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South Mountain Reservation: Locust Grove to Mayapple Hill - 09/25/2011

Some really lousy weather forecasting almost foiled my weekend hiking plans.  Initially Sunday was the better day so that was the chosen hiking day.  Woke up Saturday morning to find the forecast had changed making Saturday the better day and Sunday the rainy day.  I had already made other plans for Saturday so Sunday had to be the hiking day.  Loaded up rain gear and stayed close to home just in case it became a total washout with thunderstorms as forecast.  It had been a couple of years since I hiked at South Mountain Reservation and that was in the winter so with it being only 20 minutes from home and having lots of options for cutting a hike short of need be, that is where I went.  I ended up hiking 12 miles from one end of the park to the other and back.  It's an urban park so you have traffic noise just about everywhere, planes flying over almost constantly, an abundance of litter and broken glass the closer you get to streets but amazingly, there are some very pretty remote areas where you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and for as busy of a park as it is, I only ran into two other people on the hiking trails.  Most of the park visitors walk the woods roads.  The trails were in great shape, just a few wet areas.  It was obvious a lot of post-Irene trail maintenance had happened with freshly sawed tree trunk openings along the trails.  Some leaves had started changing so that made for some nice early fall scenery.  And the rain and storms forecast?  Hiked under clear blue skies for the most part without a single drop of rain.  Click here for the full hike writeup.

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