The two-part hike on July 31 in the Canadaway Creek Wildlife Management Area was a resounding success. The day was sunny and warm, but not too warm. Starting on the east side of the Wildlife Management Area, sixteen of us hiked about 1.25 miles to the lean-tos located just north of the area, along the Eastside Overland Trail. Along the way we saw a very old beaver pond and well-maintained dam, some very old (~100 to 125 years) apple trees (these trees produce some of the tastiest apples I’ve ever eaten), and several isolated ponds along two spur trails. We took a break at the lean-tos, where some of us enjoyed a drink of refreshingly cold water provided by a hand-powered water pump.
We then returned to our vehicles and, following a quick lunch, drove to the head of the trail that leads down to the floor of Canadaway Creek gorge. This beautiful, canopied trail wends through a mix of hardwoods and conifers before ending at the gorge floor. We then hiked upstream about a half mile to Arkwright Falls, where several of our group took a dip in the deep plunge pool at the base of the falls. Along the way we found several interesting fossils in the approximately 350-million-year-old shales that the gorge cuts through. On the way back, we collected some trash, but the areas was surprisingly clean given the amount of use this trail gets.
A beautiful day, a wonderful hike in wilderness area, and a great group of people—there’s no better way to spend a day!
Submitted by John Sander