Four of us met in the Richmond Park and Ride at 7:00 AM to carpool to Elmore State
Park. We arrived at the Elmore State Park parking lot ~8 AM. The gate to the State Park
was closed but the parking lot can be accessed from Beach Road which runs parallel to
the state park road and reaches the parking lot through a short dirt road connector. At
the parking lot two other GMC hikers were waiting. We began walking to the trailhead
on the state park road at 8:10 AM. We reached the Fire Tower Trail trailhead after 0.7
miles of road walking. It was ~ 45 degrees Fahrenheit, slightly wet, and overcast. We
continued up the Fire Tower Trail to the summit of Mt. Elmore (2585’). We climbed the
fire tower and were greeted with some great mountain and lake views despite being
overcast and cloudy. There was also graffiti art in the Fire Tower which made for some
interesting viewing. It was cold and windy standing on top of the fire tower so we did not
linger long. At the base of the fire tower we stopped to eat, drink, and share Halloween
leftovers such as Twix bars, Reese’s, and Oreos. We descended the Ridge Trail which
was not as steep as the Fire Tower Trail. Along the descent we stopped at balance rock
and admired the balancing act the large boulder was performing before our eyes. We
made it back to the parking lot ~11:30 AM having trekked 5.5 miles with 1460 ft
elevation. Overall, the trails were in okay condition. There were muddy patches and a
few icy patches. A few of the wooden puncheons on the Ridge Trail were completely
dilapidated. Participants: Michael J. Mortelliti (leader), Nancy Kahn, Robynn Albert, Mira
Geffner, Philip Mosenthal, and Dasha Zentrichova.