September 8, 2021
On Sunday, September 5th, Bruce and I went back to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMANWFR) to try another hiking trail. The map showed a trail by another pond and since both Lake Mary and Lake Ladora have such beautiful trails around them, I was hoping for another beautiful hike.
We parked at the trailhead for the Havana Ponds Trail and discovered there was an archery range there. It was interesting to see the range, but no one was practicing.
We could see cottonwoods in the distance and guessed that was the Havana Ponds. The trail was fairly level and smooth, covered with small gravel. It made an easy trail to walk. This trail allowed bicycles on it. We were the only hikers on the trail and we saw three bicyclist.
As we hiked along, that sounds so much better than walked along, we reached a concreate ditch used for water control. There were plants growing in the bottom of it. The water became a creek that ran into the cottonwood stand at the beginning of the Havana Ponds.
As we continued our hike, we saw deer running from the cottonwoods. Some ran to left of the stream and some ran to the right of the stream. I stood there watching them and didn’t even try to take a picture.
We came to the dam that was creating the Havana Ponds. The trail ran along the top of the dam.
The water was low in the Havana Ponds. The water fowl were still hanging out at the Havana Ponds. We saw Canadian Geese, a Snowy Egret, and Spotted Sandpipers.
The trail continued past the Havana Ponds, through a stand of short scruffy trees. We looked for deer under the trees, but didn’t see any.
We hiked the trail through the prairie to the Lake Ladora Loop Trail. We admired Lake Ladora for a bit, then we turned around and started hiking back to the truck. The Havana Ponds Trail is not a loop and we didn’t want to walk along the road.
The Havana Ponds Trail crosses the Prairie Trail and we walked a little ways along the Prairie Trail to a bridge. The creek was very smelly. It was full of algae and cattails.
We turned around and went back to the Havana Ponds Trail. As we hiked along the trail, we saw five deer, three adults and two fawns. My pictures didn’t turn out that great, so I am not including them.
When we got back to the trail head, the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant had so many bees on it.
While this was a fun hike, it wasn’t as beautiful as the trails around Lake Mary and Lake Ladora. It was pretty in a different way. The yellow rubber rabbitbrush flowers, wild sunflowers, white prickly poppies (aka prairie poppies) and the purples of the Rocky Mountain Bee plant stand in stark relief against the brown prairie grasses.