My family knew that my backpacking trip on the Chautauqua County Westside Overland Trail would either get it out of my system, or whet my appetite. Actually, I think they knew it would only whet my appetite, but perhaps they hoped it would get it out of my system…
Anyway, last week’s trip made me want more, so this weekend, I checked out another chunk of the North Country Trail. (I hiked a chunk last September and found the leanto to be in fine shape, nicely placed, pleasant! Read about here.) Today’s chunk was just 1.3 miles from Coon Run Road to the Willis Creek Leanto. I didn’t tote the camera, because it was threatening rain, though in the end there were just a few sprinkles.
The trail is lovely, and so different from the Overland trail. It is narrow and bordered on both sides by plenty of understory – ferns, wildflowers, shrubs, brambles. I saw Maiden’s Hair fern… my favorite, I think. And we found a large bush of blackberries which we ate and ate and ate… So sweet and juicy!
One of the highlights of the walk was being startled! Startled by a pair of Ruffed Grouse. The first one flew up from our right side, across the path and up into the brush on the left. The second flew away from us in the opposite direction.
Anyway, I think this section of the North Country Trail that goes through Allegany State Park is going to be another lovely trail to backpack, with leantos positioned at just the right distance apart, slightly less total distance, but a bit more challenging because of the more mountainous terrain (relatively speaking!) Can’t wait!
I didn’t get permission for any of these photos… I hope the photographers don’t mind…
Photos “stolen” from: