We’d tried the Three Lakes Trail before and given up about half way through. I thought I’d try the second half. We walked down Sunken Mine Road past where we’d crossed it before and continued until the Three Lakes Trail turned off to the right at the southern end of John Allen Pond where we came across this old dam, now breached. The plan was to continue along this trail, but I then I heard gunfire ahead.
I’m not fundamentally against guns. I have no problem with target shooting in appropriately protected areas. Nor do I have a problem with hunting (we’ve had enough plants decimated by deer that I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer of them in our area) – again as long as it’s in a designated area. What I do have a problem with is people shooting randomly in the woods, particularly when it’s near walking trails.
I wasn’t sure if there was a range farther along. Nor was I sure that this wasn’t hunting in a designated hunting area. It didn’t sound like either. There were multiple shots over about a one hour period, many of them with such rapidity that it sounded to me as if someone was using a semi-automatic weapon. Please bear in mind that I know nothing about guns and so could be completely wrong.
Anyway I decided to backtrack and take a walk along the Old Mine Railroad Trail instead. The last time I’d tried this Jackson had balked at a portion where you have to scramble over some roads. This time he went over them like a little mountain goat. Unfortunately the trail meandered around until we seemed to be heading back in the direction of the gunfire again. So we turned around again.
I was thinking of stopping at the park office to inquire if there were places I should not walk because hunters use them. I didn’t have to. As we were getting back to Dennytown Road a Park vehicle and a police car came down Sunken Mine Road. They asked me if I’d heard any gunfire – so I told them my story. They assured me that shooting in that part of the park, and near the walking trails, was illegal. There are parts where you can hunt, but it’s not hunting season and in any case the areas where this is allowed are farther south. Only shotguns can be used because the shot does not carry as far as a rifle.
A bit more exciting than our usual walk.