Clifty Falls State Park

aka That Time I Went Screaming Thru Spiderwebs

Okay, so I wasn’t actually screaming, but let me tell you, I was screaming in my head. One important thing to know about me: I HATE spiders. H – A – T – E spiders. To the point that it is shocking that I willingly hike in the Midwest, or as I like to call it: Spider Land.

Spiders are literally everywhere in the woods in Indiana. There’s the teeny tiny ones that make spider webs wherever they freakin feel like it, including between trees across hiking trails. The ones with the big black body’s and small legs hiding on the underside of leaves that like to jump. The see-throughish kind with the long legs that dangle at face level from tree limbs (love those). And the scary ones that are so large that they have shadows.

But I digress. Saturday was National Trails Day! Yay! So I, of course, went hiking. I drove to Clifty Falls State Park and started my day on Trail 8. It was great. I was the first one out on this particular trail, woohoo! Except for one thing. The dreaded spider webs crossing the trail. No one had knocked them down yet. And there were hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands! Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but seriously there were a ton of spider webs.

Now this is where having a hiking partner comes in handy. Plan A: you convince them to hike in front of you so they will get covered in ewe gooey spider webs and you don’t! Sadly though my hiking partner had to work so I was on my own. Plan B: use your trusty trekking poles or hiking stick to knock down the spider webs. Plan B works great, if you don’t forget said trekking poles in the truck. Yup. Rookie mistake. What is Plan C you ask? Plan C is run like hell!

And so that’s what I did. I ran like hell until I almost ran into one of those dangly spiders. Then I shrieked and slammed on the brakes and slowly edged my way around it and then ran like hell again.

But on a serious note, it was a gorgeous day and an awesome hike. And while there were a million spiders too many for my liking, there were beautiful views of valleys, waterfalls, and rock formations.

Hope everyone had a fantastic National Trails Day!


Update: July 2018

I decided to test out my new Merrell water shoes by hiking the creek trail (Trail 2) at Clifty Falls State Park. I learned that I love my new shoes, but after four years of hiking on a regular basis I still make mistakes and have room for improvement (such is the beauty of hiking, you are always learning something no matter how long you’ve been doing it for).

I didn’t get started till mid-afternoon (on a hot summer day) – mistake number 1. I also thought that Trail 2 was 3 miles, round-trip. It’s not. It’s 3 miles one-way if hiked in its entirety. Mistake number 2. *When in doubt, ask questions!* The trail gets difficult to follow about 2 miles in. At 2.5 miles I called it and turned around. While I was only .5 miles from my destination (Clifty Falls), if I had continued it would’ve meant I had 3.5 miles of hiking to get back to my truck; whereas by turning around I was only 2.5 miles from my truck. While I felt stupid for having to turn around before reaching my destination, I’m glad I assessed the situation logically. It turned out I made the right decision as I ended up drinking the last of my water a quarter mile from my truck and my energy was definitely lagging by the time I reached her. Note to self: it is a lot easier to hike on solid ground, than on rocky creek beds. There are ways to get down to Trail 2 and Clifty Falls from other trails instead of hiking Trail 2 in its entirety, so next time I hike there I’ll take one of those options down to complete Trail 2.