Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beaver Lake Hike

The weekend was quite cool and rainy, until this afternoon. That's when I decided that I needed to get moving, if only for a little bit. I grabbed my little pack, camera, and GPS, and headed to Pocahontas State Park southwest of Richmond. There was time to get in a short hike of about 3 miles, counting walking from where I parked to the start of the trail. It formed a peaceful loop around Third Branch Lake, also called Beaver Lake. I didn't see many animals - mainly a few birds and a salamander. But I had a nice walk, got a little time in my hiking boots, and stretched my legs a bit. Here are some photos, starting with the map of my route.  I started and ended at the purple star, and went counter-clockwise in the direction of the arrows:

Here is a view of the lake from the trail:
 The trail starts in nice woodlands, and continues in this type of woods most of the way:
 I found this colorful centipede under a log:
 A nicely built boardwalk goes through a swamp and across the stream:
 You can't get lost on this trail, as these nice signs mark every turn:
 These two leaning trees seem to form a gateway to the stream:
 A stream flows placidly along through the woods:
At the lower end of the lake, near the end of the hike, was a boggy fringe with iris and sphagnum moss.  The moss reminded me of living in Maine long ago.

 These two trees, different species, have grown together at their lower trunks:
 A very ambitious beaver bit off more than he could chew here, and eventually either gave up or died of old age.  For a sense of scale, my hat brim is about 14 inches in diameter.

This tree was cut down by a beaver, some time in the fairly long ago past:


  1. Spring is such a pretty time of the year to be out and about walking. Beautiful pictures and so nice and green!! I'd love to take one of my walks there!

  2. Thanks - I am glad you enjoyed this. Come on down! :^)