Search This Blog

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saratoga Spa State Park and Camp Saratoga

Visited the Saratoga Spa State Park today, a very large and scenic local park in Saratoga Springs.  There is much to see and do here and often becomes very crowded during the summer months.
There are many, many trails throughout the park, some marked some not.  Even driving along the park roads is a pleasant experience.  Here is a foot bridge crossing the Geyser Creek near a small playground and picnic area.
Saratoga is very famous for its abundance of natural springs, a rarity in the northeastern United States.  Here is the Geyser Spring, which shoots up about 10 feet in the air and it is extremely impressive to watch.
The small "island" that the Geyser Spring is on is actually mineral deposits from itself.  This Spring has also been referred to as "Island Spouter".
The Geyser Creek trail is an old road that follows the creek for about a quarter of a mile.
A bit further upstream on Geyser Creek is a small dam about 5 feet in height.
Geyser Creek moving swiftly downstream.
Near the dam is a giant, 30 foot formation of tufa flowstone or travertine.  Water can be seen rolling slowly down the formation as you walk past it.  The formation may look like a mudslide but is solid and made up of colored mineral, mainly carbonates by water flowing from  the outflow of Orenda Spring above it.
The lower end of the formation actually crosses the trail and leaves a distinctive colored path.
At the end of the creek trail is a deep ravine with a sharp bend in the water to the left as it flows out of a very large pipe.  A small but pretty artificial waterfall makes for a pleasant spot.
After climbing out of the steep ravine, a foot path can be picked up heading back towards the original starting point.  Along the way Orenda Spring is passed with its reddish colored mineral water.
Even with temperatures climbing into the upper 40's the shaded woods still harbored snow from the day before.
A small foot bridge and stream flowing down through the park on its way to meet up with the Geyser Creek.
The stately pines at the park make for wonderful views up in many of the woods.
Several people were out fishing the shoreline of Geyser Creek.
I only did  a sampling of the many trails available in the park today.  There are many different recreational opportunities available as well but it would take repeated visits to see them all.  After leaving the park, I drove north a bit to the town of Wilton to visit Camp Saratoga, an old boys camp from 1930-2001.
A small pond can be visited on the south side of the preserve with a trail following part of the shores and crossing its outlet.
Reflections on the water.
Old camp buildings dot the property from its old camp days.
A Totem Pole!
Delegan Brook flowing peacefully on its way.
There is a sense of serenity here in these 300+ acres.  There were even times during my hike that I could not believe just how pleasantly quiet it was.
This is in an area known as sand plains.  Much of the trails in the northern section of the preserve are made up of sand.
Sandy trails. A rare occurrence in this area.
Camp Saratoga is part of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and is also one of the few remaining places in this area of the country that is home to the Karner Blue Butterfly.  This butterfly is on the endangered species list.
Open fields along the trail.  Hiked about 2 miles here on mostly level trails with only a few small hills/

No comments:

Post a Comment