We enjoyed a delightful Spring hike in Eden’s Franklin Gulf County Park, one of Western New York’s wilderness gems. The hike start was delayed a few minutes by a fast-passing thunderstorm, but after this dramatic beginning we had perfect weather. Our knowledgeable trip leader Kim Newland took us on an unmarked trail on the other side of a familiar ravine. Views there offered a whole new perspective of the forest and revealed several new waterfalls. Along the hike we encountered about a dozen bright orange wiggly eft salamanders, the juvenile stage for the Red-spotted Newt (photo).
We explored some wooded snowmobile trails and eventually crossed the creek to the familiar light blue trail for our return trip. We were treated to a smorgasbord of wildflowers including the sublime pink lady’s slipper orchid (photo), along with white baneberry, trilliums, violets, elderberry blossoms and a mayapple flower.
Altogether we hiked over 3 miles with nearly 800 feet in elevation gain for a delightful Sunday outing that was a feast for the senses. Thanks to Kim for leading a wonderful excursion.
— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski