Time for another throw back, but we aren’t going too far back. We visited Lums Pond State Park about a month ago and MAN, is it beautiful in the fall!
Keep in mind, it is a state park, so there is a small fee to enter OR if you plan on being a frequent state parks visitor, you can purchase an annual pass which is $35 for in-state vehicles. To save you from doing the math, you would need to visit a state park 9 times during the year to get your money’s worth out of it. They are only for sale at certain times of the year, beginning on black Friday so make a note for yourself for next week! Here is where you can get more info on the passes: http://www.destateparks.com/fees/passes/index.asp
Lums is another one of those “full package” parks with a playground, water, trails and boardwalks/bridges in some areas. Unfortunately, the trail by the water wasn’t a small loop so we had to walk back the way we came, but you can’t always get perfection in one place.
Lums Pond has really become a hot spot because of the Go Ape ziplining course, which looks like a challenge but the park also has a lot of other things to offer. There are excellent pavilion/picnic areas, a “beach,” paddleboat/canoe/kayak rentals, an equestrian area, an off leash dog area, disc golf, fishing spots and sports fields in addition to the trails and playground just to name a few things. One of D’s absolute favorite things is to throw stuff in to water. Rocks are his favorite thing to toss, with sticks coming in second so when we came upon the beach area, we ended up being “stuck” there for quite awhile so he could rid the sand of every single solitary stick.
Lums is great for spotting wildlife and native plants (bring your camera!!), but also for the nasties. Mosquitoes, ticks and poison ivy. When it comes to the annoying insects, you just have to get the timing right to avoid them or plan on bringing bug spray with you. Babyganics makes a kid safe version, but I have yet to try it so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. If you are going to be getting your family outside (which I hope you are) you WILL encounter poison ivy so this is a good opportunity for me to show you what poison ivy looks like. The one sure fire way to avoid it is to stay on the paths, which I have to remind D frequently about.
Think you know your poison ivy facts?? Take the quiz and let me know how you do! (Answers at the bottom of the page)
True or False:
1) You can’t get poison ivy in the Winter.
2) Scratching your poison ivy rash will cause it to spread.
3) Reactions to poison ivy are covered by workers compensation in some states.
4) Deer and other animals eat poison ivy.
5) You can have an internal reaction to urushiol, the oils in the leaves of poison ivy if inhaled or eaten (accidentally of course.)
Here is what you need to look out for during your adventures:
The general rule of thumb to remember is “Leaves of three, let them be.” However, that is a little misleading since you can have a reaction to the vines as well. It’s a good way to remember how to distinguish the leaves from other plants though. One of the most common plants confused with poison ivy is called Virginia creeper, a native vining perennial. It’s a good guy, so if you see this don’t worry:
If you are exposed to poison ivy, make sure you wash with soap as soon as possible and avoid using hot water, which will open your pores allowing the urushiol easier access.
Now you are ready to hit the trails! If you want to check out the playground first, be sure to park at area 2. You can visit the boat rental area and access the hiking trail by using that parking lot as well. Lums Pond is such a big park that you definitely can’t see it all at once. I plan on making it a point to visit again in a different season to hike the smaller loop trail through the woods we haven’t tried, and a visit to the nature center seems like fun too!
Quiz answers: 1-F, 2-F, 3-T, 4-T, 5-T
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