Panther Creek State Park, Part 1

I’d been planning to post about Panther Creek State Park after returning home from my dad’s, but so much happened that pushed it to the back burner.

The first day I went it was mostly a grey, cloudy day, but the park’s scenery was gorgeous so I didn’t mind the lack of sun too much. I parked beside a picnic area at the top of one of the park’s highest hills, and not far away was the entrance to a trail that led to an overlook. The trail was sometimes hard to spot because of the thick fall foliage covering the ground, but there were arrows placed on trees here and there to indicate which direction to go so I had no real issue staying on track.

The overlook was certainly lovely, and as the trail was supposed to be a loop I decided I’d continue on, which led me on a wending way down the hills. I think I may have gone onto an intersecting trail at some point, because instead of looping back around, I found myself at the bottom of the tall hill I’d parked on, needing to either retrace my steps or climb back up via the road. I picked the road.

I’ve spent 30 years living in the flatlands, and my heart and lungs informed me that they were pretty sure I was running a 10k not climbing a hill. When I got to the spot where the overlook trail had started, I had to sit and wheeze for a bit. I messaged A and H about my climb and how I might not make it back to my car and H said if they hadn’t heard from me in a week they’d send a search party. I’d seen elderly hikers and joggers breezily ascending the hill earlier in the day so I’m sure one of them would have come along eventually, taken pity on me and dragged my sorry butt to the top.

I did eventually manage to get back to my car and drove to an overlook that was beside the road instead of requiring a trail to reach. The clouds were beginning to break up, allowing sun and blue sky to show through. I snapped a few pictures, then drove to a parking lot near the bottom of the hills so I could look at some easier trails, but discovered I was still exhausted so after snapping a few more pictures of a creek and bridge I returned to my car and then drove back to my dad’s.

These are a mix of pictures from my two visits to the park. The second visit involved a lot more sunshine. I’ll have a couple more posts to cover other areas of the park.

View from the first overlook.
View from the overlook beside the road.

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