A day trip (or three) to Hartman Creek State Park

We marked the end of Daylight Saving Time with a day trip to Hartman Creek State Park, where we tuned out the noise of our daily lives and wandered squishy trails for nearly three hours.

With spring winking at us from the north side of Hartman Lake, and winter holding fast on the south side, our hike turned out to be the perfect way to celebrate the extra hour of daylight.

We watched a gabby group of water fowl play Duck Duck Goose on Mid Lake, and listened to the staccato rapping of a hungry woodpecker. We had the park mostly to ourselves, except for a couple of cross country skiers and a stray hiker or two, which was fortunate given our embarrassing gaffes.

I skidded wildly on the icy trails, fell spectacularly twice, and may bear a bum bruise in the perfect outline of my cellphone. Vince flailed a little less than I did, but he also tripped and fell. We both chuckled at the three human divots we left on the trail.

But, the fresh air tasted like spring and it felt good to breath deeply again.

The Hartman Creek trails wind around eight small lakes, though we confined our tramping to the Hartman, Grebe, Mid and Allen Lake areas. At one point, we accidentally followed a “most difficult” route through the Oak Ridge cross country ski trails and had to pull out a compass app to find our way back to the lakes.

On this particular Sunday afternoon, though, we had nothing but time and we enjoyed both the company and the view.

I’m sure Hartman Creek is even more fun to visit in the summer, and even more beautiful in the fall.

But, I really appreciated the solitude of our spring hike and I recommend you give it a whirl.

Spring winked from the north side of Hartman Lake, and winter held fast on the south. It made for a beautiful view.
We left our own icy footprints, and a trio of human divots, on the trail.
We could all take a little posture advice from the trees.
I liked the cross reflection of the Ice Age Trail sign, perfect for a Sunday afternoon hike.
Three paths diverged in a yellow wood and sorry we picked the wrong one and that made all the difference.
Creeks babbled, birds sang, wind rustled…it was such a peaceful Sunday afternoon.
I’m a sucker for a cat tail.
We enjoyed the rushing water from this dam.
I didn’t catch his name, but this man mentioned that the snow was perfect as he skied past us.
Imagine the stories these trees could tell.
If you go now, you might spot our body divots. Wear your sensible boots and walk like a duck over the ice. (No one’s there to see you anyway.) You’ll have a nice, quiet, lovely day.


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