Today 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.