Sunday, October 16, 2016

Wandering Around Fort Richardson State Park

Donna and I are home now, so I'll go back and post some entries I didn't have time to do while we were traveling.

Donna and I arrived at Fort Richardson fairly early on Tuesday, October 11, so we had a beautiful sunny afternoon with enough time to do some exploring. Donna had been wanting to do some fishing, so she headed off to Quarry Lake behind the park office to feed the fish while I decided to just wander around the park. You can use the park map to follow along with me.
I began by walking the park road from our site -- #3 – to site #13. The park map showed a trail branching off here and crossing Lost Creek and then working its way up to a spot near the old fort. After ducking into the brush, I crossed the creek on some stepping stones and soon worked my up to Rumbling Spring, which was gurgling from the earth at the base of a large rock. This whole country has a lot of rock, and this makes for some pretty good exploring.
Stepping stones across Lost Creek

The spring is at the base of this rock in the very center of the photo. Water runs off and pours into the creek.
Here is another view of the spring showing the run-off.
I then worked my way downstream along the creek. The trail here is a bit rough as you have to traverse rocks and roots all along the way. The area along the creek is also heavily wooded. There are no trail signs, but the trail itself is pretty well worn. I did take a wrong turn once, but almost immediately came back to the trail on the other side of some desk-sized boulders. Along the way, I stumbled upon a second spring. It’s easy to see why the old fort was established here, as the water supply must have always been reliable. I also spotted a deer in the brush; she was mighty interested in what I was doing on her turf.
You can see some of the creek through the trees, which are fairly thick along the stream. The trail roughly parallels the stream.

It's rather difficult to see, but this is the second spring I happened across. This is pretty rocky country.
After half a mile or more, the trail climbs away from the creek and hits the main park road near the fort. I then wandered around the old fort for an hour or so. I was too late for the tour, so everything was locked, but I was able to peer in the windows. The buildings seem to be furnished nicely, and I’d like to return and do the tour sometime.

The Lost Creek Trailway cuts along the northeast boundary of the post, so I followed it back to its start. From there, I walked back to the main park road, which I followed to just past the low-water crossing, where the half-mile long Lost Creek Nature Trail ducked into the woods to follow the west side of Lost Creek. This trail for the most part is well-maintained, with the exception of a short section in the middle. Once again, the rock formations resembled those on the opposite bank of the creek.
Trail head for Lost Creek Nature Trail. This has an improved surface for much of the half mile trail.
Near the center section of the trail, the improved surface disappears and the trail becomes a well-worn dirt path. The improved surface returns near the end of the trail. Notice how thick the brush and trees are through this area.
View of the creek from the trail.

Rocks and boulders everywhere. It's really quite scenic.

Interesting rocks.
I emerged from this trail between camp sites 22 and 23, then picked up another trail by site 21, which led back to the road near my campsite.

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