Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Hikers usher in new year with brisk walk in park

Hikers go up a hill on the First Day Hike at Turkey Run State Park in Parke County, Ind.   Jim Avelis, Tribune-Star/AP photo

Participants in the First Day Hike at Turkey Run State Park in Parke County, Ind., climb an icy, steep part of Trail 1 during a hike along Sugar Creek to the Narrows covered bridge Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Tribune-Star, Jim Avelis)

By Lisa Trigg
Terre Haute Tribune-Star

MARSHALL, Ind. (AP) — Trekking across snow-covered trails along the banks of Sugar Creek, a group of hikers bundled in boots and warm coats looked to the skies above Turkey Run State Park, hoping to catch sight of the eagles that nest nearby.

“Several bald eagles stay along our river in the winter,” interpretive naturalist Amber Schlaughterbeck told the group of 20-plus hikers as they stepped out on a First Day Hike in search of America’s national bird.

With the temperatures in the 20s, the hike on the first day of 2013 was a healthy way to start the new year, and a chance to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and connect with family and friends. It was a two-hour trek past hemlock groves, old-growth walnuts and sycamores, walking in the shadows of sandstone and pioneer history.

The natural beauty of Indiana’s second oldest state park prompted frequent stops and some discussion about local history.

The trek started at the state park’s nature center and continued along the southern banks of Sugar Creek to the eastern edge of the park near the Narrows Covered Bridge. Schlaughterbeck — a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College — explained the geologic history throughout the park. About 225 million years ago, the Michigan River flooded the area, bringing rock and sand that was compacted and became the sandstone cliffs visible today.

The Wisconsin Glacier that covered the area about 10,000 years ago carved the park’s creek and canyons as the glacier melted.

Flooding and depositing of sand and rock continues in current times, as evidenced by the disappearance of the lower three of the main trail’s 70 steps that descend into the Rocky Hollow Falls Canyon Nature Preserve.

Along the southern bank of the creek, several huge black walnut trees rise like thick sentinels with gnarled bark and high branches carrying a remnant of last summer’s foliage. Some of the trees could be 200 to 300 years old, Schlaughterbeck told the Tribune-Star (http://bit.ly/ViPH6k ).

Pileated woodpeckers sought meals in the tall sycamore trees. Animal tracks mixed with boot treads on the snowy trails. Some hollowed out trees showed prior use as animal shelters. And a kingfisher skimmed the top of the creek water.

Among those stopping for a break at the Narrows Covered Bridge were Mike and Kathy Miller, natives of West Terre Haute who are now retired educators.

The Millers had intended to be in Colorado to start the new year, but the winter weather changed their flight plans. Instead, the couple joined the First Day Hike after reading about it in the Tribune-Star.

Kathy likened the hike to a past field trip onto the Wabash River for some of her students in human development.

“We took them out on the river in airboats, and they got a new perspective of it,” she said.

Mike agreed it was good to get the students out of their comfort zones.

“I’ve told them that West Terre Haute is not the hub of the universe,” Mike said laughing. For that reason, the couple organized a trip to Alaska for nine high school seniors in 2011 to get a look at the world away from home.

Tuesday’s hike was also about getting out of their comfort zone. The Millers said they had not been to Turkey Run State Park for about 35 years, and they were looking forward to an eagle sighting.

The hike continued to the historic Lusk Home, built by Salmon and Mary Lusk in 1841 to replace the cabin they built when they arrived on Sugar Creek in 1823. While only the house remains of the original homestead, along with a covered bridge built in 1882, the Lusk family also founded a mill, tavern and general store to bring commerce to the remote area of Parke County.

Still looking overhead, the group saw no sign of eagles, but did pass a protected bat habitat.

The Lusk family coal mine was founded in the late 1800s and was in operation until the 1920. The entrance to the mine was gated in August 2000, both to protect the bats that moved into the dank, dark abandoned mine, and to keep curious humans from harm.

The hike continued along marked trails, including several steps and some rugged rocks, before trekking along the north bank of the creek and returning to the suspension bridge near the starting point of the hike.

“Well, we didn’t see any eagles,” Schlaughterbeck said about two hours after the hike began, “but if you go west to Sunset Point and sit there and wait, that’s usually where I see them.”

The area around the park has seven nests and a roosting site, she said, and those nests will be featured in the Eagles In Flight Weekend set for Feb. 1-3 at Turkey Run State Park.

That sixth annual celebration of eagles will also feature live eagle, hawk and owl programs, as well as a silent auction, tours and balloon rides.

Tuesday’s First Day Hike was part of a nationwide celebration of state park systems. First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Mass., and this is the first year that all 50 state park systems sponsored the program. Indiana had hikes at 20 state park and lake properties on Tuesday.

For more information about Turkey Run State Park and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, go online to www.state.in.us/dnr.

___

Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Frank, Peterman, Davis Bicycles! get us from here to there

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3

Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Seniors can get tips for getting around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
School has garden plots for rent

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Check out the night sky

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Are we there yet?: Self-reflections of a would-be stage mom

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8Comments are off for this post

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Urban forest under siege

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Drought care for our trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

 
UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Giants beat L.A. in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Red Union Blue inks record deal

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6