Thursday, February 26 - 2009

The weather was delightful, in the mid 50s, humid and cloudy. Not bad for a late winter day. So, needing a change of scenery and a little peace and quiet I decided to drive down to Tygart Lake State Park for an afternoon walk in the woods.

The park is about 30 miles south of Morgantown, West Virginia in Taylor County, near the once booming town of Grafton.

The focus of the Park is a 1,750 (normal pool) acre lake which was built in 1935 as a flood control project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The lake is popular with boaters and fisherman, but because of winter draw down is sees very little visitation in the winter. Translation: no noisy motor boats, jet skis or blaring radios.

Prior to my departure from home I had printed out a map of the park which included the hiking trails. Betsy and I had previously hiked the Dogwood Trail near the lodge so I decided to visit an area new to me near the pic-nic area and campground. Here I found the trail heads for both the Ridge (.75mi) and Woodland (1.50mi) Trails.

I made a loop of the hike by starting on the Ridge trail at pic-nic site 1 and then picked up the Woodland Trail near the Park office. This trail ends at the campground. I then walked the road back to my car. This made a nice hike of about 3.5 miles.

The trails were steep in a few places with a couple of slippery spots. They are blazed the entire length and are easily followed. There is some recent and old blow down across the trails, but these areas are easily walked around.

I am looking forward to visiting in April to see what the wild flower bloom looks like.

Below are some snapshots I took my with "little camera", a Canon SD800 IS Elph. A number of the photos are a little blurry as I pushed the limit of both the macro mode and the steadiness of my hand. All photos were shot with the white balance set to "cloudy". This really helped get a good representation of the true colors.


Click on these photos for a higher resolution.
Will be slow with dial-up connection.


A small hollow midway along the Ridge Trail. This looked very promising for Spring wild flowers.


Bark detail of Sourwood Oxydendrum arboreum.

This is Broom fork moss, also know as Windblown Moss (Dicranum scoparium) and Delicate Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum). They were growing on a large boulder in one of the small ravines the trail crosses.


The so called "Pubic grass". There is another name for this grass as well, but it is a bit on the crude side.


Tree huggers.


Pileated Woodpecker work.


An interesting mix of lichen and moss.


This copse of trees is located near Park HQ in a bend in the road close to the campground gate. As yet, I have not identified them.
Below are details from some of the trees.

NOTE: I recieved and email from Brennon O'Sullivan, Assistant Superintendent at Tygart Lake State Park identifying the trees above as Catalpa.










I should have collected a twig to bring home for identification.


Tulip tree seed "wings".


An old, upturned section of a tree stump.


An new, upturned section of a tree stump.


A nice old 'pecker hole.


Aerial roots on a Poison Ivy (Rhus toxicodendron) vine .




Back to TOP