Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Skyline Trail and Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Sarah and I did some more hiking at Hickory Run State Park on Sunday. We hiked the Skyline Trail (a 3.4-mile loop), and afterwards went to see the Boulder Field, which is like a lake, only with rocks instead of water.

The forecast called for some possible drizzle, and as we ate lunch in the valley before heading to the park, it did rain a bit. But once we started hiking, rather than rain, a few flurries were falling. It was chilly and quite windy, with gusts hitting 30+ mph. The hike started by following the Fireline Trail, which we’ve hiked part of before.

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Fireline Trail

After a short time on that very wide trail, we turned onto the Skyline Trail, which is much narrower. We immediately started seeing some interesting plants that I would like to identify. If anyone knows what these are, please let me know. I have a wildflower book that’d probably tell me, but it’s still packed somewhere. I noticed when my hiking staff accidentally hit one of the plants that a cloud of white dust emanated from the plant. I’m assuming this was some kind of pollen.

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Unidentified plant

The trail was moderately rocky for a while, but it was clear that for this trail, they had at least attempted to clear a path for walking (unlike Saturday’s hike on the Pinchot Trail). Many rocks were cleared to the sides.

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Rocks line the trail

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One humorous rock

The trail was generally well-marked, which was essential since it crossed other trails at several points. However, one sign had us a bit puzzled and looking at our map and compass.

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Not the most helpful sign

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Creek

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Winding trail

We had been hiking across a ridge, and the trail descended a bit before turning to follow the curvature of the land, and climbing for a while. We got glimpses of neighboring mountains through the trees.

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Sarah

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Looking through the trees

We climbed higher, and inched closer to the edge of the mountain. The whooshing sound of the Lehigh River rapids below us was constant. The wind blew in strong gusts and now we were exposed. We were glad the wind was blowing us toward the mountain, rather than toward the gorge. At several points we could clearly see the Lehigh Gorge Trail, where I rode my bicycle just a few weeks ago.

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Getting closer to the edge

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Looking toward the gorge. You can see the Lehigh Gorge Trail, and the river

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Sarah by the gorge, looking “gorge-ous,” I must say.

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Me.

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Mistakes could be costly

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Another view of the gorge

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Sarah again

Eventually, the trail rejoined the Fireline Trail, and we had another view we saw before. The pine trees sure stick out, now that they’re the only thing green.

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Lehigh Gorge

We immensely enjoyed the Skyline Trail. It’s not too difficult, but excessively easy, either. It covers a variety of terrain, and it offers some fantasic views of the Lehigh Gorge.

After our hike, we drove to the Boulder Field. It’s a longer drive than I expected on some gravel roads. Just as we arrived, so did some other people, and they immediately walked out onto the rocks, severely limiting our photo potential. Oh well.

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Sign explaining the Boulder Field

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Boulder field

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Looking at the boulder field

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Sarah

It was another fun outing. Hickory Run State Park has a surprising number of trails (23, I believe), with a total length of 45 miles. We hope to hike all of them, eventually.

3 Responses to “Skyline Trail and Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park”

  1. Doug Says:

    I like the pictures, specially the Leheigh Gorge and the very interesting boulder field.

  2. furiousball Says:

    once again great pics, the boulder field is surreal looking and that moss picture is really nicely detailed. always good to see you and the missus smiling too

  3. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Skyline Trail Says:

    […] weekend, we hiked the Skyline Trail at Hickory Run State Park. We had hiked this trail before, back in November, and I also went snowshoeing there in December. We were looking forward to seeing it again, now […]

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