Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lake Shetek State Park: May 23rd, 2015

Lake Shetek State Park is - as the name suggests - a lake-focused park.  It is the source of the Des Moines river and is reportedly an excellent place to fish.  There was a small settlement in the area during the 1850s, but it disappeared during the U.S./Dakota conflict of 1862.  Fifteen settlers were killed and the rest moved away from the area.  The State Park was created in 1937 to honor the settler's memory, and the WPA added many improvements during those early years.

Joe and I arrived on the morning of May 23rd, ready to hike.  It was already starting to cloud up a bit, but it was quite warm.  I neglected to bring a pair of shorts with me on the trip, so I borrowed a spare pair of Joe's khaki shorts.  

And in the next blog post, you'll get to see Joe wearing one of my skirts!

Lake Shetek is a busy park.  There are a ton of campsites, a huge campground, a modern group center that can house over 60 people, and even a Scout camp nearby.  Would we be hiking past concession stands, listening to the hum of RV air conditioners, or fighting for space on the path with hundreds of tourists?

Nope!  The Hiking Club trail is a lollipop loop out to Loon Island, taking the solitude-seeking hiker away from the hubbub.  The causeway out to Loon Island was built by the WPA, and it looked solid as if it were built just yesterday.

Welcome to Loon Island
 The path was nice and flat, the lake provided cool breezes, and there were plenty of interesting interpretive signs along the one-mile path.  Yes, just one mile...some of these Hiking Club trails are really short.  That's what happens when your state parks can feature any number of amenities: this was clearly a Lake Park.

The way back from Loon Island

Luckily, it was a really nice little walk.  Lake Shetek looks like it has a lot to offer: canoe rentals, boating, fishing, camping, or get 50 of your closest friends and rent the Zuya Group Center.  Hiking heaven it is not...but I don't consider it a wasted trip.  It was perfectly pleasant!

Total miles hiked today (this park): 1
Total miles hiked in 2015: 6
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Elly - 0
Total ticks in 2015: 8

Countdown to All Miles: 37.7 to go

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