


How about these Paul.  They were as large as or larger than dessert plates.


I love little grassy marsh areas with trails going into them.



Looks like a taste of fall.  I couldn’t decide which angle I liked best so I just posted them both.  Which one would you have chosen?


I’ll close with the other two structures around the lake.


Not sure if it was the gray day or just that you “can’t go home again” but this paddle while serene was a disappointment after my wonderful memories of our visit here in 2016.  Better pictures on that post above as well if you want to see how great this place can be.

I had thought I might hike the 3.5 mile trail around the lake but decided to do something else with my afternoon.  I do love being on the water though.  Pretty much any time and any place so perhaps I’ll come back to Lowell Lake on a prettier day and try again to kayak and hike the trail.


Instead of hiking I did my second favorite activity.   I stopped in Manchester at the wonderful Northshire Bookstore.


Not sure where the door leads but what an entry way.

The bookstore has lots of things in addition to books.

I always appreciate reading the staff recommendations.  I have read some of the works of Alice Hoffman but not this one.  Have you?

Seems like books about WWII are coming out at a fast clip lately over 70 years after the close of the war. I found one on the sale table.   I’ve read some really wonderful ones like All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale but I have not read this one.  Anyone have an great WWII fiction to recommend??

There are quite a few author talks given here.  I’d sure like to attend some of them.

I love the AT and if weight weren’t a problem in the RV would for sure have picked up this hardback.  A biography of a trail.  Great concept.  Anyone read it?


Speaking of books and authors, one of Robert Frost’s homes is very nearby so I’m going to take a trip there tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2021

North to Emerald Lake State Park

August 3, 2021                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill                          Nearby Lake Shaftsbury State Park
Arlington, Vermont                                              Camping on the Battenkill

IMG_8508Today I headed north 17 miles to Emerald Lake State Park.  The 430 acre state park is home to the 20 acre Emerald Lake called that, they say, because of its Emerald color.  I didn’t see that it looked green but there were people swimming and boating, camping, picnicking and fishing for perch, pike, small mouth bass, bullhead and panfish.  I was the only one I ran into who was hiking.

The first thing on the path from the parking lot was a short inlet off the lake which provides a spot to put in your non power boat which is the only kind of boat allowed.  I love that!  But you have to have some method to get your kayak/canoe/rowboat to the edge of the inlet.  Most folks carry theirs but that’s a problem if you are alone.  I have wheels for mine but they are a lot of trouble to put on so I wanted to check out the lake to see if it has unique or interesting possibilities that would make it worth the trouble.


One thing I heard before I saw was the railroad running right next to the lake.  Could this lake possibly have loons or any other wildlife with such a LOUD noise, I think to myself?  The conductor, I assume, blew the horn over and over.  It was so loud I covered my ears.  Maybe not the place I want to kayak.


I arrived fairly early in the morning as is my habit and found the coarse sandy beach had been groomed and it appeared autographed with initials.  You can see the train again in the background.


This family had the beach to itself.


From the beach I found the Lake Trail which I thought would take me around the lake and would intersect with the trails to the campgrounds.


The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps was relocating the trail away from the edge of the water.



I suppose they are working their way around to this section though it will require a lot of destruction to relocate this piece.



The trail began to move above the lake and to cross inlets.



At about a half mile, I had to decide, the high road to “Area C” or the low road to “Area B”  both of which are campgrounds.  I took the low road to see if it would take me along the lake.


The boardwalk began and continued for a while through what I assume is a wetlands or at least soggy.


Mother Nature is trying to close the boardwalk in.  In the East, both north and south, she will cover you up if you stand still long enough.




It appears the beavers, of which I’d seen plenty of pointed tree stump evidence, are trying, so far in vain, to block this outlet from the river to the lake.



I began to wonder if I was still on the right trail when it went very close to the railroad tracks.  I couldn’t imagine a trail to a campground which might be hiked by children would be this close to an ungarded train track.


Sure enough, the trail became more and more sketchy.  So I turned around to try to find where I’d taken my wrong turn.


Back at the bridge I took the more traveled turn.


By now the clouds had gathered and were reflecting beautifully in the lake.


For sure wetlands over there.


I spent some time watching this little guy who did not seem to notice me.



At this point I wondered if I had lost the real trail again.  How do these people ever make it from the campground to the beach on the lake?


Here they are Paul – the mushrooms from this hike.  The heart one is especially for you.

Just beyond the rocky area above there was a tiny forest of Indian Pipe.  Unfortunately I didn’t see the Fairies that must live here among the mushrooms and Indian Pipe.

Orange always jumps out in the woods.



This is my favorite.  Wish I knew if it was edible although I’m a follower of the dictum “leave only footprints, take only pictures”.



FINALLY I arrived at one of the campground but I’m quite sure I did not take the intended trail.  You can see one of the campsites in the distance in this picture.
Small RVs and tents seem most suitable.



On my way back down the intended path I came upon this little cascade.

It was lovely and the sounds of the water singing were wonderful.
Here is a very short ridiculous video I took.  What WAS I thinking?  At least you can hear how lovely it sounded.  Just click on the highlighted words

The correct trail did lead me to the beach where more people were enjoying the lovely day.


This secluded shady spot away from the beach seemed perfect for a hot day which this was not. 


I followed these two back to Ruby and thought how lucky this child is to have a mom who brings him to the park.