A Day Trip To San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

I belong to a ladies’ photo/hiking group. It actually started some years ago when I met four extraordinary ladies during a photography workshop. This workshop was a creative photography workshop I organized as a volunteer at Chinsegut Conservation Center. 

We traveled to so many locations during those years, getting together and photographing nature. I even created an online magazine (under my freelance business) showcasing some of the places we visited. It was fun, and we enjoyed each other company. 

However, sometimes life chooses another path, which happened with a few ladies, but the friendship never altered.

At another photography workshop, I organized, not as a volunteer but as a part-time education specialist at Chinsegut Conservation Center, the group grew from three to six! 

What makes this group different, these three ladies had a concept, picnic lunches! Fascinating- who would have thought of having a picnic-style lunch in nature after a photo/hike, and why aren’t more people doing this!

Do you know why this is important to do? There are two reasons: Connection and Discussion.

The conversations are enjoyable, talking about what we saw and figuring out the species and names. Those conversations are not only important but also hilarious, and sometimes you form your own one-of-a-kind language. 

Each one of us has a niche. We learn from each other, support each other, and have built a unique friendship, and it all stems from our love of nature and connecting within it. 

While there are times we all can’t get together for a road trip, if my husband is available, he fills in. 

On this trip, my husband took the day off of work, and we met Karen at Devil’s Millhopper Park- a two-hour drive. 

Don and Karen at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

About Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

For those interested in geological features, which is fascinating to learn, this is the place to go. 

For photographers, it’s a great place to explore macro photography. However, I strongly suggest visiting in the winter due to the increased presence of mosquitoes. Dealing with them at times is bearable, but to enjoy nature photography and the possibility of standing in one place for more than three seconds didn’t happen. 

Plus, the stairs to the sinkhole seem to be a popular exercise route, so the quiet time listening to the water was slim during our visit. We did show our support for those who were engaged and honestly I couldn’t do more than two rounds; it’s like what Karen said, “We’re old, and we don’t have to.”

Just eight minutes away is the San Felasco Hammock Preserve. Granted, this being the first time visiting the area, a much-needed history lesson would make this hike more intriguing. Not that it wasn’t, but we would have been able to see it from a different perspective, both historically and through photography.

Millhopper Road splits the preserve. We hiked on both sides. We would love to revisit this place with the other ladies of the group, but again during the cooler winter weather due to the mosquitoes.

To sum it up, photography-wise. Great areas for woodland birds! Northern Parula, Summer Tanagers, woodpeckers, warblers, crows, and hawks. Like any shaded landscape (hammocks), there will be mosses, lichen, and fungi. I would suggest bringing along a macro lens to accompany your telephoto. There are many photographic stories you can create at these places, just try to take the time to stop and look- at least long enough before the mosquitoes get too bothersome. Below are some photos that were taken by my friend, Karen MacNeille Salman.

It was indeed a great hike and we were able to put new species both of flora and fauna added to iNaturalist!

Be safe in your travels!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s