September 19, 2016
Salamonie Lake, 9214 West Lost Bridge Road, West Andrew, IN 46702-9731
Hikers: Julie, Becky and Lyndy
As we were rapidly nearing our Appalachian Trail Section Hike, we wanted to get in one longer day hike with fully loaded packs. Bloodroot Trail, listed at 13 miles, seemed like the perfect choice. The trail is located at Salamonie Lake which is part of the Indiana State Parks system. There is an entry fee unless you have an Indiana State Park pass.
The morning started out chilly but warmed up quickly. The beginning of the trail was a mixture of grass and dirt with the grassy areas being somewhat overgrown and very wet. It didn’t take long before our feet were soaked.
This particular trail is a multiuse trail and is very well marked. It was a little unusual, however, to see road signs on a hiking trail!
At times, the trail bordered private fields. We all found the sign below quite amusing!
The day warmed quickly and we were very happy when the trail entered wooded areas despite the multitude of mosquitoes and gnats. Spiders were also in abundance judging from the ubiquitous spider webs. The morning dew coupled with the sun breaking through the mist made the spider web below look like a music CD suspended in the air.
Since we were getting ready for a multi day backpack trip, it made sense to us to stop for lunch at the backpack camp. Even though we were following the direction signs the “right” way, we came to campsite #2 first. Hmmmm… This site had 2 separate camps with fire rings and picnic tables. The site overlooked the reservoir but there was no access to the lake. Water would have to be packed in if camping. We discussed coming back to camp on a later trip.
As we continued down the trail, we came to better views of the lake. Campsite #1, the second camp we came to, had better views. Campsite #2 had more room for larger groups.
The wet weather meant lots of mushrooms to see along the trail. At one time, I tried to learn to identify fungi but found it to be extremely difficult. Now I just worry about identifying morels! I do still enjoying looking at and photographing interesting fungus.
Looks like someone was practicing their shelter building skills! Rather impressive!
Evenutally our wooded trail circled back to the open grassy area where we started. Although the trail is marked as 13 miles, we found it closer to 12. We talked to a worker and were told that there had been some reroutes due to flooding. It is a perfect distance for an easy overnight backpack or a beginners outing. The trail was mostly level and quite easy to follow. It would make for a beautiful fall hike!