I was watching the sunrise forecast. It wasn’t looking good except for a little yellow spot over the Laurel Highlands. So I changed up my plans and used TPE for photographers to see where sunrise would happen at Laurel Hill State Park, specifically I wanted to shoot the sun coming up by the lake. When I woke up, I wasn’t very hopeful when I stepped outside. It was drizzling and clouds were thick overhead. Instead of going back to bed, I decided to head to Laurel Hill anyways. I was due to arrive just a few minutes before sunrise, it was dark and grey. Sunrise was a dud but the clouds had become interesting over the lake. I saw a few boats that would be perfect to shoot and grab some of the yellow appearing in the sky. As I was shooting two fisherman went out in their boat, enjoying the nice morning. It was drizzling off and on, nothing major. Just a nice morning listening to the geese and birds.
If someone were to ask what my favorite trail was, hands down, without hesitation it would be Hemlock Trail in Laurel Hill State Park. It’s only a 1.2 mile trail through an old growth Hemlock stand. The trail starts right from the road, turn left and go up the log steps to begin. At the top is a rebuilt CCC lean-to. Continue following the flat trail through the forest, deep and dark at times. You will descend down to the right into the old growth Hemlock stand with moss carpeting small rocks and boulders. Laurel Hill Creek runs wide and clear here. This is my favorite part of the hike, right next to the creek. It was beautiful listening to the sounds, the birds chirping, the creek gurgling. It was invigorating being out there.
As the morning went on I saw more and more fisherman, I realized it was first day of trout season. It was a beautiful morning to be out. The rain went away and it started to warm up just a bit. It felt amazing to be up before dawn and hitting the trail right after sunrise.
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