Winter hiking was never on my list of to do’s so I am selective on where I go. Chatfield Hollow State Park met my core attributes.
I do a little homework before I go on a winter hike. First I prefer those with paved trails just to be a bit safer from icy falls. Secondly, I like locations which have known destination photo opportunities (e.g., a covered bridge, a historical reference). Finally, water views or overlooks are always a plus!
Chatfield Hollow has a lake and brooks, a covered bridge as well as a waterwheel. It also has a “fat mans squeeze” although I have not yet had the pleasure.
To my surprise, when I arrived the parking lot overflowed to the road on both sides and quite a bit notwithstanding the cold. I have learned how to dress in several layers for these hikes as I can get warm along the way but at first I’m always cold. As mentioned above for this winter hike I decided to stay on the main paved road for today and it offered me loads of fun in and of itself (black line in the map above).
Starting up the path there was a lake with these falls at its base with the house reflecting on the water beneath the arch of pine trees.
From here you can go to either side of the lake for a paved path ultimately to the covered bridge. Having seen so many shots of covered bridges, I try and challenge myself to take a unique shot of some type. I decided to take out my lens ball to try and capture both the bridge and it’s reflection in the ball, ultimately turning one covered bridge into four! To do this of course I needed to balance myself on the rocks in the brook and remove my long winter coat so it didn’t get wet. This was at the amusement of some onlookers and I expected to see myself on Facebook as the crazy old lady with a lens ball. Hey but I got the shot! 1,2,3,4 red covered bridges and I didn’t fall into the icy water and met a few smiling folks along the way.
On the other side of the bridge the brook babbled over the rocks. I leaned over and placed the camera as close to the splashes to try and capture the feeling. This is one of the main reasons I keep my old camera going as I wouldn’t dare do it with a new one.
What do you think? Can you sense the cold babbling and splashing water in the picture below?
The road continued to the water wheel. For next time I will research the history but for today I found that I could move the wheel with just a push from my hand and tried to take some shots in a more dramatic setting.
As I noticed kids walking along the wall in front of the wheel I decided to find out if I can achieve any unique perspective from that vantage point.
Indeed there was with this compass that appeared along the wall directing me to an icy water snake slithering down a waterfall.
I then headed back to the car and decided to held to the shore to Hammonassett State Park for a sunset in Madison. On a warmer day I would also suggest a stop at the Madison Beach hotel as well for a bite along the beach. Refer to separate blogs.
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