The Northwest River Trail

Earlier this week I walked the Northwest River Trail between Columbia and Chickies Rock. The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the trail is paved, the northern segment from Bainbridge to Falmouth is largely undeveloped and best suited for walking, hiking, or mountain biking. The route now contains a trove of historic iron furnaces and building ruins, a canal lock, sections of the original towpath and canal bed, and an abandoned railroad tunnel.

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The History & Haunts of Chickies Rock

Located between the boroughs of Columbia and Marietta is Chickies Rock. At over 422 acres, it is the county’s second-largest regional park. Its most notable feature is the massive outcropping of quartzite rock towering 200 feet above the river. The vista offers impressive views of York County, the borough of Marietta, and farmlands of northwestern Lancaster County.

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Bike paths and walking trails now lead visitors to the sites of interest in Chickies Rock County Park. But one thing seems to run through its long history, unbidden and dark: the supernatural. Locals will agree that the view from Chickies Rock is indeed spectacular and that the history and geology of the site are interesting. But along with the beauty, science, and history are tales that encompass the mysterious: legends of curses, ghosts and strange monsters.

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Lake Grubb Nature Park

It’s been a little while since I’ve uploaded any new hiking blogs. I haven’t been able to get out as much after being diagnosed with a Chronic Illness that’s known to cause widespread pain. As time passes, I am slowly learning my new physical abilities and limitations. I needed a trail that wasn’t too strenuous, and one that could help me build back my physical strength. The local Lake Grubb Nature Park trail is perfect for that. It’s a 1.3-mile loop circling Lake Grubb. There are a few inclines, but nothing too steep. This trail is perfect to get me back out there. I know it’ll take time to get back to my previous physical capabilities. It’ll just take a lot of work and patience on my part.

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Ocean Trails Reserve Palos Verdes

This amazing place I want to show you is called the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a unique area located about 30 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles.

This is a hike where the payoff comes with every step you take, not just in a hero view from a summit perch. The ocean side trails of Rancho Palos Verdes keep the dramatic Pacific in sight—and its breezes on your skin—all along the 5 miles of clearly marked paths of the Ocean Trails Reserve. They take you from the sand on the shore to a balcony view of the blue horizon.

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Chiquito Falls Hike

Chiquito Falls, named after former ranger Kenneth Munhall’s horse, was an ideal opportunity to see a seasonal waterfall, however, in recent years the falls have all but dried up. Now, what remains is the opportunity to rock climb and see plenty of Great Basin Fence Lizards along the way. Despite the water shortage, the 9-mile out and back hike to Chiquito Falls is still worth exploring for its beautiful scenery and grueling workout.

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Lake Elsinore views & history

Originally known as Laguna Grande by early Spanish explorers, Lake Elsinore has a rich history in the region, used as a rest stop to camp and water animals for trappers, prospectors of the Gold Rush, and for the great explorer of the Wild West, John Charles Frémont.

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Balboa Park San Diego

Balboa Park is situated on a bluff overlooking downtown San Diego and its magnificent, natural bay is one of the most spectacular parks in the world. Built for the first World Fair, today, you can stroll along the El Prado pedestrian walkway and visit the Spanish-Renaissance style architecture, and shaded alcoves, with fountains and fabulous street performers in every nook and cranny. Balboa Park is quintessential California at its best.

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The Los Angeles Zoo: Then and Now

The Griffith Park Zoo was originally opened in 1912, amusingly built on the former location of Griffith J. Griffith’s old ostrich farm. It was opened with 15 animals, and due to lack of funding; it opened without any cages, simply stockades to keep the animals in, which were inadequate for several of the species, kept on site.

Stories claim that the history of the zoo was rocky, and it was always struggling. For example, in 1916, the zoo was apparently leaking sewage into the L.A. River, and later during World War I, a meat shortage made it hard to properly care for the animals, forcing the zoo to substitute horse meat for beef, leading to the deaths of many of the meat eating animals, particularly the big cats. Luckily the zoo was free which kept visitors coming.

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Wandering the Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Huntington Beach, California, that features beautiful wild flowers and many different species of birds! You can also find several species of marine life, reptiles, and mammals while exploring the reserve. Bolsa Chica is also home to Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, both of which are venomous. Click here for more information and the Do’s and Don’ts when walking in rattlesnake territory.

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Three Years Later

Three years ago, I decided to sell everything and leave the small river town I called home. I wanted to see the country instead of being stuck in just one part of it. I wanted to feel the energies of new places and different people, and I wanted to experience the glories of history. My adventures are a constant struggle between fear and courage, but we humans are explorers and pioneers, and we find our inner strength when the end state is the absolute unknown.

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