Navigating Our Way Through Hardscrabble

Our hike in the Hardscrabble Wilderness Area in Pleasantville was an exercise in navigational skills. The intention was to hike part of the way along the white trail (the longest trail in the park at 1.5 miles) to loop back around on the orange trail. I’m pretty sure we passed the orange trail thinking that it was red as the initial blaze seemed pretty bright though those we saw down trail from the turnoff looked decidedly red, so we stayed on the white trail. This was essentially fine, though it did make for a longer than anticipated hike.The kids did very well, better than some of us parents in fact, though they reached the trail’s end pretty tired and hungry for an after school hike.

The park itself is very beautiful. Forested trails wend their ways through woodlands, crossing streams via stone, wood and stepping stone bridges, winding through an area of wetlands, and climbing up a decent hill.There were many spots for exploration, climbing and foraging. The kids spotted various fungi (after all the damp weather) on the forest floor. They were fascinated by a huge stone cairn along the trail. They spied a toad camoflauged among the leaves, peeked down into ravines and poked the bottom with sticks to measure its depth, scaled boulders, traversed streams, and snuggled with a couple of mini-dacshunds at trail’s end (and I had very cute pictures of this and sadly they got lost in the download).

This is one of our last Wacky Wednesdays for a while (next Wednesday at Rockwood Hall will welcome summer vacation) and I must comment on how impressed I am with the kids in their abilities on the trail. In only six months many of our Wacky Wednesday regulars have learned how to read both maps and blazes, are more confident on tricky areas of the trail, have learned a bit of trail etiquette and have much greater stamina for the hike.

I’m so glad to have all of you joining us each week!

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