This is part 2 of the series, Part 1 can be found here. This is the actual hike to Raven Cliff Falls at Caesars Head State Park.
After leaving the Visitor Center, I headed further up to the mountain to the parking lot where Raven Cliff Falls trail starts. The parking lot was full so I ended up parking along the road. I grabbed my Thinktank Streetwalker backpack which had both the Nikon D300s and D700 camera bodies along with the following lenses: 24-70mm, 80-400mm, 10.5mm Fish Eye and 85m Macro. I also carried Thinktank Photo’s Hubba Hubba Hiney which had my bottle of water and I hand carried my tripod because I forgot the 2nd strap to attach it to my backpack. I was not packing light.
The beginning o the hike is a down slope which I was not going to look forward to at the end of the 4.5 mile hike. The hike to the observation platform is 2.2 miles and is a beautiful hike especially in the fall but it has a lot of twists, goes up and down frequently and sometimes the trail was on the edge of a steep drop. You definitely want to watch where you are walking. There is also a 8.5 mile hike that takes you to the bridge over the falls but I was making another stop before heading home so I just decided to head to the observation platform. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I am in good enough shape especially carrying all the equipment to do the longer hike.
It was interesting to see all the couples hiking where the guy was carrying all the equipment they had. I hiked alone so I really had no choice but to carry my own equipment but even if I did, I plan to use it, its my responsibility to carry it. I would estimate my backpack probably weighed more than what most people were carrying.
I finally made it to the platform. The view of the falls surrounded by the fall colors was spectacular. Luckily I brought the 80-400mm lens because the fall were across a valley and not that close. Between the two cameras, I probably took about 350 photos, most of them were HDR.
The hike back was interesting and took longer for two reasons – I did stop more often to rest but I also stopped to take some photos with the photo I carried around my neck. The hill up to where my car was packed was especially brutal but I made it then proceeded to hit myself in the forehead with my camera as I was putting it away.
Next time I go hiking, I either need to get my hiking boots repaired or get a new pair. Sneakers just didn’t cut it.