Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stone Valley Trail - Part 1

I'd been reading about the Stone Valley Trail for a long time and finally decided to give it a try. I drove down to the town of Colton, parked my car and began hiking at this dam on the Raquette River:

The trail is very long, but it was hot and my leg braces were bothering me, so I determined to walk as far as I figured I could and still make it back. The trail took us alongside this giant water pipe, part of the Brookfield power generating system:

And then across the pipe, leading us back toward the beautiful Raquette River:

We began in a mixed forest, angled downhill toward the river:

When we arrived at the Raquette River, the water level was very low:

My braces did not permit me to do much rock hopping, but the dogs sure had fun:

The dogs ran, played and refreshed themselves with river water:

There were many signs warning hikers to stay out of the river bed as the dam ahead of us could cause the water level to rise suddenly. I might have ignored the signs, but since I couldn't walk on the rocks with my braces anyway, I had to behave:

The low water level had exposed lots of rock formations:

In the forest, I saw numerous Indian-Pipe plants. Indian-Pipe is a parasitic flowering plant which derives its nutrients from a soil fungus which, in turn, gets its nutrients from tree roots. Because it doesn't need to manufacture its own food as most plants do, Indian-Pipe has no chlorophyll:

Seamus and Fergus paused for a breather:

And there were river scenes of spectacular beauty. But there was still more to see. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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