Saturday, August 22, 2015

Steele Creek Park: Lake Ridge, Lakeside Trails Loop

Today was a Bristol day. We did not realize that there is a race at the Speedway tonight. However, the traffic was not bad considering. We drove to downtown and opened Sierra a bank account at Wells Fargo, ate lunch at the always yummy Burger Bar,
Burger Bar
and then headed over to Steele Creek Park for some hiking. Our first stop was the nature center where Sierra enjoyed looking at the fish and turtles. Just outside, near the porch, were some flowers that were loaded with butterflies.
We observed the butterflies and hummingbirds for a bit, then we headed out to hike the Lake Ridge Trail.

We crossed a shallow section of the lake on a trail causeway.
walking on dam
We saw lots of fish and turtles in the water.
When the causeway turned into a boardwalk we saw a few ducks as well.
Once we had crossed the lake, we headed into the woods. 
walking in woods
The Lake Ridge Trail was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. There were some pretty steep ascents and descents. Sierra walked the trail for a bit, but when she tired, she hopped into the backpack.
Sierra in backpack
The trail comes to a point where you can see an old dam, but instead of crossing the dam the trail continues on traveling close to Steele Creek.
Noelle along creek

Finally, the trail crossed the creek on a bridge
crossing bridge
and the trail on the other side is wide, gravel and not too steep. We saw some Virgin's Bower in bloom along the trail side.
virgin bower
Sierra found her first colorful leaves of the season.
colorful leaf
A sign that autumn is just around the corner! We passed the dam that we had seen earlier in the hike.
trail and dam
It had been lowered at some point and a small waterfall was formed where the water tumbled out of the reservoir and into the creek. It was pleasant walking along the lake.
Noelle on trail
We saw lots more turtles and a green heron as well.
green heron 1

To keep Sierra motivated for the long walk, we promised her a ride of the Steele Park Train.
train ride
The ride is short, but Sierra enjoyed it.
family on train
After it had ended, we headed back to the car for the drive to Greeneville.

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