Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lackawanna State Park, PA with Messimer and Ziegler Preserves

Lackawanna State Park - Pennsylvania DCNR
Messimer and Ziegler Preserves - Countryside Conservancy

GPS Coordinates 41.578533, -75.705559
Parking lot off of Route 438

Lackawanna State Park Trail Map - Pennsylvania DCNR

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HIKE DISTANCE:  13.3 miles

From the corner of the parking lot ...
... the Tree Line and Bull Hill trails ...
... start as a mowed path.
The Bull Hill Trail leaves the mowed path into the woods.
The trails are marked with arrows on disks with name signs at intersections.
Impressive stone walls everywhere.
Loop trail t the Ziegler Preserve; we went left.
The little red efts were out in full force which made hiking difficult trying to avoid stepping on them.
At the fork with the map ...
I noticed that going left would lead to a parking lot which is not on the online park map.  This would considerably shorten a road walk I had anticipated so left we went.
Going through the Ziegler parking lot ...
... the right on Route 438 where we only had to go to the signs up ahead.
Turn left on Rowlands Drive (which is shown as Cole Road on the map) ...
... and cross the bridge over ...
... South Branch Tunkhannock Creek heading to Lackawana Lake on the right.
Then left on the South Branch Trail which starts out along the side of a meadow.
Although the trail is not mowed, it was not terribly overgrown.
At the far end, left at the sign ...
... to a particularly gorgeous area - my favorite part of the hike.
South Branch Tunkhannock Creek
Going through an overgrown power cut.
After the power cut the trail becomes a woods road higher up above the creek.
Entering Messimer Preserve at the Countryside Conservancy boundary marker.
The trail ends at Grist Mill Road although the woods road continues on above the creek.  We went a little farther but sadly it becomes trashy so we headed back.
On the way back we stayed left at this fork, the way we had come.  Although there appears to be a trail to the right down to the creek, it seemed there was no way up to the woods road and would have involved a very steep bushwhack.
Back through the power cut.
Taking a break by the creek.
It's my cookie he is after.  Brodie LOVES fruit and vegetables and this cookie is loaded - apple, orange, carrots, oats, sunflower seeds, coconut - all fine for him except there are raisins in it also and that is a no no.  Sorry, Brodie.
He has his own treats so that will have to do.
Back out to the meadow.
At the end of the South Branch Trail, left on the gravel road a short distance ...
... then right on Bassett Path.
We turned right on the Lake Shore Trail which turned out not to be such a good choice.
There was a cacophony of kayaks, literally, with incessant loud chatter and laughter.  Had I been kayaking with friends I am sure I would have been as loud as they were but it's not conducive to peaceful hiking.
Brodie was also quite distracted and annoyed by it.  We waited for them to pass only to end up catching back up to the noise.
And there weren't as many lake views as I had expected, just a snippet here and there.
The woods were gorgeous but we would have been better off taking a trail farther away from the lake.
The trail finally veers left along a cove and leaves all of the noise behind.  Peace and quite once more.
Crossing over Kennedy Creek.
What is that over there on the other side of the creek?
We had to backtrack across the bridges then bushwhack along the other side of the creek.  I parked Brodie and climbed through the blow downs and ....
Merry Christmas!  I dd not even know there was such a thing as balloons for Christmas so it's a first for my collection, #43 of the year and the first Pennsylvania balloon of the year.
We crossed Route 524 and continued on the Bear Paw trail directly across.  This trail is not shown on the map.
The trails became somewhat confusing in this area and I ended up going differently than I had planned which probably added a mile or two but pretty woods nonetheless and I ended up where I needed to be anyway.
Old growth tree
Crossing over Route 407 ...
... veering right then left on the South Shore access road.
The trail continues into the woods on the right a short distance in.
This trail comes right back out on the access road directly across from some picnic tables where we took our next break.
Brodie will wake up from a dead sleep and come flying into the kitchen if I so much as pick up a banana.  I brought an extra large one along so we could share.  I let him have the last bite.
Continuing on the Abington Trail from the picnic tables.
Right on Frost Hollow then right on Snowflake.
Lackawanna Lake from the Snowflake Trail.
Back on the Frost Hollow Trail following along a power cut with the roaring of the dam, which cannot be seen, off to the right.
The only way to see the dam is from the bridge down below.
Left on the gravel road that follows South Branch Tunkhannock Creek at the opposite side of the lake from where we started the hike.
Another creek side break spot before ...
... leaving the gravel road to the right on the North Woods Trail.
After crossing Route 438 and Route 407 ...
Trostle Pond
At the Bull Hill sign ...
... crossing Whites Creek ...
... and keeping left back to the mowed path ...
... back to the car.
Must be nice to nap on the 2 hour drive home after 13+ miles of hiking.