September 11, 2016
425 Lane 201, Ball Lake, Hamilton, IN 46742
Hikers: Julie, Becky, Lyndy, Anita, Quint, Sarah, Luna, Jade and Pebbles
We had a big group for this hike! Our turtlets joined us along with 3 dogs and a guest who heard about our group from Earth Adventures in Fort Wayne. How cool is that? If you’re looking for outdoor gear in the Fort Wayne area, Earth Adventures is a great little store and will take the time to measure and fit your gear to make sure you have exactly what you need.
Today’s hike was at another Acres Nature Preserve, this time in Steuben County. We started our hike heading south for a double loop trail that would take us into a ravine. The wide grassy trail led us through a fairly open area of new growth woods.
Eventually our level, grassy trail entered an established hardwood area and led us to the steep steps heading into the ravine. The cool shade gave us a nice break from the hot sun.
This was the first hike in which we all brought a dog with us. Becky, Lyndy and I all hope to have a backpacking dog and all are working with young dogs. The dogs got along well and seemed to enjoy the outing. We did discover that black dogs can be exceedingly difficult to photograph since they often appear as dark blobs in the picture! And yes, all 3 dogs are black. Pebbles (Becky’s dog) and Jade (Lyndy’s dog) are both Goldendoodles. Luna (my pup) is a German Shephard/Golden Retriever mix.
Like most of the Acres Nature Preserves, the trails were well maintained and well marked. After exploring the ravine, we returned to the starting point and then headed out on the smaller, east loop.
In addition to late summer flowers, we spotted a variety of different mushrooms.
The nature preserve guide shows 1.7 miles of trails and our GPS trackers showed us hiking right at that figure. This was a fun hike for kids and dogs. The ravine gave them a little challenge and variety without being so tough as to be discouraging. It was a beautiful afternoon to be out exploring nature!