I wrote a year ago, in one of my first posts, this description: “Mont Alto State Park, opened in 1902, is the
oldest park in the PA DCNR system, and its one of the smallest. I have an unexplained fondness for this park. It’s like one of your grandfather’s cufflinks – old, cute, small, but useless when you think about it. Still, I like the park, and visit when I can.

“The park is on Route 233 on South Mountain, a few miles north of the Mason-Dixon line. The park consists of a picnic area, restrooms, a play area that’s seen better days, a bridge over the West Branch of the Antietam Creek – yes, THAT Antietam Creek – and a carousel shell. Mont Alto was originally
an amusement park, and the roof of the carousel was used to cover a raised picnic area.”

I’m still fond of Mont Alto, and I had lunch there on my first day in Michaux State Forest. This time my post-meal hike was short again, although that wasn’t by choice. I tried a trail from the parking lot across Route 233, but after a few hundred feet there was a blowdown, and I didn’t feel like bushwacking around it. I had just read the park warning about the protected status of the timber rattler, and I took the warning “don’t tread on me” seriously. So I backtracked and once again took photos around snowmelt-swollen Antietam Creek.That combined with lunch “under the big top” of the picnic area made for a pleasant hour.