Friday, December 16, 2016

Fayetteville, WV–New River Gorge National River

October 7 – 13, I went to Fayetteville, West Virginia.  I stayed at the Riftrafters campground just a few miles from the New River.

The day I got there, I headed to the visitor center and walked to a viewpoint of the bridge.  It was a bit foggy!


The New River Bridge is the worlds largest single arch steel span bridge and in America is the 2nd highest bridge at 876 feet above the river.

I only hiked short hikes since my foot was still bothering me.  My favorite was the Endless Wall trail in the New River Gorge National River park. 

The trail was a fun easy trail and the view from the Diamond Point Overlook was great.  I sat for a short break and enjoyed my apple and the view!






A couple of mornings I drove to Badcock State Park to see the grist mill.



I learned that West Virginia has some funky backroads.  On some of these roads they only paved 1 – 1.5 lanes even though the traffic was 2 way.  If you met somebody both cars needed to pull over a bit, in most cases while still moving.  I guess it saved money because these roads are not used much and I didn’t pass much traffic but in some cases the roads were so windy that you could not see cars coming around the curves.  A bit dangerous but beautiful.  I drove on one of these roads on my way to Buck Creek Falls. In this case there was not much room to pull over if you met somebody coming the other direction.


The falls were beautiful!



After visiting the falls, I drove the scenic way back to the campground and stopped at the Grandview area of the New River Gorge park


Of course, I had to find the biking in the area.  So I went to the Greenbrier River Trail.  I had planned on going to one area and ride 10 miles one way and turn around to make a nice 20 mile trip.

Well ----


My plans changed pretty quickly.  I did watch one guy go around/thru this.  But I decided it wasn’t worth it.   So I turned around after just a few miles, but then I went to another part of the trail which was really neat! 

This part of the trail had some great old railroad bridges.  These bridges were built in the 1920’s.



And it had tunnels -



The picture below was taken on the other side of tunnel.  Its a bit hard to see, but this picture was taken on a bridge and at the far end is the tunnel.  (2 bikers stopped to take pictures)


On my way to and from this trail I went through a beautiful valley with more skinny roads.  On the way I passed this old church or school building. 


I also biked a trail that was in the New River Gorge National River park, the Southside trail.  I didn’t go far as it was more of a walking trail than a biking trail.  While I enjoy biking on dirt trails I like the ones that are not too bumpy and muddy!  If I were to do this trail again, I would walk it not bike it.


Springfield, OH Buck Creek State Park

In early October, I went to Buck Creek State Park in Springfield, Ohio.  My main purpose for this stop was to bike part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail.  This is the 3rd longest paved trail in the US.  It’s more than 78 miles, but I only rode a small portion of it.    There is a connector trail from Buck Creek State Park to the trail, but in taking that you ride through downtown Springfield and I didn’t really want to do that.  So I drove to Xenia and went from there. 

I rode 26 miles one day and 30 miles one day.  There were some great bike stops on this trail and some good scenery.  I like bridges and this trail had some interesting ones.

The trail goes under this covered bridge -

Springfield OH_buck_creek_st_pk_little_miami_trl1

And 2 old railroad bridges --

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Springfield OH_buck_creek_st_pk_little_miami_trl13

I would like to go back and spend some more time on different parts of this trail.

My next was West Virginia as I continue my journey south.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wyalusing State Park and Shipshewanna, IN

In mid-September, I visited Wyalusing State Park in SouthWest Wisconsin for a few days.  On my way there, I was stuck in traffic for 20 minutes or so.  You know when you see a medical helicopter come in it’s bad.


At Wyalusing State park my first spot was very muddy, so I was lucky enough to be able to move to a spot with a good view.


One day I watched a storm move in and we had a few minutes of scary wind!


My second morning the sun and fog made for some fun scenery.




I did a couple of small hikes, one being the Sugar Maple Trail.  The sign below was posted at the trailhead.  It made me think twice about going hiking!  Stinging Nettles, Poison Ivy and Wild Parsnip are not to be  messed with.



From Wyalusing, I started  South with my first stop back in Shipshewana, IN.  Since I have blogged about it several times I will not again except for one photo that I should not have taken.


The Amish do not like having their picture taken, but I admit that I have taken a few when their backs are turned or if they are far enough away that you can’t identify them.  I love watching them farm and this farm was just beside the Pumpkinvine Bike trail.

Interstate Park, WI

Still catching up on my blog – I went to Interstate Park September 11 – 13.  This is the first Interstate park in the nation.  There is one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, separated by the St. Croix River. 

While there I went on a couple of small hikes on the Wisconsin side.  The Pothole trail was interesting, but I later learned I liked the Minnesota trail better.  The holes were formed from the meltwaters of the Glaciers.

Interstate st pk wi 1Interstate st pk wi 2

I also went on the Summit Rock Trail.Interstate st pk wi 5

One day I went to the Minnesota park (less than a mile from my campsite).  Their trail with the potholes was very interesting.  Some of the holes are 60 feet deep.  There was one that a side had collapsed and they built stairs to walk down into the hole.

Headed down -

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Looking up from the bottom-Interstate st pk minn 3

Looking down from the top – Interstate st pk minn 5

Some of the holes were filled with water -

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While there I took a boat ride on a paddle boat.  The rock formation – The Old Man of the Dalles - 

Interstate st pk minn boat 2

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Other views from the boat ride -

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Interstate st pk minn boat 5

Interstate st pk minn boat 6

Interstate st pk minn boat 7

Interstate st pk minn boat1

One day, I went to the Franconia Sculpture Park.  It was a very odd park, but I enjoyed it even though I don’t understand some of this being called art.

Got The Power (82 boom boxes)--

Interstate st pk franconia sculpture pk3

Interstate st pk franconia sculpture pk1Interstate st pk franconia sculpture pk2

I also went to one of the local Rail to Trails to do some biking.  I biked a bit over 20 miles on the  Gandy Dancer trail.  It was just an ok trail.  I would do it again if in the area, but I wouldn’t do there just to bike it.  The shot below shows the trail and if you closely you can see 2 deer that were enjoying the trail.

Interstate st pk gandy dancer rail trail

From here I headed back for a weekend visit at my sister’s (which I blogged about already) and then on to Wyalusing State Park.