May 21, 2016

North Country Trail: Old Quarry

There are two crossings of Quarry Road on the old Lehigh Valley Railroad portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT).  On my last hike in this area, the northern Quarry Road crossing was my turnaround point.  Because it was a school day hike, I didn't have time to continue 1.4 miles further south to the second Quarry Road crossing, from which there is a lengthy road walk to the next off-road section.  Rather than orphan the short remnant, I decided to bring Frankie along for this portion.  However, I knew he could handle a little more than 2.8 miles, especially since the old railroad bed sections are so flat.  I decided we'd continue on through my favorite portion of the last hike, making the bench with the lovely view our turnaround point.  That would give Frankie a chance to rest, and let him hug the railroad crossing sign.  The kid loves signs almost as much as he loves sticks!

So I parked along the shoulder at the intersection of Quarry Road and Ingalls Corner Road, and followed the NCT blazes west through a hedgerow between two farm fields.  After 0.3 or 0.4 miles, the trail descends steeply over a limestone escarpment.  The trail continues north from here via the old rail bed, passing an old quarry and an abandoned house before reaching the second Quarry Road crossing.  From here it is 0.7 miles to the scenic bench, making the round trip hike 4.2 miles.   

The hike was a great success.  Rain was forecast, which excited Frankie to no end -- he was actually disappointed that the odds were only 50%.  I've traditionally restricted him to fair weather hikes, but we have a trip to Scotland planned, and will most likely be hiking in the rain there.  I wanted to ease him into it, so we headed out with my camera bag stuffed with rain gear.  It did rain, a passing downpour, but I needn't have worried.  He loved it!  And the sticks?  He carried them all the way back to the car, and carefully arranged them on the front porch when we got home.  This is starting to become an issue actually; all the sticks are starting to block entry to the house.  I think I'll try to convince him to build a house for Eeyore up in the woods behind the house... put all those special sticks to good use.  

the trail through the hedgerow

descending the escarpment
the old quarry
abandoned house

bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

approaching the Quarry Road crossing

view from the bench
a little boy's treasures

"Good that I found all my stick friends!"

climbing back up the escarpment

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