It snowed a couple times in February, which is pretty much exactly what we deserve for wondering aloud if an entire winter could REALLY be this mild. Between that and my annual writing assignment, we had a bit of a hiatus from our usual weekend excursions. I guess that’s not totally true–we did go to Bernstein’s Bagels three weekends in a row, (and of course to four new-to-me pot shops so that I could write about them) and while the bagels are very photogenic, I think Paradise Point State Park is even prettier.
Sneakily situated under an interstate bridge, Paradise Point is about a 20 minute drive from our house. We stopped by once when we did the Clark County Scenic Drive but only took the time to hop out of the car, give a cursory glance, and drive off. At first, it doesn’t look like the park has much to offer other than a picnic spot and a slightly unappealing swimming/fishing hole but we read online that there was a waterfall somewhere in the park and we were determined to find it. As long as it wasn’t a very far or difficult hike, anyway. I’m not trying to win any awards or get any ticks, ya feel me? Also after taking a couple weekends off with no strenuous activity that didn’t involve the vacuum, I didn’t know how long I’d feel like walking.
The trail begins not far from the parking lot, and starts off easy enough. Eventually some stairs lead into the woods, and a narrow, rocky path guides you along the water. The path is built into a hill on a slight incline which is probably fine for the dogs, but my feet got tired of being crammed into the sides of my boots and I was relieved when we arrived to the set of stairs that descended back onto flat ground. We ran into another couple who were walking their dogs and they told us the waterfall was only another 15 minutes up the trail, so we kept going, back uphill until we heard water. Luckily Zach’s hearing is better than mine because I was about to give up–the walk was probably only 40 minutes so far, but I was getting cranky due to the growing rock collection taking up residence in my shoes.
There was a small viewing platform set up for viewing the waterfall, which I gotta be honest, was pretty anticlimactic considering some of the waterfalls in this town. It is even less impressive in photographs, but it was at least relaxing to take a quick break, a deep breath, and get the goddamn pebbles out of my boots.
After the disappointing waterfall (seriously none of the pictures are even worth showing you because you can’t even tell there’s a waterfall at all but it DOES exist) we couldn’t decide if we should go back the way we came (pro: we know where it goes, con: ugh that was a long walk) or try a new way (pro: maybe shorter, con: maybe longer), but a huge off-leash dog was headed our direction, so we went the opposite direction of the way we came. This ended up being a mistake, because all that trail did was go in a big circle, leading right back to the “waterfall”, and by that time I was SUPER ready to go home, and it was starting to rain. Of course the only option left was to go back the way we came, which at least meant walking at an incline the opposite direction, giving the opposite side of my feet some irritation. Perfect! By this point it was also getting fairly muddy and slippery, and more than one time I saw my life flash before my eyes as I slipped towards the water only to barely recover before tripping over a stump. Ah, nature, how I missed you. But not as much as I miss the couch when I’m away from it.
The dogs were thrilled to be on an adventure, I got to visit my favorite coffee shop , and I didn’t drown or break anything so I’d still call this trip a success.