Friday, June 7, 2013

Raccoon Creek State Park

We took a family hike in Raccoon Creek State Park, about half an hour from our house, on Tuesday. It was such a beautiful day; every other day this week has been rainy! The vegetation was lush and a dozen shades of green. 

We hiked on several different trails. First, we took the Upland connector trail to the Mineral Springs Trail, which led us here to the source of the creek flowing through the park. 

It's so neat to see the water dripping out of the rocks at the springs, and it's even neater to know that trickle of water feeds the creek. We think the water made this pool in the rock, too. 

Near the springs was this dilapidated structure, which was once Frankfort Springs, a 19th century health spa. People stayed here to bathe in the mineral springs. It was restored in the 1970's, but unfortunately, it has fallen prey to serious vandalism. It was so sad to see the amazing, thick original support beams inside covered in graffiti. 

This section of the Uplands trail leading back to the trail head was really overgrown. At some points, we could hardly see the path. However, it was really cool being in the midst of so much life and growth, and thankfully we all came away poison ivy and tick free. 

Part of the mineral springs fed creek we stopped by. In the brush nearby, we heard rustling sounds and saw movements. Dave gently turned over a leaf and uncovered an adorable blind, confused little mole, sniffing the air to catch wind of his predator. Soon, he happily went back to rooting around under the leaves, searching for yummy bugs to eat. 

These wildflowers were the butterflies playground. We'd never seen so many butterflies in one place before except in indoor butterfly gardens. They were beautiful to watch. 

The second trail we hiked was the Lake Trail, which followed along an old road and led to Raccoon Creek Lake. 

We found this guy, who we named Max the Millipede. 

Along the Lake Trail was this old structure, which was once a springhouse. There was also an old stone wall alongside the road, and you could see many areas people had created out of stone on the hillside to direct the flow of the water. The springs must have since dried up or diverged, because there was no longer any visible water flow. 


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