Peter waited patiently as I slipped on my sneakers. I presented his harness to him and he ducked his head into the gear. He was ready! We stepped out of the camper together and were met with the cool, crisp air. I took a deep breath. Ah, the perfect temperature for a run. Peter seemed to agree as he set a quick pace for our warm-up walk.
We walked through the campground towards West Launch Road. Suddenly, the running app on my phone chirped “Begin Running”. Our warm-up walk was over. I decided that we would run to the marina and back to the campground. I wondered if anyone else would be out and about as we jogged passed the environmental center.
As we approached the marina, the fog that covered the sails and canopies of the boats started lifting off the lake. Suddenly, a Double-crested Cormorant took flight. It was a breath-taking view. The cormorant swooped through the mist and out of sight. I briefly thought of ending our run to sit on the docks but we continued back to our temporary abode.
The morning run left me energized and inspired. It was the most wonderful start to the week! In the afternoon, craving more adventure, we took a hike to see some of the features of Bald Eagle.
As we entered the trail head of Swamp Oak Trail, we were almost immediately greeted by a massive tree. The swamp oak is the largest tree in the park, measuring 18.5 feet in circumference in 2021. It may also be one of the oldest trees in the area. Peter posed politely in front of the tree. He looked like a little acorn compared to the massive hardwood.
After enjoying the swamp oak, we hiked to Skyline Drive Trail. The trail weaved through the trees and up to a ridge. The forest seemed dense but there was little underbrush, which allowed us to move off the trail for a pair of fellow canine hikers. Peter was in his glory. He scampered through the woods with his tail swaying back and forth like a metronome. The physical challenge and array of scents appeared to enliven the little hound.
When we reached the end of Skyline Drive Trail, we scurried across the road to Butterfly Trail. We began our descent along the steep, grassy decline. Lush wildflowers lined the trail and created a dense border of color. Monarchs fluttered across the trail, from flower to flower. Smaller butterflies flew ahead as if to guide us along the trail towards Frog Pond.
When we reached Frog Pond, it was difficult to tell where the field ended and the pond began. The small pool of water was covered by lily pads. In fact, there was little to no water to be seen! We stopped briefly to give the dogs a drink of water and take in the views. Peter sniffed through the foliage as I took pictures of the scenery. We soon proceeded back the way we came and arrived at the campground in time for a post-hike snack and some rest.
In the evening, Peter was ready for one last walk so we walked along West Launch Trail to reach the boat ramp. The trail offered charming views of the lush fields and grand mountains. The boat ramp had multiple picnic areas and lots of parking spaces for trailers. We made plans to go boating the next day and got some much needed sleep after a busy day.