Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Return to Dutch Gap

Friday, September 12.  So, I had today off and resolved to do some hiking.  All week, I thought of returning to the mountains.  But then today came, and I looked at other things I needed to do with a busy weekend at Cape May, NJ coming up, and decided to hike in Dutch Gap Conservation Area.  It would save me at least 2.5 to 3 hours of driving, round trip.  Decisions, decisions!

I am not going to show the route of my 5.6 miles hike.  You can see a similar track here from a prior hike a couple of years ago.  And there is no need to show an elevation profile - being around an oxbow in a large river, the James, the terrain is pretty flat.  My main goals were to enjoy some time outside and see some wildlife.  I was not disappointed in either regard, enjoying a nice walk and seeing a deer, osprey, a box turtle, egrets, a green heron, various ducks, a great blue heron, an unidentified snake, and other miscellaneous birds.  Here are a few photos.

I am not sure what this small snake is.  I found it under a log, and it was very docile.

Much of the hike was within sight or a short distance from water.  This is part of the oxbow.

The walking pathways are easy and pleasant.  What a nice morning walk I had!

Seeing a box turtle is always a treat.  I've seen them before here.  Hopefully, people leave them alone when they see them and don't harm or collect them.

This one stuck its head out for a look after a while.

Dragonflies are fascinating, don't you think?

I guess the river level is low, as I can't remember seeing a nice beach on prior hikes here.

This foot bridge turned what used to be a 7.2 mile out and back hike into a 4.4 mile loop.  I did some side trails, making my total distance hiked as 5.6 miles.

Was this more fun than being at work?  Uh, duh!!


  1. What a wonderful way to spend the day. A fabulous walk. I love box turtles too. : )
    Seeing that foot bridge reminds me of all the footbridges I used to walk over in my old neighborhood.

    Forgot to mention on the above comment that I look forward to one of your Who Am I posts. Love them.

  2. It was a great walk, not the grand views of the mountains but just seeing the turtle was such a treat. The footbridge is great because it makes the walk a loop.

    Glad you enjoy my "Who Am I?" posts.