Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Worlds End (Another summer trip, not an apocalyptic statement)

We checked another state park off the list. Worlds End. Here's my review, Sam style. 

I drink from my souvenir as I write this blog.
Perhaps I should explain what I mean by Sam style. Sam told me he evaluates a state park camping trip on three categories: campsite quality, sleeping comfort, and hiking opportunities.

Campsite Quality

The campground at this park is relatively small. In fact, the park is relatively small. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The park does a creative job in some places putting sites up against ridges. There were a few sites we saw that featured a huge staircase leading to the tent pad from the parking spot. All the sites were nicely shaded.

We reserved sites 58-61, a cluster of four sites that were termed walk-in. Really, walk-in meant one couldn't park the car right next to your tent. Our sites were situated along what had been the canyon vista trail: blazes for that trail were blacked out on trees through the middle of our sites. These four sites seemed bigger than the sites we passed by as we drove in and out of the campground.

We did turn site 60 into a kitchen / common area, leaving 58, 59, and 61 as family camping areas. The kids turned the whole site into an arena for their play, which made me happy. We didn't have to worry much at all about them disturbing adjacent campers. And the kids did a remarkably good job going up and down the hill to site 61 without falls.

Johnsons' tents at site 59. I got relegated to the two-man because, really, it's a one-man. And I got relegated to it because, really, the four-man is a three-person.

Looking at site 60 from site 59.

The commanding position of site 61. Candidly, it was my favorite. The kids preferred 59, though.
The only drawback to the site was our close location to route 154, but there was little traffic on the road. The bathroom nearby was small but much nicer than the one to which we're accustomed at Hickory Run.

Sleeping Comfort

The sound from nearby Loyalsock Creek was soothing. The traffic on adjacent route 154 was minimal. The new sleeping back I purchased was aggravating, but I won't hold that against Worlds End. We did encounter rain in the middle of our second night, and I was surprised again at how loud raindrops are when they hit the tent. It was warmer than I expected at night. 

The above photographs show our equipment being aired out at Lansdale's Site 412 after the late-night rain. 

Hiking Opportunities 

The group's verdict on this would likely be mixed. I, however, really liked the hiking available at Hickory Run. 

The above photos are from a four-mile walk in the morning on Canyon Vista Trail, a hike that proved to be pretty challenging. It climbs dramatically up the site of the canyon, and then proceeds for about two miles atop the ridge. There are some excellent rock formations along the top. It begins and ends at the campground, so I appreciated the lack of a need for automobile transport. 

But the big drawback to this trail: It wore the group out. All the adults figured out some way to take a nap upon returning for a late lunch. 

Sherry, Sam, Caroline, and I squeezed in one more hike that afternoon. 

In hindsight, I wish we had taken the whole group on this one in the morning. It was relatively short, quite scenic, and considerably less challenging. 

There was a vista that we could have hiked to in the adjacent state forest land but we drove to it instead. 

A failed attempt to catch sunset at High Knob Overlook on Friday.

A more successful attempt to catch it on Saturday.
It's possible to hike through the forest land to that overlook, which might be a fun thing to do in the future without kids (or with older kids). 

The small size of Worlds End is offset by the fact that there's a lot adjacent forest land suitable for hiking. It's also offset by the challenge level of the hikes. There are four overlooks and we only had a chance to get to one in the park. 

One other outdoor activity: swimming. I was surprised by how much I liked the 80-year-old CCC-built swimming hole along the creek.
I shamelessly stole this from a Google Image search and therefore have no idea who's pictured in it. 
Good trip. I hope I get to go back. 

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