For visitors who enjoy a good walk but are not quite up to more strenuous terrain, Lindy Point Trail at Blackwater Falls State Park is just the ticket.
The trailhead is located on the south rim of Blackwater Canyon and is accessed off Canaan Loop Road. The 45 acres encompassing the trail belongs to the park but is a separate enclave located slightly southwest of the main park boundary. The portion of the Canaan Loop leading to the trailhead is a one-track road overhung by mature trees—mainly spruce and hemlock with an occasional birch, beech, or maple. Park signage recommends using 4-wheel-drive vehicles for this stretch of road. During our visit, the pavement was wet after a snow, but it was otherwise in very good condition. We found our front-wheel drive was quite adequate. A small parking area adjoins the trailhead.
The trail itself makes for a 0.37-mi hike on an easy grade. The greatest hazards we encountered were low-hanging branches draping over the trail and some muddy areas fed by snow melt and groundwater. Otherwise, the trail offered obstacles no greater than small inclines and declines well suited to gentle walking. This is truly a foot trail through the woods, with no pavement or gravel added. The woodlands along the path are typical for this region, including spruce and hemlock, an occasional broadleaf, and an abundance of mountain laurel and rhododendron. The place must be glorious in spring.
While on the trail, It’s a good idea to check out the surroundings. I was after glimpses of the fall panorama I had so narrowly missed. I didn’t find the panorama, but glimpses of what it must have been were abundant. Red, yellow, and orange leaves still clung to their branches, muted beneath a layer of snow. Individual leaves wafted down to sparkle vibrantly on snow. Berries ripened by the last warm days of fall hung or spiked in clusters, depending on the fruit. The layer of snow that had fallen the day before offered its own distinctive beauty, providing a pristine blanket of white that still clung to the boughs and branches of the trees and scrubs around us.
At the end of the trail is wooden platform offering magnificent views to the northeast and southwest. The platform is built over a rocky outcrop from the canyon rim. Several chimneys of rock detached from the rock base supporting the platform provided dramatic accents to the view, especially when one looks to the southwest. Standing alone on the platform and looking out over the 1,000-foot deep gorge of canyon, it was easy to pretend we were all alone in this vast landscape. We had only the trees, the rocks, and the river below for company. Standing quietly in this space, we could hear only the wind, the muffled roar of the river, and the occasional cry of a bird.
Himself and Yours Truly have visited Lindy Point twice, both times in October. The first visit featured the peak colors of the fall season, while the second came on the heels for the area’s first snowfall. Our first time around at the Point was shared with a number of other visitors, the more enthusiastic of whom scampered about on the rocks outside the platform—a potentially perilous activity. On the second occasion, we had the place to ourselves, with only footprints in the snow to suggesting that others had passed this way.
Any visit to Blackwater Falls State Park can only be made better by an outing to Lindy Point. Whatever the season, the views will be magnificent and the trail will require a relatively modest physical effort. For us, it was a pleasure on all counts.