Hike at Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Today was one of those weirdly wonderful (yet awful for the environment) winter days were the temperatures hovered in the high 40s and you could feel the sun’s warmth through the trees. I joined Katie (from KatieWanders) for a quick hike through Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT. Considering the fact that it’s less than 30 minutes from my house, I am a little astonished that I hadn’t been before! For some history on the park, check out Katie’s post. I’m feeling 100% too lazy to delve into the history…and I’m already procrastinating by writing this post. My flight to Corpus Christi leaves in less than 24 hours and packing has yet to be completed…

View from the vista

Anyway, she and I hiked along the Orange trail – a leisurely 2.1 mile hike that brings you to a sweet vista that provided the perfect lunch spot. It looks out along a winding river, forest, and farmland. With less than 400ft of elevation change, it was the perfect lazy Sunday hike. It was so nice to simply get out with a good friend and enjoy the crisp, fresh air. The park just smells so clean and earthy, it’s hard to feel anything but cleansed from the stress of life. We saw 20+ other hikers, but for the most part, we had the trail to ourselves. It honestly felt like more of a fall hike than a mid-winter one. There are multiple trails which you can take, both straight out and loops.

I’m excited to go back in the spring, the colors were pretty intense in the “dead” of winter. They must be outrageously beautiful when the forest is waking from its slumber. The rocks are covered in lush mosses and lichens in a full range of green colors, while the decaying trees ranged in colors of a deep, dark brown to red or grey.

Some leaves refused to fall

Being away from the city always has a certain magic about it. I love the way nature refuses to be tamed – sure the river might flow one way, but a small part might decide to just go off and do its own thing and leave its own mark on the landscape. There were so many trees that had fallen during last year’s storms and some that had fallen years ago. Both providing the nutrients for fungi and plants to grow (of which I stopped at many to see). Some were even used to ford the small waterways (thanks to whomever did that!).

The rainfall in recent months has Chapman Falls and Eight Mile River flowing at a fast pace – you can hear both from a fair distance away. The water was so enticingly clear – if it wasn’t so cold I’d have been sorely tempted to jump in.

Chapman Falls is conveniently located between two parking lots…no hiking necessary!

Someone recently asked me what 2018 taught me – and it was to be intentional with my time. Not only in the activities I choose (aka not sitting around and scrolling through Facebook for hours) but in the people that I hang out with. Thankful to have multiple friends with whom I can spend a carefree afternoon or evening with.

And who would I be if I didn’t take the opportunity for a ToplessTour picture? Cheers!

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