Monday was a day off of school for the boys, so we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day and the nice weather with a visit to Sharon Woods. I came across this quote from Dr. King earlier that morning: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." As we walked in the winter sunshine and encountered multiple people (and dogs) happily walking the trails, viewing the waterfalls, tossing stones at the icy lake, and playing impromptu games of tag on the playgrounds - the feelings of light and love were all around.
But the kids had more on their mind, such as this:
map of the park from the Great Parks website. We arrived at the Lebanon Rd/US Rt 42 entrance which takes you to the playground in the top photo, (above) and easy access to the Gorge trail. You can also find the visitor's center here which has a wonderful indoor play area for kids as well as a nature display center. But, that's for a colder day.
The other entrance to the park is on E. Kemper Rd and takes you to the playground in the bottom photo. During the summer, it is also a splash-land for kids and is located near the boathouse which gives you access to the lake and options for boating and fishing.
Our day was meant for hiking and enjoying nature - at least in my mind, so we used the Gorge trail to "get from one playground to the other". This strategy worked! Here we are enjoying nature:
|Child with Giant Sycamore|
|Sticks are Swords|
|Ready to defend against wild beasts|
Now, let's hit the trail! To me, the main feature of the Gorge trail is the stream which accompanies you the whole way and contains multiple water falls and great views. Signs along the trail talk about the natural history of the region. But, the first sign to look for is at the trail head. From behind the playground, you cross a stone bridge over the stream and turn upstream. You will see the first of the falls as you walk a path along the roadway.
A little bit longer and the trail head sign will be on your right. Here it is and here we go!
|Trail head sign|
|Second Waterfall, partially frozen - Cool!|
|The trail follows the stream|
|Third Waterfall - way down|
|Bridge over the stream|
|Can I ice skate, Mom? No.|
|Multipurpose trail around the lake|
|Resting with a Saber|
The Gorge trail is a pretty easy walk on a dirt and gravel path with beautiful views, and