Travel Guide: Strouds Run State Park

I put on my winter jacket, grabbed my keys and made my way into the brisk winter air. The drive to Strouds Run State Park is scenic enough to satisfy any outdoors lover’s needs. The leaves covered the roads along the way even in mid-January. As I approached the park I saw a beach with boat docks half in the water and half on the receding shoreline. The olive-green water was full of ripples as the cool air blew across it. I could feel a crisp breeze coming off of the water that left a lingering earthy smell in the air that reminded me of a warm summer day on the water. A recent snow had left the sand on the beach wet which made it stick to the bottom of my shoes as I walked along the water edge.

The bright orange sun began to set over the water with the vast tree lines in the background, turning the sky into a purple and red tone all around. An old washed out picnic table right on the edge of where the water met the sand gave me a great spot to take in the landscape of trees surrounding the mid-size body of water.

Upon observation, I realized there was more to Strouds Run than just a beach. I followed the beach and then made my way to the parking lot where there was an opening for a trail. I was on a mission to check out these new paths that I had just discovered before the sun went down.

I chose a path I thought seemed shortest. As soon as I made my way into the forest there was an overwhelming smell of plants even though there was still signs of a recent snow. As I found my way around the muddy paths I was enclosed by tall trees that formed into an arch over my head, leaving a small opening just big enough to see the sky that was still slightly red and purple but was slowly fading as the sun was setting. The breeze that I had once felt on the beach was gone and there was not much wind which made it more quiet and peaceful. I could hear the sounds of small animals or branches moving from the outside wind.

As it started to get darker I made my way back to the parking lot and then down on the beach to get one last glimpse of the sun before it set over the water. The later it got, the more the breeze died down and it became more of a calm space. The lights in the parking lot came on as the sun slowly fell behind the trees. I still had a mixture of sand and dirt on my shoes from walking on the trails and the beach. I tried to bang them together multiple times before I just accepted the fact that it was stuck on there almost like glue. I still have the mud on the floor mats of my car. Next time I’ll know to bring an extra pair of shoes.