Monday, June 11, 2007

Camping Trip - Stony Brook State Park

This weekend was Donna's birthday, and she let it be known months ago she wanted a weekend camping out. Since it was Reina's first camping trip we decided on an easy one: car camping at a nearby state park where we could bring more "stuff" than we usually would and we could bail if we absolutely had to. Thankfully, Reina loved every minute of it, and we had a great weekend at Stony Brook State Park near Dansville, NY.

The Gorge Trail allows plenty of opportunities to wade in the shallow creek.

True to its name, the park surrounds a stony brook, one that has been carving out its path for millenia. The resulting gorge is narrow, shaded and cool with step sides, and very tranquil. The campground is at the south end of the park, at the north end you find a "recreation area" with lots of picnic tables, a swimming hole, tennis courts, a small store with knick-knacks and ice cream, and the granddaddy of all playgrounds. The south and north ends are connected by two trails, either along the gorge, or an upland trail above the gorge.

Turkey Vultures soared high above the gorge, quickly appearing and disappearing
from the small window of sky we could see from the bottom of the gorge.

Breeding birds, with the obvious exception of the vultures, were fairly vocal. A Louisiana Waterthrush patrolled the creek below our campsite, his slurred whistled serenaded us from sun-up to sun-down. We also watched a Belted Kingfisher fish from time to time while listening to Eastern Wood-peewees, Black-throated Green Warblers, and American Robins. Along the trail to the playground we found an Eastern Phoebe hunting above the creek.

One of several stunning waterfalls with a very swimmable pool below.
There seemed to be a new one around every bend in the trail.

Although the campground was packed, we thankfully had the trail mostly to ourselves. A gorge is a narrow place, and even a couple other families or hikers would have made it seem crowded. We took our time on our walk, taking in the sounds of the brook as it continued to cut its way through the gorge.

Although the ambiance at brook-level was peaceful and picturesque,
the tall, layered walls of the gorge continually drew your eyes upward.

We didn't find many signs of animal life on the walk, though we weren't really looking. We simply enjoyed being able to explore the various features of the gorge through the eyes of a three-year old, who mostly liked splashing in the water. Admittedly, that is a lot of fun.

A Red Admiral poses on a flower-free stretch of the rocky path. There
must have been something attractive (minerals?), as it stayed put for several minutes.

Of the few animals we did see, we noticed a theme of black/white/orange coloration.

Not a typical spot to find a Blackburnian Warbler in the breeding season. Usually they're
high in the tops of evergreen trees, not bouncing along the rocks on a roadside ditch.

We will certainly be returning to Stony Brook for future trips, but we'll also be checking out new places nearby. Stay tuned for updates of our travels, whether camping or otherwise.

1 comment:

Camping said...

This blog looks so nice all of the pictures shows that the nature is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Locations of visitors to this page