Hiking Beaver Lake Trail, Pocohontas State Park

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In my search for local outdoorsy spots around the Richmond area I came across Pocahontas State Park. It was so close to RVA that I immediately knew at some point I would have to explore it. The park has a ton of trails, two lakes, creeks, streams, a water park, campgrounds, pavilions, etc. so I really wanted to check it out before summer rolled around as a potential camping/kayaking spot. The day was beautiful; 73 degrees and clear blue skies. I was one of the only cars in the parking lot when I pulled in which made me happy because I love hiking in solitude. I chose to hike the Beaver Lake Trail, which loops around Beaver Lake and it’s about 2.5 miles around and very mellow. There are a few inclines but they’re only for a few seconds before they level out again. The park has a ton of wildlife and there are a lot of bridges and wooden walkways over water/swampy areas and I thought that was pretty fun. The trails are really well maintained, marked and obviously used regularly so they're easy to follow. The hike took me about an hour longer than it normally would because I was happily snapping pictures every few hundred feet... Seriously I had quite a hard time narrowing down all my pictures to the ones I put up, and I feel like I put up too many! My favorite part of the hike was the little waterfall at the edge of the lake that flowed into a pretty creek that eventually meets up with the other lake in the park. I hiked around the whole lake then back again to the waterfall to sit and eat my lunch on a rock beside it. The day got warm really fast and I was thankful for wearing a tank top under my long sleeve which I tied 90’s style around my waist (ah memories of being a 90s child).   I feel like all the parks around Richmond are so much bigger than I realized and even after spending 4-5 hours at each one of them, I haven't even come close to exploring all they have to offer. So, I will most definitely be revisiting Pocahontas State Park to hike/run some more of their trails, swim in the lakes, fish, and kayak around. Also I wore my brand-spankin-new Chacos to give them a try hiking! I somehow misplaced my beloved old Tevas (still crying over it), so I splurged and replaced them with this new pair of Chacos. The one thing I must say is the traction/grip on these things is phenomenal. At one point I was jumping around on rocks across the stream and I felt like I had super-human gripping feet because I didn't slip once. As much as I miss my Tevas I’m happy I decided to give Chacos a try. I've really been making an effort to be outside every single day for at least an hour (unless it's cold & raining). I usually spend my hour running after work along the canal or I drive to different parks around Richmond and spend a long time running around them and becoming familiar with more places. Usually I prefer to work out in a gym but ever since moving to Richmond I've kinda gotten back into running outside without thinking much about it.  I'm still itching for the trees to turn green again... I'm so tired of hiking with dead trees everywhere! Butttt I definitely won't complain about this warmer weather. Bye winter byeeeeeeee.