Passover Outing: Kilgore Falls

The grandkids at the top of Kilgore Falls (click to enlarge)

Today I took my oldest daughter (expecting her seventh child in 6 weeks) and her children (ages 2 1/2 – 11) on a hike to a State Park an hour from our home (in our home town).  First you must drive many miles of paved country roads that pass a reservoir and rolling, fertile farmlands and horse pastures.  The fields were a lush, deep emerald green; the sky was a brilliant blue; the trees full of pink and white  blossoms:  a gorgeous day.  The area we visited has a short hiking trail right off the parking lot, leading to the state’s second-highest waterfall, Kilgore Falls.  (I’m surprised Al Gore didn’t lobby to have the falls’ name changed!)

My daughter and her children cross Falling Branch, a tributary stream of Kilgore Falls.

One of my grandsons hikes to the top of Kilgore Falls

We managed to survive a stream crossing with only a few wet shoes and socks, but later one of my grandsons tried to jump across a stream near a beaver dam and didn’t quite make it.  As he clambered to the other side, he realized he was missing a shoe!  It was at the bottom of the shallow stream, sucked into the mud.  He felt around with a stick but couldn’t find it.  I took off my shoes and socks, and waded in the water along the muddy bottom, trying to find the shoe, but it was nowhere to be found!  My grandson hopped back to the car with only one shoe.

looking downstream from Kilgore Falls along Falling Branch

My daughter could have been annoyed – she had just bought my grandson this pair of shoes a mere three weeks ago – – but instead, we looked at one another and burst out laughing.  This misadventure brought back memories for both of us from about 20 years ago, when my children were small.  We were hiking near Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania, and were forced to hike across a very muddy, mucky trail.  When my son, then about 9 years old, looked down at his feet, he noticed his shoes were missing!

This photo dates waaay back to 1992! That is me (younger and thinner!) and my daughter, who has just fished my son's shoe out of the mud.

We had to backtrack quite a ways until we could figure out the most likely spot the shoes had been lost.  As we fished around with sticks in the bog, other random hikers passing by were curious as to what we were looking for, and soon they too joined in the search for the missing shoes.  We did find them –  – one of them was quite deeply submerged in the mud – – but it was a memorable adventure nonetheless.


I guess history repeats itself!

The intrepid hikers, ages 2 1/2 - 11. (My nachas!)

Fresh evidence of beavers - - the dam was only a few feet away.


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