Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lums Pond State Park, DE

Lums Pond State Park - Delaware State Parks
Lums Pond State Park charges a fee from March 1 through November 30; entry is free in December, January and February.
If not hiking on a Sunday during hunting season, best to check to see if the trails are open first.
Trails are not blazed but colored discs on posts at intersections correspond to the trail colors on the map.

GPS Coordinates 39.568818, -75.709046

View Larger Map
Buck Jersey Road Parking Lot

Lums Pond State Park Trail Map - Delaware State Parks

Swamp Forest Trail Only - 6.4 miles
Swamp Forest Trail with Michael Castle Trail and Dog Park - 8.75 miles

I was saving this hike for when I needed a snow-free hike.   Blizzard Nemo buried us in snow.  Delaware, just 2 hours south, had NO SNOW!  Not one single snowflake.
The Swamp Forest Trail circles around Lums Pond.
Lots of Canada geese in Lums Pond.
The Swamp Forest Trail runs pretty close to Lums Pond at times.
Although there are many bridges and boardwalks, once the trail starts to thaw, there are still wet, muddy areas.
Lums Pond
Eastern Bluebird
Waiting for warmer weather at the ...
... boat rental dock.
Something left wet pawprints just minutes before we crossed the bridge.  I am thinking it might have been a raccoon.
This looooooong boardwalk leads to the campground.  Continue following yellow for the Swamp Forest Loop, or turn right on a purple connector trail into the campground towards the campground exit.  According to the trail map, a red dashed line shows the Michael Castle Trail as not yet completed.  There are lots of articles online from July 2012 about construction of the Michael Castle Trail, due to be completed February 2013.  Although I could find nothing about it being finished, I figured I would go check it out.
At the campground entrance where there should be a connection across the street to the new trail. There is nothing.  But there were a few foot paths so we took those...
... up a very steep hill ...
... to a field.  From there some woods road that finally came out at ...
... at the Michael N. Castle Trail along the C & D Canal.  I think it is safe to assume it will not be completed by February 2013.  This area is the C & D Canal Wildlife Area and there were no NO TRESPASSING signs, so we forged on through the mud and muck.
A little bit of a view of the marina and the Norfolk and Southern Railroad trestle bridge at the C & D Canal.
A couple of mergansers in the canal.
I found a woods road along a ridge that was much drier than the unfinished trail down below.
There were also several footpaths through the woods.  It was hard to get lost with the canal in sight on one side and the open fields on the other side.
Another Eastern Bluebird.
Back in the park, the blue trail back to ...
... the yellow Swamp Forest Trail.
Just before the last stretch to the parking lot, a side trail to an off leash dog park.  Although I am not a huge fan of dog parks, decided to check this out and fully expected to find a small fenced area with too many dogs in it.
That was not at all what I found.  It is actually a whole section of the park, unfenced, where dogs are allowed to run off leash.  Woods roads go through this area and there is a cove for swimming.  It is what a dog park should be!
According to a local man, this is the resident Great Blue Heron.  He is not at all afraid of the dogs but if they do get too close for comfort ...
... he just flies up into a tree.
New friends.

[  0.00]  Keep right on the yellow trail from the parking lot
[  0.85]  Cross bridge, trail proceeds across field (Area 1 on map)
[  1.20]  Continue through picnic area, cross bridge then turn left at intersection with fenced section on left (no sign)
[  1.45]  Continue right through boat rental along edge of lake, trail picks back up at the other side of the boat rental area
[  1.85]  Keep left after lifeguard bench and parking lot on right, continue through picnic area (trail not well-defined but will be more noticeable at other end of picnic area)
[  2.20]  Observation deck
[  2.30]  At intersection with kiosk, turn left on blue/yellow when blue comes in from the right; cross dam
[  2.35]  Left on yellow when blue leaves to the right
[  2.50]  Long stretch of boardwalk
[  2.80]  Keep left at fork when purple connector trail goes right
[  2.95]  Keep left at intersection with short connector trail on right
[  3.75]  Keep left across boardwalk when the Little Jersey Trail goes right
[  3.85]  Turn right on the connector trail at the end of the boardwalk, continue to park road between campsites 45 and 47, turn right on park road
[  4.25]  Turn right at park office and continue to park entrance
[  4.30]  Blue trail crosses over park road
[  4.35]  Cross route 71 and climb uphill to woods road along field (this will probably all change once the Michael Castle trail along the canal is complete and too hard to describe my route so I'll omit that but include the 1.65 miles hiked in the C&D Canal Wildlife Area)
[  6.00]  Cross route 71 back into park at campground entrance
[  6.05]  Turn right on the blue trail where it crosses over park road
[  6.30]  Turn right on blue at intersection
[  6.45]  Keep right on blue/yellow when yellow comes in from the left
[  6.55]  Cross park road at crosswalk
[  6.75]  Turn left on yellow when blue continues straight
[  7.00]  Cross bridge
[  7.15]  Straight on yellow when purple connector goes right
[  7.75]  Cross boardwalk and bridge
[  7.90]  Left on yellow when purple connector goes right
[  8.10]  At intersection turn left to dog park (or keep straight back to parking)
[  8.75]  Back at parking

No comments:

Post a Comment