away for the weekend: hiking hamilton falls

Monday, April 23, 2012

hiking hamilton falls

Last weekend was a perfect weekend. Have you ever taken one of those magazine quizzes to find out something like - "What is your decorating style?" One of the questions will be “Describe your perfect weekend” and the choices will be something like:

a) Fly to Paris on a private jet for a weekend shopping spree
b) Go on a Yoga retreat at a secluded luxury spa for a weekend of pampering
c) Be a guest at the Academy Awards and party the night away with the stars

You get the point.
Yeah, my weekend was nothing like that.

My weekend began on Friday morning – waking up to the sound of birds outside my window and enjoying a cup coffee on the deck.

After flying home from San Diego on the red-eye (by way of Seattle) the day before, this felt like my own slice of heaven - and it set the tone for a very laid-back sort of weekend.

Friday was an unusually warm April day for Vermont, and perfect for hiking. After lazing most of the morning away, we headed to the deli counter of our favorite village market (D&K Grocery in Jamaica, Vermont) to pick up some sandwiches and water - necessary nourishment for our trek. Jamaica State Park doesn’t officially open for the season until May 4 (we didn't realize this at the time - the big "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON" sign clued us in), so we drove over to Ball Mountain Lake - which leads to the same trails.
Our hike began at the Ball Mountain Dam

As you can see, our incredibly dry winter has led to very low water levels.

Much of the hike follows the West River -

(yep, that's Greg peaking over the railing)

Even this far north -

woodland flowers are showing life

After hiking more than two miles (one mile uphill)

we arrived at the base of Hamilton Falls

Ummmmmm, yeah (or should I say, Ohmmm yea), Vermont tends to attract new-age hippies.
But this was the perfect spot to eat those sandwiches.

The only problem with beginning a hike at the top of the dam...

Yep, that's right - we have to go back up to the top...
We knew this as we walked DOWN the switchbacks at the beginning...

but somehow, it takes on a different perspective from this angle (oh yea, and after hiking a few miles).
Next time, we're starting at Jamaica State Park and hiking to the top of the falls.

One more view of Spring on the West River

I guess the fresh air made me a bit camera-happy.

A map of the hiking trails at Jamaica State park are attached here.

Thanks for dropping in!

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