We did score the best campsite in all of the Pigeon River Forest, nestled next to the river in all it’s gurgling glory. We could have sat there all day, but there was more to explore.
There’s a large elk heard residing in this park, with certain locations where you’re more likely to see them. We drove around one evening looking, but didn’t see any; I guess the elk hadn’t read the memo about where they were supposed to be. In 2014 we were luckier and saw three of them in almost exactly the spot where the map said they’d be. Now those elk knew how to follow directions!
This year I did see this guy, on our first day there, as we were driving to our campground on a narrow sandy road through the tall trees.
I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye and screeched to a halt. My friend, who was driving ahead of me, kept on going so she didn’t get to see him. I felt privileged to be able to snap his picture as he gazed somberly back at me.
Aside from the elk this state land is known for beautiful lakes and wonderful hiking trails. You can walk through varying topography and plant life, from wet bogs and reedy lake shores to hilly pine forests and open meadows.
We did all of that. We hiked around Pickerell Lake on a beautiful afternoon, the sky filled with white puffy clouds and the lake a beautiful blue.
We climbed to the top of Inspiration Point, where the ranger said you can almost see from horizon to horizon. He was right.
It would be a perfect place for star gazing if you’re there on a night when the full moon isn’t beating down on you.
We walked along the river and looked up the names of all the wildflowers we could find. We were surprised by just how many there were when you stopped to really look.
Mostly we just enjoyed being outside in a beautiful place during a beautiful weekend. Even when there was a bit of rain.
And in the morning, when it was time to pack up and leave I felt sad, but happy too, that I got to spend time in this magical place. I know I’ll be back, likely on a dark night with no moon and clear skies. There are stars out there just begging to be photographed and I’d like to try.
Until next time Pigeon River State Forest! It’s nice to know you’re up there waiting for us to stop by again.
It’s good to know that the river continues to dance over those rocks, singing it’s gentle and calming song, even when we’re in the midst of whatever gets in the way of happiness out here in the real world.
I’m lucky to have such a wilderness so close to home, and I’m pleased to share it with all of you. If you’re ever this way, stop by and explore even a little of it.
You won’t be sorry you did.