Hike through Clark Reservation

Just up the road in Jamesville is Clark Reservation State Park, a beautiful place to hike, have a barbeque, or just play.

Clark Reservation State Park is filled with beautiful trails of different lengths and skill levels, but its most striking feature is its glacial lake.  Near the parking lot is a look out over the lake. If you don't feel like a hike, it's a serene place to sit and enjoy the view. There are plenty of outdoor grills scattered about. Bring a picnic or host a barbeque.

To get eye-level with lake, there's a lengthy staircase made of rugged stone twisting down to its edge. Be careful on the climb down; it's mossy and a little slippery, but stunning all the same. As you descend the 175 feet, you can see layers of rock on the ledges surrounding the staircase. The park used to be a resort, built in 1878 by James McFarlane. It ultimately failed after not attracting enough visitors, but remnants of it, including the stairs, remain. 

There is a swamp trail around the lake, but wear boots. I have not yet hiked it, but it's boggy and difficult to walk without the proper footware. The lake is absolutely beautiful—clear and blue-green. No swimming is allowed, but you can fish. The lake is meromictic, meaning the top level of water does not mix with the bottom. In lakes like this, if the top and bottom do not mix, the bottom layer of water doesn't get as much oxygen, so whatever is on the lakebed is well preserved.  It's a great place for scientists to look for fossils.

As for the trails around the lake, there are several, and many of them cross paths. I took the cliff trail, 175 feet above the lake. There are a couple of steep billy goat climbs to get to the main path, but after that, it's mostly flat. The trail provides a beautiful view around the lake, especially with the foliage changing colors. I eventually came to part of a trail called the long trail, which runs through a meadow and winds past a quarry.  Throughout there are small surprises, like a foot-bridge, a mini waterfall, clearings with impressive expanses of trees and color, and rock tables separated by scribble-like crevices.

Lose yourself for a couple of hours. Happy adventuring!

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