Lakes, Trails, Nature and Wildlife, All Waiting to be Discovered at Grafton Lakes State Park

Friday, August 24, 2018

In the words of Vincent Van Gogh, "If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere."  That is certainly the truth when it comes to Grafton Lakes State Park. Perhaps my last post, showcasing the large assortment of fungi, didn't impress you, but perhaps today's will. I'm guessing that the majority of visitors to Grafton are families and children who visit for a day of swimming, playing on the shore or perhaps to do some kayaking. Grafton certainly is a beautiful place for any of that. Some visitors come to fish from the shore of the smaller lakes in the park. The day we visited this week two grey-haired ladies were just setting off in a small row boat. An hour or so later, we saw them still drifting about fishing poles poised for a catch. Besides the water to attract visitors, summer provides the perfect opportunity to hike the trails in the wooded areas of the park. While I don't enjoy hiking, and the fear of ticks keeps me from exploring by foot, I always love a drive through the park using the dirt road that used to be labeled 'winter entrance'. That sign is gone now, and only the street sign, N Long Pond Road, remains. It's not the best access - gravel and dirt, narrow with just barely enough width for two cars to pass - but it's lined with beauty of all kinds. We especially love it in early spring after the snow melts and things are beginning to come alive again, and also in the fall. You can find blog posts featuring both seasons in my Directory. If you're like my mom and have a thing for trees, you'll be in heaven because there's a treasure trove of standing and fallen trees, trees covered in lichen and moss, mushroom and split bark. It's a sort of museum of trees if you will, all evident to the most discerning and watchful observer. And then there's wildlife. We turned off the engine this time, listening to the distant call of an owl. Yes, I love nature and there's no shortage of it in this beautiful NY park.  Let's begin with Dunham Resevoir - across Route 2, just before the main park entrance.

Quiet this particular day, but there's usually a kayak or two within view. Entering the park on N. Long Pond Road the first body of water you come to is Mill Pond. Always my favorite, this Pond has a parking area and a picnic table. I've rarely visited and not met folks here fishing.   The funniest photo I've ever taken was this one of a fun-loving guy on Mill Pond.  He sure knew how to attract attention, not that he needed that fake gator to do so.

 Don't ask me why I love the image below, but I do.  This piece of branch has been sitting here, just like this for years and on this particular day, I was so taken by the mosaic of leaves floating beneath it.  I couldn't resist taking its photo - again!
 Follow the road further and you come to this beautiful view.........

The next body of water you come to is Second Pond (my lead photo), another of my favorites.  Here's another shot of it looking in the opposite direction.

This particular tree caught my eye because the top of the hollow looked like a heart.  I was also smitten with the lush, mossy covering.

It always amazes me how trees missing so much of their trunk are still alive and standing!

 In this next photo, I was drawn to the indentations all over the tree trunk, all healed over with bark.  If anyone can explain this....I'm all ears.

Love the textures in this one.

Ferns look like soldiers in a row.

One of the stones left in the Snyder Cemetery.  This family immigrated from Germany settling by Mill Pond around 1850.   You can read more about this cemetery here: Snyder Family Cemetery Restoration Project

Keep driving down the road and you'll come to Long Pond where you'll find a port-a-potty and a small parking lot. You can also launch a kayak here as well.  Again, it's Long Pond whose opposite end features a sandy beach and the swimming area and boat rentals.  This end is also a popular spot for shoreline fishermen of all ages.   You can see more of that in this blog post: A Little Tranquility at Grafton State Park

Whether you're looking to hike, fish, kayak, swim or just enjoy nature, Grafton Lakes State Park is a perfect place.  Only about 25 miles from Albany, it's an easy drive and well worth the time.  While you're there, check out the Grafton Peace Pagoda (  If you missed my previous post, just keep scrolling and enjoy a very large collection of fungi growing along the floor of the Grafton forest!
Jules Renard said, "On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it."  I whole-heartedly agree!  In fact my very first blog post about Grafton in the first month of this blog in 2014 was titled, "A Little Piece of Heaven On Earth."  Some things don't change!  Thanks for reading.  Stick around, I've got lots more to share including more Easton NY, our recent ride on the Dutch Apple Cruise in Albany, our coffee cruise aboard the General Schuyler and so much more!  Don't forget to check out my blog Directory for more Grafton post too!

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