Barclay and Eagle Lakes

This hike is one that I put on my list of hikes to go on when I first started backpacking but it fell through the cracks. The original intent was to go up to Big Heart Lake but there was no legal parking up there so we had to find another trail to go on.

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So after two more full trailheads, we decided that this hike would be less populated. While this appeared to be correct- the people on this trail were not what I had expected to find out there. We tried to get down to see Barclay Lake but on each attempt- we had dogs growling at us so I was not able to actually get a picture of the lake.

Continuing on up the less-maintained route to Eagle Lake was a good workout but was manageable once we could actually figure out where the trail started.

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Thankfully- this trail included fewer “bros” and we did not run into anyone until the top of the climb near the small lake up there. This small lake is where things got interesting as a family was camped out partially blocking the trail with multiple off leash dogs that started running at us once they saw us.

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This really didn’t make me feel the warm and fuzzies towards those that are trying to fight the leash laws in this state.

Once we got past these people, the trail finally turned out to be what I had hoped for at the beginning- very few people and a decent lake to visit! To add the fun- there was also a partially abandoned cabin along the lake that I could not find much history on.

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The inside of the cabin was stocked with a variety of things- many of which showed a bit of age… and not much of which showed cleanliness.

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Wilson was an amusing touch- even though it is technically graffiti.

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As night started to sink in, we setup camp at the rather large and well defined site

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Then I went out to get some sunset panos.

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Overall this would have been a good hike for a newbie version of me but the dogs and rude people took away from the experience and I have no plans on going back in the future. The cabin was my favorite part of the hike! If you go- the water has a lot of small swimming creatures in the lake so bring a filter or take from the outlet stream that is free of them (but due to the high activity at this site… treat the water like crazy).

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Kayaking Woodard Bay Preserve

I should be updating with two trips- but I forgot to bring my camera on the second one…

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After cancelling the first planned evening paddle out here due to wind and rain concerns, we finally found an evening that would work for the tour of the preserve. I generally avoid preserves ad I find them to be too chunky, but in this case… the water was quite smooth and the reasoning behind going here at night was to watch for the massive bat awakening.

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There is an old trestle that is now used as a massive resting ground for bats. They leave every night in search of things like mosquitoes, gnats, moths etc. in a massive wave (it feels like an understatement to call it only “massive”). The bats form what appears to be a river from under the trestle.

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The trick to paddling here is that the parking lot gets locked 1 hour past sunset- and the bats come out at sunset… so be aware of your timing if you go here. The boat launch also closes for a good chunk of the year. The paddle itself is calm and quite enjoyable as you can tour around the inlets in the area (providing you don’t get stuck out on a low tide).