I like finding short day hikes in the area that offer an opportunity to get away for just an afternoon every once in a while. I was happy to get reacquainted with Busiek State Forest. It had been several years since visiting there, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had in just a few hours. I took the red trail on the East side of highway 65, and taking my time to enjoy a few sites along the way, it took only 3 hours to complete the loop and get back to my car. Just a few yards from the parking lot is the first stream crossing and it can get over your boots in places, so choose your steps carefully or bring your Chacos along for a quick change. At the top of the first steep climb you’ll see Carter Cemetery. It’s worth stopping to take a look at some of the engravings there. Further on down a much more gradual slope are several primitive campsites with permitted access. This time of year there are almost no other people on the trails and in the rivers. I guess when the leaves are off it can seem like there isn’t much to see, but I found lots of smaller views to take in that were beautiful in their own way. It was a simple hike, short enough that I only needed to bring along my Camelbak water bottle and still warm enough that my Helly Hanson Rapide soft-shell jacket was plenty of protection from the wind and cold. I would recommend bringing along your creek crossing shoes. I didn’t and got a bit of water down my boot. Happy Trails!