14 December 2013

Saratoga Sand Plains - 12 Dec 2013

The past few weeks have been quite stressful, and despite my best efforts the stress is starting to catch up with me.  Yesterday I decided to go for a quick (1 mile) run on my lunch break to try and get that stress under control.  It didn't really work, since I'm still stressed out, but I did get a chance to finish exploring the portion of the Sand Plains adjacent to Route 50.  The yellow (horse) trail is a 0.8 mile loop that takes the walker or runner around a mostly open field.  There's another loop possible to the south, which is about 0.9 miles; a runner can link the two of these together in a figure 8 or a big loop, if they so desire.

I don't think I've done a report on the Sand Plains yet, but they seem to be primarily the remains of old farms that are being allowed to return to wild growth.  There are a few trails available, and at least two trail heads with parking.  I've only parked off of Route 50, but there's a small parking lot off of Scout Road, too.  This land sits adjacent to the Camp Saratoga land, with the train tracks dividing the two.  I saw the tracks on my run this week, along the yellow trail.

This is what the view from the Route 50 lot looked like this week:
Saratoga Sand Plains

When you first walk in to the Sand Plains, you get a choice of right or left.  It basically works out to a loop, with a few junctions thrown in along the way.  If you go left, and walk to the first T, then look back, this is what you'll see.
Saratoga Sand Plains

If you go right at that junction, you'll end up on a spur trail that in theory goes over to Scout Road (though I haven't confirmed it yet).  If you go left, you'll immediately come to another junction, which is where the two loops come together (the squishy part of the figure 8).  Looking back from that junction, you see this:
No Horses

One final note of caution.  There are a few times during the year, generally between May and July, when you won't be able to move very fast along the trail, due to the plethora of tiny blue butterflies underfoot.
Karner Blue Butterflies

Karner Blue Butterflies
The Karner Blues were everywhere that day in July.  It was a challenge to walk without stepping on them, and a delight to be in their company.

That's about it.  I have several more reports to write, all older than this, so this blog is going to run backwards for a short while.  It'll be like we're in the TARDIS.  Except I'm not quite sure that I'm bigger on the inside...

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