There was a flat grey sky when we got up and the forecast called for afternoon thunderstorms (again) but we ended up with a pretty good day weather-wise.
There was also a lot of great scenery so this is a even longer than normal post.
We drove for about 40 minutes east to Hanging Rock State Park. The first hike we did was the 2.6 miles return, 500 vertical foot trip to the hanging rocks. They are some crags that jut out over empty space at the top of one of the hills.
The start of the trail was very civilized.
After the cement ended it was still smooth gravel but it was a steep climb. Steep trails always look flat in the pictures.
We walked along the top of a ridge for a short while.
Beside the trail we noticed patches of spider web everywhere on the ground.
And a less dense one.
At the end of the ridge we started the final climb to the top. Hundreds of wooden steps.
At the is hollowed out area the hanging rocks were directly above us but mostly hidden by the trees. We could see them but the pictures didn’t work out.
From here to the top we switched to hundreds of stone steps.
Along the way we saw this single rock with something purple growing on it. At first we thought they were crystals but they were soft.
Almost there. Just a traverse to the point.
And out we go.
We had this section to ourselves for a very short while.
Most of the time it was pretty busy. The parking lot at the trailhead and visitor’s center was huge and could easily hold several hundred cars. When we got back, there might have been 20 so I guess it was not really very busy.
We had lunch here with a guest.
One of the hanging rocks.
My turn. Taken from Jennie’s safe viewpoint.
And back, from my not so safe viewpoint. Jennie is in red just up from center.
I didn’t have the nerve to hang over the edge.
The cliffs must have some good updrafts because it seemed to be a favourite soaring spot for the turkey vultures.
They had a dead tree down in the valley that they liked to roost on.
Every once in a they would spread their wings while still sitting on the branches.
Around the corner to the north was another good hanging rock for us to perch on.
The girl in the picture was taking her mom for a birthday hike. I took a bunch of pictures for them. We met them again on our next hike.
It wasn’t too bad being out there because your mind didn’t process what was (or wasn’t) beneath you.
Jennie’s view of me when I was out there, which was probably good for her piece of mind.
We were up there staring and exploring for about an hour and a half before heading back down.
We had a good rest and snack in the car before heading off to another section of the park to the trailhead to the Lower Cascades waterfall.
Once we were at the trailhead it started to rain. Not hard but enough to make us think about it. We just put on our rain coats and headed out. The rain stopped almost as soon as we were on the trail.
The trail is only 0.8 miles return most of which is flat and wide open. These pictures are from on the way back, by which time we had sunny blue skies.
Only at the very end did we go down a long set of steps to the base of the falls. These steps were nice and even unlike the previous ones.
The final bit was on stone steps that were also nice and even. As I said these pictures are from the way back.
The falls are 25 feet high and are in a beautiful setting beneath a huge cliff and undercut.
I always like to get close.
You have to rock hop across the small stream.
The stream below the pool had a nice little cascade.
These kids decided that just seeing the bottom wasn’t good enough.
The water was cold but the pool at the bottom was not very deep and good for wading.
We sat for about an hour just enjoying the setting before heading back to the car and home.