Gilbert Lake State Park – August 25, 2020

Trip report by Aleda Koehn

On August 25, 18 Susquehanna Chapter hikers met at Gilbert Lake State Park.  Three chose to take the very pleasant walk around the lake.  The remaining 15, led by Currie Marr who knew the best route from the parking lot, took a series of several trails including Red Pine, Deer Run, and the Deer Run Connector Trail to access the main trail that goes by Ice Pond and Lake of the Twin Fawns.   A very early morning thunder storm left the air fresh and the vegetation damp, but we did have sun and blue sky for most of the way.  It was a lovely walk and Currie was frequently called upon to identify and talk about the many interesting fungi found along the way.  We are so lucky to have Gilbert Lake as a place to visit, each season brings new discoveries and experiences.      

     The New York Times Sunday Travel section, on June 9, 2019, featured a two- page spread titled “Discovering Treasures Nearby in America’s State Parks.”  A journalist, Peter Kujawinski, with his family, explored 53 of the 8,565 state parks scattered across all 50 States. He writes “State parks are regional museums….you can find surprising treasures and the occasional masterpiece.” 

      In the closing paragraphs the author writes that at the end of this trip, as he reflected on his travels, … “settled on one moment that seemed to encapsulate the role of state parks in our lives.  It took place at Gilbert Lake State Park in upstate New York, …under a cloudless sky…. Sunlight shone on every surface – sand, water, skin, trees, hair – claiming luminous dominion over the world.”

     “I sat in a forest glade just above the swimming area, breathing in the thick and languid air.  Peals of laughter arose from the lake….mixed with yells of ‘Marco…Polo!’  The smell was of pine needles and sunscreen and a far-off grill.  Everything belonged right where it was.” 

The author ends with his observations of the activities on the swimming platform.

Photos by Holly Downing.

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