The kids and I hiked some at Cooper’s Rock for Mother’s Day.
Honestly, I haven’t hiked a lot of the trails there, including this one, and I’ve been wanting to see it. The weather was good today, so we decided to try it.
Despite Jordan’s emo facial expressions in all these photos, he had a great time. Talked a lot about the sulfur content of things, collected some coal, and climbed on stuff. He had fun. He just doesn’t want anyone to know it.
The trail guide marked this trail as intermediate, with some steep portions. I’m never sure what that means, and figured we could always turn around if it was too rough, but it was a very easy hike. Near the front of the trail, a stream crossed. I don’t think it’s usually there, but we’ve had a lot of rain lately. Someone had constructed a pretty impressive flume out of tree bark, and the kids loved it.
It’s less than a mile’s hike, you turn a corner and there it is:
It’s pretty neat, and very ‘old’ for our area.
It was built in 1836 as a cold blast furnace for iron. It employed about 200 people, in a community that contained over 100 homes, a store, church, and schoool. It’s hard to imagine all that stuff in the middle of what is a state park now.
We took a picture of the inside. It did NOT smell good in there. Not that we went in. But the cold air coming out of that thing was stinky!
The kids both like digging through the various rocks and coal remnants in the area. It cracks me up how delighted they are by coal. I mean, growing up in WV, it seems like such a boring, nothing rock. But they think it’s the neatest thing ever.
Then we checked out the little footbridges to the other trails. Celia was pretty tickled to find and chase some butterflies:
We spied a few decent crawfish in the stream:
One last look at the furnace and then headed back up the trail. We do want to go back and try a few of the others in that area. The kids stopped to climb some rocks on the way back to the car.