Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lee State Natural Area. Part IV. A Stroll Around the Park Office Grounds.

Click here for the first post in this series.

The terrain here at Lee State Natural Area is quite level. That makes for level campsites and relatively level public walking areas. An important feature for those of us who aren’t quite as nimble as we once were.

path 1 Here, for example, is a shot of the path leading from the picnic/recreation area behind the Park Office to the boardwalk. This is about as difficult as the terrain gets here. In other words, there’s lots to see, easily accessible. Even with a cane, walker, or wheeled chair! Or, as one of the Rangers pointed out, with a baby stroller!

path 2 Here’s another view of the path out around the artesian-fed series of lakes to the rear of the Park Office and picnic/recreation area. It’s level, solid, and quite wide. Not a concrete sidewalk, to be sure. But safe enough for most everyone.

Now, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing here to see other than nicely maintained lawn and pools of water. Not at all.

swampy area 1 Even from the most level walking path it’s possible to look right over into the swampy area so characteristic of this Park. To watch the birds and wildlife, as well as to see a good sample of the plant life of this unusual ecosystem. We’ll consider the board walk later on.

pool 1 The series of cascading pools itself is quite interesting. There are four of them, if memory serves. Dug into gradually sloping ground. With one draining into another. From the largest at the top that appears to be fed by artesian wells. I’ll have to ask for more information about them.

pool 2 Each pool is full of life – plant and animal. Here is one of several turtles I saw sunning themselves on protruding logs. They’re cautious creatures. Splashing into the water at the sound of approaching footsteps.

pool 3 I couldn’t tell how deep the pools are. But as you can see in this photo, Park personnel seem to be able to regulate the depth of the water. A passer-by told me that the fishing is good in the largest upper pool. Though I didn’t see any fish while walking by.

bridge Here’s a spillway with a nice stone footbridge that looks to me like the work of the CCC. Will have to check to make sure.

well 1 Most impressive for me, though, were the artesian springs that feed these lakes. Bubbling merrily out of the earth with no mechanical assistance. I have a short video of this well that I’ll try to include when this is published.

Quite a remarkable sight. The stone structure surrounding the well pipe looks to be of CCC vintage. It’s not. The water from the spring is clear, but highly acidic. So Park personnel have to rebuild the picturesque stone structures surrounding these wells from time to time.

moss on trees So, when you visit Lee State Park, be sure to save time for a casual walk through the recreation/picnic area behind the Park. And for a stroll around the artesian-fed pools as well. It’s a great introduction to what you will see in this remarkable Park.

Stay tuned. More on Lee State Natural Area to come.

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