Saturday, January 29, 2011

Golden Hill State Park

 I'd been to Golden Hill once before years ago on a rather too-hot day to tour the light house, but wasn't even aware of the extensive trail system that traverses the grounds.  Luckily a friend (thanks Morgan!) clued me in on this, so Pete and  I packed up the dogs and headed for Lake Ontario.
 Heading south on the trail directly off the parking lot, I wasn't too enthused with the trail.  HoHum, kind of dull.  We came across an opening to the west, so we headed in and immediately were on a trail surrounded by fairly dense underbrush.
 We could see a stand of pines ahead (and I love pines), so we continued on until....
 Ahhhhh,  a cathedral of stately pines.  So quiet and dark and mysterious.
 That trail led us back to the main roadway into the park so we turned back around and went back to the original  (what the park calls the "Interpretative Trail") trail.  A little ways down, we came across a trail marking that links into another trail heading west.  Since we had just come from that area, we stuck with the Interpretative Trail.
 We eventually came to Golden Hill Creek and a sweet little bridge.  I could listen to the gurgling of a creek all day, but we pressed on.
 There were some topped off huge trees right at the bridge.  They reminded me of totem poles.
 The trail follows the creek and led us into a more heavily wooded area (yeah!)
 All along the trail we kept noticing these pink splotches of color but no indication of what was causing it- then I came across this one - mystery solved!

 A smaller tree blocked the trail for us, but the dogs had no trouble getting through.


 Almost to the lake, we came across this monstrous tree - huge!  Look at the size of that trunk!  I couldn't  resist hugging it - Pete just rolled his eyes!



 A little further along and we came across some evidence of beaver. 

 At last we came to Lake Ontario.
 So unbelievably quiet.  It was snowing slightly, but a very light wind.
 Some really interesting snow volcanoes.  They are deceptively small in these pics - but they were actually pretty deep.


 Look at these fun ice circles that formed.  Too funny!!

video

It looks like they are all doing the hula dance ;)

Even though it would be brutally cold to be there on a windy  day, I would like to see the waves crash into snow volcanoes and spray up.  That would be a sight to see.
 I understand this park is a great place for birding.  We didn't see any except these little guys feeding.  Not sure what they are; finches maybe?
 Came across this sign on our way out.  The Interpretive Trail is shown in red/orange.  Next time we'll try the green hiking trail.  Can't wait!