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!!
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