Thompson Park

Thompson Park (9/18/2010)

Wow! What a surprise this "park" was. I try to avoid parks when we go hiking. They're usually filled with rollerbladers, power walkers and loud picnickers playing loud music. And the "trails" are often just asphalt surfaces. Not so here. While there is an extensive network of asphalt paths, soccer fields and baseball fields, this park also has an excellent system of trails which traverse woods, meadows, and skirt reservoirs and lakes. There are at least 13 miles of trails in this park and a huge percentage are away from the crowds, on dirt or grass. And they're beautiful.

We used this map to create a circuit which began and ended at the Old Orchard parking lot. First we walked a bit on the Woodland trail, searching for the trail head of the Reservoir Loop. But we couldn't find it, because the map isn't quite accurate in placing its trail head. We needed to walk along the paved trail SW for at least 0.1 or 0.2 miles before we saw the trail head near some picnic benches. Once we found the Reservoir Loop trail it was a bit difficult to follow, since there are absolutely no blazes (you'll see a wand every couple of miles) and several woods roads and trails cross it (with none marked on the map). But we kept the Swimming River Reservoir on our left and eventually hiked the trail all the way to Marlu Lake. Making a left we crossed between the lake and reservoir and then continued south along the trail all the way to the southern tip of the isthmus, before heading north back to Marlu Lake. We had lunch at the lake and then took the paved trails back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 6.4 miles in approximately 3.5 hours.

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