“Let’s go on a hike” – these are some of the greatest words in the English language! An invitation to adventure, exploration, and beauty awaits! One of the great pleasures of being in the Colorado mountains are the abundance of trails that can take you to amazing places and views. We were able to spend a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park and today I wanted to take you with me on my favorite hike we did there. So put on your hiking shoes, grab your water bottle, and let’s hit the trail! This is a quiet hike around Lilly Lake – perfect for an early morning when the sun is brightly shining but the breeze is cool. Our trail begins with a bridge… as so many wonderful adventures do.
Crossing the bridge leads you down to the lake and to the trail head. And what lovely views greet us on this morning!
The trail meanders gently about the lake. A steep trail beckons mountain goats up a nearby mountain but for now we’ll remain down at water’s edge, appreciating the cool breeze scented with wildflowers that are drinking in the sunlight.
We round the curve of the lake and the terrain starts to change from meadow to mountain forests. Right in the midst of this transition lives a wild iris.
A look-out over the lake from this vantage point provides a scenic landscape and a strategically placed bench invites you to stop and savor the beauty.
Invigorated by our rest, we now continue to explore the trail. On one side we run into a fallen tree, whose weathered limbs have been buffed smooth by the elements. The dead branches make a poetic natural sculpture.
And then in a glade overshadowed by pine trees, we find treasure! Stands of columbines are in bloom! These are among my very favorite wildflowers and what a treat to find some on our hike!
On the other side of the lake, the land turns marshy and we must tread lightly on boardwalks to preserve the integrity of the vegetation. Tall grasses grow here, providing plenty of shelter for birds to nest. And the plethora of water insects are a never-ending buffet table for the birds.
Here we stop to watch swallows careening in acrobatic moves in the sky and listen to the cries of red-winged blackbirds. Maybe we’ll see a heron fishing for his breakfast! All too soon we find ourselves back at the beginning of the trail, richer with all the beauty we have seen and felt. We linger here for a moment, soaking it in, and inscribing the landscape on our hearts. This is a morning we will never forget… Are you ready for a picnic?
Blessings to you,