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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Radnor Lake State Park

     This past weekend we took a short drive  to Radnor State Park for our first ever family hike! John found this place on a search for local places for beautiful hiking. It was absolutely perfect in every way! Clear skies, mid 70's, light breeze, and a gorgeous setting.

 The kids were ready to hike that started along Radnor Lake.

 Paved trail with a canopy of trees.

 Lots of opportunities to stop and observe the wildlife.

 At this stop we had 2 telescopes to look across the lake. We saw many ducks, birds, and turtles.

There was a sign showing the different species of common birds and ducks that call Radnor Lake home.

Back to hiking! JT often liked being in the middle or front of the pack. That was fine on this paved road that was very flat.

 Photos don't do it justice. So peaceful and beautiful.

Our beautiful middle girl.

 Stopped as we rounded to the other side of the lake. John captured the very moment JT spotted a large spider web. We also saw many different forms of wildlife...

 Fuzzy caterpillars.

 Fungi growing on the sides of trees.

LOTS of snapping turtles sunning themselves on logs and rocks.

Hard to spot here, but we encountered a family of 4 deer. They were probably about 40 feet away from us.

 On this side of the lake we saw many thick vines growing through and around all the trees.

Our not so little girl.

 We came to a crossing. What to do? We were already on the lake trail. We decided to go up the Gainer Ridge trail. Little did we know that is the most difficult trail at the lake. When we got home, we looked up the trails and saw that Gainer Ridge is listed as  1.5 miles "strenuous".

 My guys holding hands crossing a bridge as we headed up the first of several climbs.

 This trail led us deeper into the woods and away from the lake.

 JT usually was sandwiched between John and I so we could watch his footing on the natural steps and rocky terrain.

 There were regular spots to take a brief break for water or to allow other hikers to pass. JT received many praises on what a strong boy he was to be hiking so well.

JT loved spotting all kinds of treasures on the hike. In particular, "squirrel food" as he called any nuts he discovered.

 Before long, JT was gathering whole acorns and placing them in John's pocket for safe keeping. We have enough acorns for a few craft projects now.

 The decent down the ridge was more steep that the climb up. JT's sisters took good care of him and help him down the steps down.

 More and more steps.

 Even MORE steps!

 Time for me to cross a bridge with JT!

 Super Lindsay standing on the root ball of a nearly fallen tree.

 JT did so amazingly well. The last 10 or so minutes of the hike he turned to John and I and looked very sad. We asked what was wrong and he replied, "My legs are so tired." John being the amazing Dad he is, scooped JT on his shoulders and lugged our not so light boy to the end of the trail.
We estimated (looking at the trail maps)  that we hiked about 3 miles, so it was no wonder JT was tired. After we returned to the van, we all noshed on some yummy sandwiches. We are planning a return trip in a few weeks when Sarah is home for fall break. Hoping by then, the trees will be turning colors. Looking forward to it!

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