This time, I took a trip along the Mountain Creek Trail, which is part of a series of trails in the Paris Mountain State Park, just north of Greenville, SC. I had not even been aware of this state park, but I found the trails on the web and figured I'd give it a chance. It wasn't a very long trail, only 2.6 miles, but considering the heat wave we've been dealing with, that was about all I was prepared to do. As it was, there was much sweat involved in this hike, and very little of it was due to hiking difficulty.
It's certainly not an out-of-the-way trail, and there were a good number of other hikers on the trail that day. This trail is pretty easy, but enjoyable. It starts off near the western shore of Lake Placid which is near the gates of the park. It only sort of follows the creek, following it for about the first half mile or so. After that, you only cross a small stream, and that's about all the water you see. Other users of the trail were runners, which gives you an idea of the level of hiking difficulty.
I focused mostly on foliage on this hike, with a few shots of rock formations, and a nifty mushroom growing along the trunk of a tree that I thought would be interesting for my wife's collection of fungus images. I could imagine that this hike would be rather pretty in the fall or spring, and I may return some other time.
For the technologically-minded, I used only open source RAW processing for these images, trying out UFRaw and RawTherapee on my Linux machine, and using GIMP for cropping and sizing. I normally use Photoshop's RAW processing features. I found that I preferred RawTherapee, which gave me a lot of great settings to work with. As an open source advocate, I was very much hoping that I could do my processing only using open source software, and this seems promising. I'd be interested to know what others think. I plan to try it again for the next hike.