Robin and I took a hike at Rocky Ridge County Park on Saturday.  Typical of my usual self, I started us on a path that lead into the valley and away from the more populated part of the park.  Purposefully, I chose to lead Robin down some of the more technical trails to avoid other hikers and bikers.  Not too far into our trek we were commenting on both the beauty of the exposed forest and just how careful we needed to be as we made our way down the rocky trails which were now covered by all of the recently fallen leaves.

Taking a hike with Robin at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 23, 2019

Fall in Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful...probably my favorite season of the year.  The color of the foliage...the low sun angle...and the crisp autumn air are all things that I love and look forward to.  Fall is also a time for those who hike and mountain bike in Penn's Woods to tread just a little more carefully. As beautiful as those freshly fallen leaves are...often it is virtually impossible to discern how deep they are and what rocks and roots lie below the newly fallen surface. All this is assuming that  you can even locate the trail that you know is there!

As I was wrapping up a ride at Rocky Ridge I had to stop and take a picture of the beauty of the trail and surrounding forest.  -- November 8, 2019

Taking a break while riding at Rocky Ridge.  The layers of newly fallen leaves are quite evident.  -- November 12, 2019

Carefully navigating the leaves and rocks that make up Trail 7 at Rocky Ridge County Park.  Picture taken by Tim Sindlinger -- November 3, 2017

Looking for the trail that I know is there!  Photo taken by Chris Keller  -- October 25, 2019

Navigating the rocks (and the leaves) on Trail 7 in Rocky Ridge County Park.  Chris Keller and Dave Raymond -- November 26, 2019

The Autumn sun illuminating the trail beneath the freshly fallen foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 15, 2019

Without their leaves, the naked trees allow you to see deeper into the woods making the surrounding forest seem significantly larger.  This illusion sometimes makes it even more difficult to see the already harder to see trails.  Thankfully, Mother Nature has a unique way of helping.   Often the bare trees allows autumn's low sun angle to filter through the trees and seemingly highlight the trails hidden below the leaves.  It's actually pretty cool...and very surreal. So, as you head out there these last couple weeks of Fall, take in as much beauty as you can...and make sure to tread carefully.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I was carefully treading at Rocky Ridge with Robin, I passed my yearly mileage goal...(2019 hiking and biking miles in 2019)...way too early.  -- November 23, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- November 27, 2019

Nothing like treating yourself to a  a root beer float for dinner at the Bobcat Creamery for dinner after a day in the woods.  -- November 23, 2019

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Here are the GARMIN map and data from the ride featured in this post.  #OptOutside

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