Sunday, February 05, 2012
Beautiful Hike - Barton's Beach - 02/04/2012
Hike: Barton's Beach Nature Preserve, Perry Co.; Sat., 02/04/2012, 10:00-12:30CST
Distance: 5 miles Rating: 4.5/5
Conditions: Very mild temps (low 70s). Light wind. Mostly cloudy. Chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
Did not take my dSLR camera today because I feared rain. Turns out I could have used it since rain held off until the end of the hike. "Hindsight is 20/20"...
Observed a huge amount of birds; mostly ducks, herons, and robins. The robins were especially numerous along the trail just before Secret Lake. Chipmunk, squirrel, and white tail deer were also among the wildlife observed. The area is thick with a vast number of cypress, tupelo, yellow poplar, and black gum trees. Noticed that the red maples were blooming! Thankfully this area was spared wind damage from the previous months storms. (Unlike the area around Maplesville, which had hundreds of trees blown down.)
Hiked several of the trails: Barton's Beach Trail, Secret Lake Trail, Eagle Trail, Yellow Poplar Trail, Devil's Walking Stick Trail, Hatchery Trail, Slough Trail, and Round Lake Trail. I particularly enjoyed the "new" Secret Lake Trail. The Judson Earth Team did a great job in laying out the trail and constructing the bridge. Kudos to them.
Secret Lake has remained a secret because of the difficulty in getting there. The new trail opens up an almost magical area. The cypress-filled lake and huge fan-palms feels like Florida to me. It is a tranquil and serene place. Thank YOU, LORD, for this place and YOUR love.
Was glad I wore my Gortex hikers -- they kept my feet dry through several soggy areas. I recommend that you always wear Gortex hiking boots while exploring this ox-bow/riparian area.
The Cahaba was up and a bit faster than normal due to the recent rains. The white sand beach was still visually stunning.