Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Babcock Ranch Eco Tours Punta Gorda, Florida

Darlene, our Swamp Buggy Tour Guide was phenomenal.  She was delightful, knowledgeable, and both serious and comical.

Our 90-minute tour through the swampland went by very fast and we saw an abundance of alligators, wild hogs, an assortment of birds, deer, turkeys, longhorn cattle, cracker cows, deer, turtles, sandhill cranes and much more. We saw cypress and live oak trees, Spanish moss, and even got an education on cracker cowboys!



Click the below video and ride the swamp buggy as Steve and Friends tour with Darlene






Contact for Babcock Ranch Eco Tours:

8502 FL-31
Punta Gorda, Florida 33982

(800) 500-5583
info@BabcockRanchEcoTours.com
https://babcockranchecotours.com/

References
++++++++++++++++++

"Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

    Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email  and we can work out the logistics.



    Additional Sources of Books at:

    Tuesday, April 28, 2020

    Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Trail 6 – Wolf Trees and Many Trails



    The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a 75-mile “emerald necklace” of fourteen hiking trails surrounding Lake Sunapee, crossing Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains, and maintained by Greenway volunteers.  Today, friends Steve, Craig, Ellen and myself, are hiking Trail 6: Great Brook Bridge in New London to Route 4A in Wilmot, located with the Red Arrow below.


    Two items make SRKG Trail 6 special to me. 

    Wolf Trees
    Let’s start with Wolf trees.  Frankly, until today's hike, I had never heard of a Wolf Tree.  “Look! Wolf trees!”  My fellow hiker pointed at a tall tree with substantial girth and spreading dead branches, higher than the trees surrounding it with live springtime buds at the top. At first glimpse I thought they were dead trees.

    If you have ever seen a tree in the forest that seems out of place because it is much larger than the trees surrounding it, signifying that the tree was once the only tree in the area, you may have experienced a wolf treeMany wolf trees are over 150 years old and are different than their smaller neighbors. A wolf tree is not a specific species of tree.  It may be oak, pine, birch, whatever ... simply a tall old tree. 

    The quote on the sign on the below Wolf Tree Trail reads: “Along this path are several large old trees, probably left to shade cattle when the Bunkers cleared this hillside in the 1800s. They grew rapidly “WOLFING” sunlight and water from any seedlings nearby.  LOOK FOR THEM"




    Click the below video and hike with Steve and friends.

    Many Trails
    The second feature I found special in Trail 6 was the many trails. Our SRKG trail today included following Wolf Tree Trail, Webb Forest Interpretive Trail, and the White Pine Trail. Most of the trails in this section are well developed paths and logging roads on former farms with stonewall confined forests that were once fields for cattle, sheep, hayfields, and gardens.



    Our Goal today was to hike the SRKG Trail 6, marked by the SRKG white and green trapezoids, starting at the western trailhead at the northern end of Pleasant Lake in New London, NH, and ending at the eastern trailhead at Route 4A in Wilmot, NH. We began at Great Brook Bridge, an elevation of 800 feet with the SRKG trail rising along an old logging and farm road to 1500 feet and then dropping to 1200 feet at Route 4A.

    Below is the MapMyRun Google map of our hike.

    All the trails of Section 6 are readily marked with SRKG trapezoid signs/blazes. Most junctions included a map with “You are here” in red.


    We were assisted on this hike by the SRK Greenway Trail Guide. I am proud to be a member of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. 











    References      
    ++++++++++++++++++
    "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
      Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

      Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email  and we can work out the logistics.



      Additional Sources of Books at:

      Tuesday, April 21, 2020

      Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway: Trail 8 Wilmot Center to New Canada Road


      The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a 75-mile “emerald necklace” of fourteen hiking trails surrounding Lake Sunapee, crossing Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains, and maintained by Greenway volunteers.  I am proud to be a member of the SRK Greenway.

      Today we are hiking Trail 8: Wilmont Center to New Canada Road (Upper right corner - Red Arrow.)




      First, let me give full credit to the SRK Greenway Trail Guide (srkg.com.)  It is an excellent detail resource for locating and hiking the 14 trails designated as the 75-mile Sunapee, Ragged, Kearsarge Greenway Trail.  To date, I have hiked five of these trails, and all clearly marked with a trapezoidal white and green blaze, the “trademark” of the SRK Greenway Trail.  Living and hiking in this area gives me a nice feeling whenever I spot this friendly trail blaze.

      Using the SRK Greenway Trail Guide

      We carried the Guide with us on the Trail. Once we had to refer to it when we came to a fork in the trail, and the Guide quickly solved this predicament for us.  Most of the time, we used the Guide for information about the Beaver Pond, cellar holes, and ancient stone walls.  Reading the Guide before we went made conversation when it warned us, “…the trail crosses a brook…  The brook may be difficult to cross when swollen.”  This caution did not bother us, but indeed brought back many memories of spring hiking in the White Mountains where the crossing of streams and brooks, sometimes meant looking further upstream or downstream for a safe crossing, or removing one’s clothing and wading in ankle to waist high freezing ice thawed water.  As you will see in the below video, we readily crossed this ten-foot-wide stream jumping from exposed rock to rock – all done safely.



      We took a short off-the-trail Beaver Pond spur at the Pond/Trail sign. I highly recommend this small beautiful Beaver Pond with a beaver dam at one end, and a beaver lodge at the other. There was also a dedicated granite bench overlooking the pond. We continued on Beaver Pond Trail over boardwalks and logs. We reach the sign indicating the junction of the Beaver Pond Trail and the Patterson Farm Trail. Keep left on the Patterson Farm Trail go down a long hill, and then up to where we stop and look at cellar holes of a barn and house, and stone gateposts leading to a neighboring farm.

      The Patterson Farm Trail joins the gravel Eagle Pond Road, and we are about 2 miles into our hike.  The remaining hike is on Eagle Pond Road where we view Eagle Pond. We also have a nice view of Ragged Mountain, just before we take a left on the Northern Rail Trail. We to cross US Route 4 we can see the home of former United States Poet Laureate, Donald Hall. We also see Mt Kearsarge in the distance. We quickly reach New Canada Road, and hike today ends at the SRK Greenway Trail 9 sign for New Canada Road to Proctor Academy.  

       We used two vehicles for this point-to-point hike. I picked up my hiking partner, appropriately named Steve, where he parked at the eastern trailhead on New Canada Road, .9 miles from its corner on US Route 4, two miles north of the US Route 4 junction with NH Route 11.  We then rode together to the western trailhead located by taking NH Route 11 west, then a right on NH Route 4A for 3 miles northwest,  and turned right onto North Wilmot Road and parked my car at the Wilmot Town Hall.

      References


      ******************************************
      " Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
      ++++++++++++++++


      Steve's 6th book is now available. Outdoor Play "Fun 4 Seniors" Volume III has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

      Steve’s books are also available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH.