Matt and I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to head to Blackwater State Park and tackle one of our fitness goals for the month - a 10 mile hike! I planned the route out the night before and we decided to do the loop around Bear Lake and take Sweetwater Trail to Krul lake for a total of 5 miles. We'd stop there for a snack/rest and head back to finish off at Bear Lake with a picnic lunch (can you tell we're totally on a picnic kick right now?)
Right before we reached the lake we saw a truck stopped in the middle of the road and Matt slowed down to see what they were doing. I flipped when we saw a group of Deer about 20 feet from the road! We've come up to Bear Lake a few times and have never seen any wildlife aside from birds and bugs so this was a great way to start the day off.
We arrived at the Lake and after a quick trip to the bathroom we headed out. I'm always impressed with how clean the bathrooms are here. Seriously, they are in better condition than the ones at Barnes and Nobles. How sad is that?
The trip around the lake was beautiful - as always. This is such a fun hike filled with planks through marshy areas and benches every mile so you can stop and rest if you need to.
Not all of the animals we came across were adorable Bambi types. Matt's eagle eye spotted these two snakes moments before I would have stepped on them!
The loop around bear lake is approximately 3.7 miles. Once you get onto Sweetwater Trail (1.3 miles) you walk through a bit of a sandy patch but then the rest of the path is an elevated boardwalk through the woods, complete with a suspension bridge!
Right before you reach Krul Lake there is this amazing old Mill!
We stopped at Krul Lake to refuel and rest our feet for a moment. At this point we were halfway done and feeling energetic still. Our longest hike up to this point was 8.5 miles 2 weeks ago so we anticipated being able to complete the 10 miles without an extreme amount of effort.
After about 10 minutes we headed back. This is the boardwalk on Sweetwater trail - such a nice break from the uneven ground!
Matt gets credit for these next 2 amazing shots!
Finally we reached our starting point and were definitely ready to eat lunch. Last time we didn't bring anything to eat so it was a very long car ride home.
I may have said it the last time I wrote about hiking at Blackwater but I am absolutely in love with this trail. This would be perfect for a family hike as you could do the 3.7 mile loop around Bear Lake one day, camp, then do the 2.6 mile (round trip) hike to the Mill and back in the morning. That's actually what Matt and I did the first time we camped together and we've been back countless times since.