BRENT PENNINGTON View down to Little Pine Lake from the hillside at Little Pine State Park, on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.

The final stop on my State Park Blitz was Little Pine State Park, which sits north of the town of Waterville, tucked partway up the mountains on the banks of Little Pine Creek, although mainly behind the dam, where the creek is flooded out to form Little Pine Lake.

There’s something striking about Little Pine, the park and the lake, and I think it’s because of its elevation – you’re halfway up the mountainside, and the peaks aren’t so high above you anymore.  It’s an unusual perspective.

BRENT PENNINGTON Monument at Little Pine State Park, 29 August 2015.

Of all the parks, this was the one I struggled with the most, from a photographic standpoint.  The day was warm, the sky blue with puffy white clouds, and the peaks were green and reflecting in the lake.  It should have been a slam dunk.  But I only have these two photos to show for it.  From the shore, it’s a difficult place to get a good photo of and, to be honest, I was running out of steam.

Little Pine reminds me very much of Prompton State Park, out near Honesdale.  Both are artificial lakes, long and narrow.  Little Pine is the more visually striking, but by their nature both are best approached by water.  With the kayak, I’d have the perfect angle from which to capture it.  And I could have paddled upstream, where the lake thins out and becomes Pine Creek again.  On the maps this looks like ideal paddling territory, and I’m keen to explore it.

But from shore, the angles are limited.  I realized later, on my way home, that you can park and walk out onto the dam, which probably would have given me the sort of view I wanted.  But I discovered this as I drove past, and elected not to turn around and go back.  I was setting the course for home and had two more hours of driving ahead of me, and that instinct to get one the road and start making time was too much to overcome.

So I’m sorry, Little Pine State Park.  I was able to check you off my list, but I know I didn’t really do you justice.  I suppose I’ll really have to come back, maybe spend a night in your campground and hit the water at first light.  I’ll put it on my list of trips, near the top.

BRENT PENNINGTON Young apples grow on the hillside at Little Pine State Park, photographed on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.

So there you have it.  I traveled 300 miles during the course of one long day.  I visited seven state parks within something like 10 hours.  I came home with photos from each, some of them pretty darn good.  It was a fun experience and I’m glad I did it.  There are definitely parks I want to revisit, where I want to spend a little more time and really work with them.  There are some untapped veins that I’m certain would yield photographic gold.

Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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