I hope that everyone had a safe 4th of July. I know that mine was very adventurous. While making the drive out to the lake to celebrate, we decided that we wanted to find a quick hike along the way.
Luckily, I have learned the value of Google Maps. Needless to say that it didn’t take me long to find a couple of hikes that were near where we were going. After narrowing it down, we finally decided on checking out James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park.
I was very happy to find a dog friendly trail about 30 minutes from where we were going to camp for the 4th. Like most parks, there was a $5 fee for parking to be left at the collection box.
This was a quiet little park and wasn’t very busy so it didn’t take us long to find the trailhead.
Shortly after passing the trailhead, I saw another set of signs.
It didn’t take long before I started noticing a lot of zen statues that have been built along the trail headed to the Marble Mine.
It was very peaceful passing by a plethora of zen statues. Which was great because it became apparent to me very quickly that most of the trek in on this trail is all uphill. It is rougher to start with but going down hill is much easier towards the end of your hike.
Continuing on this uphill journey I soon found a nice little outhouse along with a picnic table.
Moving on down the trail just a little ways, I found a small building. I’m not sure what it’s original purpose was but it has clearly been abandoned.
After all of these great findings, you may be thinking that this would have to be it but luckily the adventure was far from over at this point.
Continuing on down the trail you will end up finding a small pool of water with a waterfall coming from above. On each side of the pool of water there is small recessed caves that disappear into the darkness.
After a short hike, this was a great spot to sit down and to take a breather. I had to be very careful sitting down because nature delivered a beautiful gift in the form of a flower growing from in between the boards of the bench.
After a short breather, I decided to adventure just a bit more before I set out to head back to my vehicle. Since I am known to be super prepared with my hiking gear, it seemed like my only option was to see how deep these caves went. So I dug out one of my solar flash lights and headed in.
The cave to the right isn’t very deep because the back wall is just slightly behind the wall of darkness that you see from the walkway.
It is the cave to the left which is the interesting one. It actually goes back into the mountain about 75 feet before you finally find the back wall. Take a look at this if you are curious of how deep that really is.
While I think this is a pretty cool photo, I feel like the real money shot was taken while exiting the cave.
This turned out to be a serene and peaceful moment. After a short time of reflection, I began the trek back to my vehicle.
Overall, I think Sloppy Floyd State Park turned out to be a great park to visit on a whim. It isn’t one with a huge wow factor but it is definitely a good one for a hiker of any skill level.