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5 weeks, 5 parks, 5Ks: Lake Maria State Park
Hey! This is the fourth! Of five! Have you donated yet? C'mon. You know you want to.
I picked this week's park based strictly on its proximity to where my parents now live, so I could go visit them afterwards. So I had few expectations, other than that the park would have enough hiking trails to get my 5K done.
I wasn't prepared for how spectacularly gorgeous the park is, and my photos don't even begin to do it justice. Ladies and gents, welcome to Lake Maria (pronounced Ma-RYE-uh) State Park, near Monticello.
One of my first thoughts was how beautiful this place will be in September or October. There are a few pine trees, but the vast majority are leafy trees. Brilliantly green now, they should be quite vivid later.
This is Bjorkland Lake. The park has numerous lakes, marshes, ponds, wetlands--which led to my second major thought: why didn't I bring insect repellent?? Fortunately, a swarm of dragonflies met me at my arrival and kept me company nearly all the way. But for future visits, I'm definitely packing repellent.
There are several miles of trails, but I decided that it only made sense to hike to the lake the park is named for. Along the way, there's a wildlife observation area. I looked and looked, but didn't see anything, but the birds were fairly raucous that day, including a very determined woodpecker.
And here it is, Lake Maria, the largest of the lakes in the park. With canoes just waiting.
There's a boardwalk that goes out into the marshes. Again, thanks to the dragonflies, I was safe.
Look at this cool tree trunk!
This woman had the good life pretty much figured out.
I hiked along the lake, through the trees, then came to a grassy hill. I climbed it, and voila! I could see forever! That's Lake Maria on the right.
Green, green, green--again, just imagine how this will look in the fall.
A most excellent spot to stop and enjoy the view.
Moving on to another lake (don't know the name), and you can see the beavers have been busy here. There's another dam further back.
These little pink-purple wildflowers were everywhere.
Including a bed full near the visitor center. Where you can rest on a bench and admire the flowers.
Lake Maria State Park--well worth a return visit. (and, oh, hey? I'm getting close to my fundraising goal, won't you help?
11411 Clementa Avenue Northwest