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Friday, June 24, 2016

Lake Bonita & Lake Anne(Moreau State Park)

I had been intending to hike the newest addition to the Moreau State Park(750 acres had been acquired from Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in 2015) for a while now, but it kept getting pushed off for one reason or another.  I saw a post from a fellow blogger a couple of days ago and it rekindled my desire to hike this area.  So, I threw my hiking boots in the car and left work today on a warm, sunny afternoon and headed north to exit 16 of the Northway.  Followed Ballard Road west past Route 9, where it becomes Corinth Mountain Road, and then eventually Wilton Mountain Road.  An unmarked dirt road on the north side of the highway leads to a large parking lot, where I was lucky enough to be the only car there when I arrived.
 The trail entrance is unmarked but fairly obvious, leaving north from the parking lot following green discs.  The trail is very pleasant and soft underfoot, making for very easy walking.
 Almost immediately, Lake Bonita(Bonita is Spanish for "pretty") faintly comes into view, although not very well, through the trees.  After taking a left at a trail junction, I headed west with continued screened views of the lake.  Near the southwest corner of the trail, I found my first clear views across the open waters.
 The trail follows the lake's shoreline, turning north and following an earthen dam.  Here is the view back southeast from the dam.
 Continuing the loop around the north side of the lake, I enjoyed more views of the water.  Here is a nice shot of one of many boggy islands.
 There is a large rock on the north side of the lake that protrudes out into the water, giving a great chance to get intimate with the lake.  This rock is found about 30 feet off the trail but easily seen from the trail.
 Another great view from a small cove in the northeast corner of the lake.
 Reaching the eastern side of the lake, there is evidence of civilization here.  A road, as well as a building, docks, picnic table and bench can be found here.  The bench is nicely placed on a large, rocky shelf above the lake, providing fabulous views.
 At this road on the eastern shore, the loop trail continues south, but a pink marked trail heads north, towards Lake Anne, connecting these trails with the existing trail system at the park.  Passing through more open, softwoods, the trail winds its way north, soon crossing under power lines.
 Just prior to arriving at Lake Anne, I passed a sign from the correctional facility.
 Just after the no trespassing sign, I came to a lean to, which was "leaning" to the right.
 A fire pit accompanies the lean to in this quiet section of the woods.
 Looking out from inside.
 I relaxed here for a few minutes, soaking in the peacefulness of my surroundings.
A short, unmarked path heads away from the lean to, through bushes and arrives at the damp shore of Lake Anne.
 This small, quiet lake is very beautiful, but due to its high acidic volume, there are no fish found here.
 I continued past Lake Anne for about half a mile before finally turning back, following my tracks to Lake Bonita.  Once back at the east shore, I took the south trail, closing the loop back towards the original trail junction.  This section of trail offered more splendid lake views.
 Reflections surround a fallen tree.
 Climbing back up towards the car under brilliant summer sunshine.
Enjoyed a gorgeous 4.5 mile hike in this newest section of Moreau State Park.  I'm sure that this area will gain in popularity once folks realize just how lovely these trails are.  Lucky for me, I enjoyed the woods to myself today, not seeing one person the entire time.

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