Friday, April 4, 2008

My Favorite Spring Hike

Spring has this amazing way how to spread energy around. It’s not only the more sunshine and warmer days; it’s also all the other sign of life… the grass gets fresher, the ground brightens with first blooms of Crocuses, Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths and Irises.

The mountains start showing off after the winter when they peacefully rested under the white blanket of snow. The birds chirp happily in the tree branches, squirrels and chipmunks enjoy tree climbing in their beautiful outdoor gym, and many other animals start building their homes and preparing for babies.

I love being outdoors during springtime. I love wondering through the forest where the trees turn greener, where the pine needles smell stronger, where the rivers roar downhill fed by the melting snow in higher elevations, making for some incredible waterfall seeing. My favorite spring hike leads to Lake Serene. To get to this glorious lake resting underneath a face of majestic Mt. Index is not a piece of cake though. The trail starts off on relatively easy note, following old railroad grade for first half mile or so but those who expect an easy ascent soon find themselves on a steep rugged slope and if you go early in the spring, you will usually have to also overcome several obstacles in a form of fallen trees. Just when you think the worst is over, you get to a long never ending staircase made of what seems like hundreds of steps to get even more grueling workout.

What makes this trail special is the fact that it never gets boring. You don’t just climb the hill in a hope to see yet another pretty alpine lake. You don’t ascent through a uniform forest where after few minutes each tree looks like any other. There is so much to see along the way. Soon after you start you find yourself walking along stunning Bridal Weil Falls. The water splashes against a smooth dark wall of granite and the look up takes you breathe away. You also have a choice to take a side trail to the upper falls which means climbing more steps but is so totally worth the effort. Some people make this their final destination for the day but if you have some energy left, don’t give up and continue further for spectacular views of the valley, several more smaller waterfalls, and finally the stunning Lake Serene that will likely still be at least partially frozen with snow patches on its banks. It is breathtaking peacefulness will make you forgot the sweat you broke on your way up in a heartbeat.

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