The freshwater Black River briskly cuts its way through rocky Hacklebarney State Park, cascading around boulders in the hemlock-lined ravine. Two tributaries, Rinehart and Trout Brooks, also course their way through this glacial valley, feeding the Black River. Even in the heat of midsummer, the temperature of Black River gorge is cool and refreshing. Today Hacklebarney is a favorite place for avid anglers, hikers and picnickers, yet in the 19th century the park was a mined iron ore site. The gushing river against the grey boulders and dark green hemlocks creates a majestic beauty in any season. Three rare and endangered plant species exist within the park: American ginseng, leatherwood and Virginia pennywort. Over a hundred bird species and wildlife such as black bear, woodchuck, deer and fox live in the park. Horseback riding is not permitted in the park.
I've been coming here for over 20 years as it's tradition to hike here with the family every fall. We have some older members that join us (mid-70's), and they aren't fatigued at all when complete with the trail. It's an easy hike, and it's especially beautiful if you hit it during the fall season. Also, if you're interested, down the road is a small place called the Cider Mill. They're only open from September-November (Thanksgiving), but their apple cider and cider donuts are phenomenal. Stop there, and snack on the donuts and cider during the hike, and voilà! A beautiful day indeed!