We were waiting for a day like Tuesday, theoretically too cold for ticks (although our friend, Jim Mott, told us he found two on him after a walk in the woods on a 20 degree day), sunny with no snow, to take one of our favorite hikes. This section of the undeveloped part of the park is completely overgrown with evidence of old horse trails that we follow in a big loop from our house. There really is no park management overseeing these trails so huge trees fall over on the paths and stay there for years.
Back in 2009, when we used to take this trail all the time, we discovered someone had brought a crew in to cut up the fallen trees and widen the path. We assumed it was the park management but the job was so destructive we called to complain. Larry Staub, the Parks Commissioner, came to to see it for himself and the police arrested a guy we nicknamed “Bulldozer Man.” Not to get too close to schadenfreude here but Bulldozer guy, who owned a construction company, was run over by a bulldozer being driven by one of his employees just last year.
The fallen trees in hills here look like art installations and there is never anyone up here. You do have to forde a creek that runs along Spring Valley and the first hill is a serious climb, something that is impossible with snow on the ground. The paths are completely overground with invasive plants in the summer. You would need a machete to get through the black swallow wort and mustard green. Those tick harboring plants have all died back now so our visit was sensational.