The Hemlock Shoreline

Close-up of the sharp rocks nearer the south boat launch

Close-up of the sharp rocks nearer the south boat launch

On Sunday, September 29, we explored the shoreline of Hemlock Lake.  Starting from the North boat launch, the climbers spent three hours walking to the South boat launch.  We enjoyed seeing the high cliffs that come right down to the water edge and  the many small pieces of shale that have been lined up vertically by the constant wave action.

IMG_0322Hemlock continues to be a popular place to walk, hike, bike and boat.  We met several other hikers and saw evidence of earlier walkers along the shoreline.

IMG_0315After two and a half hours, the stones and rocks became pretty exhausting.  By then we had reached the southern trail and easily finished the last mile on a softer path.


Boaters were still enjoying the lake with plenty of room for everyone.

lakewalk 021The naturalists walked south on the shore line and the went into the woods to return along the trail.  They were still able to find some edible mushrooms for morning omelets. lakewalk 027 weblakewalk 029lakewalk 013IMG_0328IMG_0327

Hemlock Lake East Shoreline – Sunday, September 29, 2013 2:00 – 4:00 *Arrive at 1:45 *No contact with lake waters allowed

wide shoreline

wide shoreline

In September of 2012 the lake levels of the “little finger lakes” were the lowest I’ve seen them in over 5 years.  Springwater Trails was able to navigate along a wide shoreline from the north boat launch of Hemlock Lake to the south boat launch on a beautiful summer like day.  Hikers took note of thousands of zebra mussells exposed on the shoreline, many mushrooms hemlock lake east shoreline puffball sm(especially a giant pure white puffball) , fall wildflowers, eagles, and migrating geese. This Sunday we will explore the same shoreline, but with a higher water level, early fall foliage, and in some areas a challenging rocky and narrow shoreline.

hemlock shoreline preview 0564 brave kayers previewed Hemlock Lake prior to this Sunday’s hike to explore the east shoreline for passage.  The area in question at the shoreline  was about 1/2 way down Hemlock Lake, around the area of the high cliffs. hemlock shoreline preview 034 Planning a kayak adventure this time of year took into consideration the direction of the wind, temperature, and logistics of boat pick up.  We launched from the north boat launch in the warmth of the afternoon with 10 mile an hour winds from the north and landed at the south boat launch 2 and 1/2 hours later with the wind at our back.  hemlock shoreline preview 024We confirmed that the shoreline was navigable from boat launch to boat launch. (except for a short swampy area near the south end).

We will meet at the North Boat Launch of Hemlock Lake at 1:45.  Please be respectful to local fishermen accessing the boat launch area and do not block their trailers.  Boaters like to get their boats in and out of the lake as quick as possible and hikers need to be considerate.

Climbers will hike the entire east shoreline of Hemlock Lake and time could extend 3 hours.  If desired, climbers may choice towards the end of the shoreline to pick up the south boat launch trail to give their feet a rest from the rocks and avoid the swampy area closer to the boat launch area.

south boat launch area

south boat launch area

Cars will be provided at the south boat launch for pick up back to the north boat launch.  Tourists will hike to the high cliffs and return to the north boat launch, via shoreline and the grassy boat launch trail which can be picked up at the bench overlooking the lake.  Naturalists will walk the shoreline and return via the boat launch trail.  Wear sturdy shoes, bring a snack and your camera.

Optional after hike social and campfire will be at Pam’s, only 1/2 mile away from the North Boat Launch.  Bring a dish to pass and your drink of choice. Welcome Fall!

Please click here for directions to the North Boat Launch.

Back in Springwater

It was good to be back hiking in Springwater on Sunday.  Although Linda and I only missed two hikes, we did so much that it seemed longer.

Running the sump pump in Colorado.

Running the sump pump in Colorado.

We spent a full week in Bolder, Colorado, with our son and daughter-in-law. Many of you may have seen pictures of the flooding, which is good because we didn’t take many.  To the left is a common view around the neighborhood, as residents learned what that basement sump pump was supposed to do. In 24 hours, Boulder received 9.08 inches of rain, nearly twice the previous record of 4.8 inches recorded July 31, 1919. The peak flow on Boulder Creek was more that two and a half times the previous peak flow (5,370 cubic feet per second, compared with 2050 cfs in May 2003).  A flooded basement means the loss of everything on that floor, and Dan’s neighborhood had way too many examples.  These victims will need all the help their friends, neighbors and governments can provide.  Fortunately for us, the water stayed in the street around Dan’s house and he was spared any damage.

Pam Bregenzer is using Facebook to organize a new Garden Club in Springwater.  I am hoping to share information on our Facebook page. Check it out, and let Pam know if you will be attending the first meeting Friday, October 25th, 6pm at Pam’s house.

On Sunday, Katherine shared the story of her grandfather Charles E. Taylor with Linda. Grandpa Charlie built the engine for the first airplane flown by the Wright Brothers in 1903. We all know Katherine is exceptional.  Apparently, it runs in the family! I sure enjoy learning about friends and their families.

I hope that everyone who attended the Fiddler’s Fair had a good time, and picked up a copy of our latest brochure.  Thanks to everyone who helped with parking – I hope you saw the thank-you note in last week’s Penny Saver.  Because of the donations made at the Fair, Springwater Trails will be able to continue to support the Sunday hikes, provide brochures at key spots around Springwater, and build and provide signage for the Springwater Trail. Click here if you want to download a fall brochure.

Hiking Through the Trees

Sunday (9/21) fifteen hikers enjoyed the hike on the All Western Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm off Liberty Pole, Swartz, and Storey Roads in the northwest corner of Springwater. The day was dry and warm for the first three-quarters of the hike. Then the wind came up and the sun disappeared behind the clouds requiring that we add back the layers of clothing we were carrying.

Mark and MacKatherine started the hike by showing branches from many of the Christmas trees on the farm.  This prepared us to identify them during the hike. Other highlights of the hike included the partridges taking off from the hay field, walking new trails through the woods, retracing our many walks through Cathedral Pines, and the opportunity to collect mushrooms.

About 45 different species of fungi were found, with only a few identified to be edible by two knowledgeable hikers. With all the rain we’ve had, the mushrooms have grown nicely this year; however, hiking earlier for mushrooms either in late July or early September might have yielded more interesting varieties. Many thanks are extended to our neighbors and to those that participated in the foray and the identification.

A delicious dish-to-pass supper of hot soup, salads and sandwiches followed the hike. A good time was had by all!