Sunday, June 29, 2014
The other weekend, I went to Raccoon Creek State Park & Wildflower Reserve by myself. Ever since returning from Japan, I pretty much stopped going places by myself. I let the fact that I was now surrounded by friends prevent me from going places when I couldn't convince anyone to tagalong. Well. No more. I go hiking with or without your cooperation!
I started off near the Park Office and caught the Forest Trail which enjoyed going up and down moderate ascents (read: kicked my flabby self's rear end) to meet with various creek beds. When it met up with the Lake Trail, I caught that back along the lake until it returned me to my origin. 5 miles in 2.5 hours, A nice little custom loop. A look at the map will show you lots of potential little custom loops like the one I took. And the lake even seemed to have boat rentals for kayaking and the like.
After my 5 mile jaunt, I drove to the Wildflower Reserve and ambled around a variety of additional trails for 2 miles (Henrici, Jennings, Meadow Trail, Hickory Trail). There weren't an overwhelming number of flowers out (late April & August are said to be best), but it was still pleasant. My goal was to get outdoors and hike up hills until I had to take a breather, and I'd say my day was fairly successful.
At only 40 minutes from Pittsburgh, this looks like a potentially handy little spot to have around for camping and day hiking.
Although, admittedly, I got quite lost trying to find the park and it probably took me an extra 30 minutes.