We went to a state park that's about 1.5-2 hours from here. It was really nice, there were nice walking trails (different degrees of difficulty) that you could do with or without kiddos, a nice stream to play in with a small waterfall and some historic building ruins as well as several nice playgrounds and a nature center. We figured it would be a nice day trip to take before school starts up again.
(Sorry, but the dates on the pictures are wrong again.)
This was the stream we played in (there were a few holes that were deep enough for the kids to sit and play in).
This is the waterfall. I don't know any of these people, they were already there when we got there. Lots of us had the same idea to enjoy the cool water because it was so hot.
This was taken once we were closer to the waterfall. You could climb up the rocks of the waterfall to get on the top ledge. I bet it's really gorgeous when it rains and there is more water but it was pretty even with the small amount of water running.
This shows you how far down the creek bed actually is. On the top right you can see the second, lower, observation deck. That deck is pretty much even with the bank, and then the bank is still several stair cases lower than the road/walkway.
I just thought the bark on this tree was really pretty. :)
This was probably my favorite part. It is the remains of an old homestead from the early 1800s. I took a picture of the remains of the home/spring house but for some reason the camera has eaten it and refuses to recognize it's format, even though it's the camera that took the darn picture! So, sorry, no picture of the house and spring house. They were built the same way the barn was, though, except they were dug into the ground some, so they both looked like a stacked rock lined square hole in the ground. The ground in the spring house did look a tiny bit more moist than the house ground, so maybe that spring is still there, but we haven't had rain in a long time, so it's got to be very low if it still exists at all.
Here are some pictures of the remains of the huge barn they built. The literature said a full working team of horses could turn around in a circle in the middle of it (working threshers, etc.) and not touch the stalls or any of the walls. Personally, as someone who has tried to stack stones at our other house, I'm in awe of their talent to stack these in the early 1800s and they are still, in 2011, standing strong and tall. There was only one column (which had been part of a set of doorways across one side) that had fallen and it was near a slope, so I'm sure soil erosion did it in. The entire rest of the huge barn was in place just as it was 180+ years ago.
A close up of one wall
A wall and corner of the barn
When we got to the nature center there was a wildlife rehabilitation center there doing a demonstration. They had an owl with them and a crow. The owl had been hit by a car and lost an eye and had wing damage (although that didn't stop him from trying to fly off several times...lol) and the crow had a birth defect of one foot and wing. They asked us not to take pictures, so you'll just have to trust me that the owl was absolutely beautiful. The crow was, well, a crow, but they really are very smart. Too smart. They said this one had about 10 things it could 'say' (repeat back to you) but we only heard it say Hello and Bye. Still pretty neat, though. I gave each kid money to donate to them. I love wildlife and so that was the best money I'd spent in a long time.