I’ve written about Marsh Creek State Park before, but its more than just a place to see a Viking ship or attend a star party. Its also a great place to get in a boat or, as I spent part of this past Sunday, hike.
Marsh Creek is a state park surrounding a large man-made lake near Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It’s located just west of PA Route 100, the informal line between the Philadelphia area and the rest of the Commonwealth, or what I call Westsylvania. There are two main parking areas for visitors, the East Boat Launch and West Boat Launch, and a small gravel lot near the south end of the lake at the dam. For most of my visits I’ve parked at the East Boat Launch area, as it has great views of the lake, a flat walking trail leading to some slightly more challenging hiking, lots of parking space, bathrooms, and boat rental in season. The one drawback is that in the summer on weekends this area can be very crowded.
But with the nip of autumn in the air crowds were not a problem today. I parked in the highest lot and set off without poles, taking a gravel park access road down the hill partway and then turning off onto a trail that descended to the lake.
I then followed the yellow blazed trail along this finger of the lake, drinking in the view, noting the changing of the leaf color, and hearing the crunch of dead leaves underfoot. Autumn comes again, I thought. The color should be at peak the second and third weeks of October. But what I saw was pretty enough.
After a mile and a half of this hike I ventured onto the flat walking trail near the boat launch. Its the same gravel access road I started on, but due to repair work a segment is closed. Still, the part that is open is a nice little walk, flat, with some great lake views. And the access road is attractive in itself.
I finished the hike with two and a half miles in, and the feeling that John Donne was correct when he wrote that in Heaven it is always autumn.