Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Day Hike

For the First Day of the year, we decided to participate in a First Day Hike sponsored by America's State Parks. There were over 650 hikes across the country and 20 in Indiana.  We went to Pokagon as it was the closest to our house and we could stop by the Toboggan Run while we were there. The director of the Indiana DNR led the hike. He shared information about the park, the inn, and other historical aspects of the facilities. It is a busy state park! He remarked that it looks much different in winter than it does in winter. There are great outdoor options for both seasons.

We went ahead and purchased the Indiana State Park pass for 2013 as we hope we'll get our money out of it. Otherwise, $5 will allow Indiana resident cars entrance to the park.

View of the lake . . . this must be busy in the summer!

There were 60-70 participants on the hike, plus a couple of leashed dogs. We took all 4 boys, with the youngest bundled up in a snowsuit reminiscent of A Christmas Story blue velour. It kept him warm and the babe even took a little nap while we walked. 

We walked out to the fen. Here is a good description of a fen.

While browns, beiges, and white dominated the landscape, there were also stunning red berries and stalks. 

This is a tamarack tree, which is one of the first trees to invade boggy areas. They can be used as food, medicine, posts, etc.

We met several people and happened upon Elma from Maple Wood Nature Center, a fellow IMN graduate. It's a small world!

After the hike, we met up near the toboggan run for s'mores and hot chocolate. They showed how the toboggan works, including the refrigeration house.

Notice the sticky marshmallow hands . . .

moments before he won a free toboggan pass! I'm sure we'll be back soon to use this!

Thanks for a great First Day hike! What a great start to the day! I think it's a great activity for our One Little Word for 2013--EXPLORE!