BRENT PENNINGTON Rapid Run spills over the tiny, geometric dam at Sand Bridge State Park on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.  Photographed during the State Park Blitz.

As I mentioned in a previous post, in my mind state parks are always big.  The few that Vermont has are always good sized; some of New York’s are downright huge; and PA’s have always been roomy.  At least until now.

Sand Bridge State Park – the park with the name that nobody knows how it got – is the smallest state park I’d yet seen.  In reality it’s little more than a pull-off on the side of the road, a clearing in the trees with a creek running through it, blanked by a pair of picnic pavillions.

But it’s a lovely creek, and a lovely clearing in the trees, and is exactly the sort of place that I’d want to stop and have a picnic, or even just enjoy a sandwich in peace.  And in fact, while I was there several cars showed up in a group, filled with people who came to picnic.

BRENT PENNINGTON Rapid Run spills over the tiny, geometric dam at Sand Bridge State Park on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.  Photographed during the State Park Blitz.

From a photography point of view, Rapid Run is the only point of interest in the park.  It lies only a few meters from the pull off, it’s banks grassy and tended.  A pedestrian bridge crosses it and, just upstream from the bridge, a log-built dam forms a small waterfall.

The dam itself is unusual, in that it’s unusually attractive, a geometric layout of logs on either side of the creek, and then the dam itself, over which Rapid Run tumbles before burbling its way under the bridge and into the woods downstream.

BRENT PENNINGTON Rapid Run spills over the tiny, geometric dam at Sand Bridge State Park on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.  Photographed during the State Park Blitz.

BRENT PENNINGTON Rapid Run spills over the tiny, geometric dam at Sand Bridge State Park on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.  Photographed during the State Park Blitz.

It’s a well photographed spot, that much is clear from worn paths to prime overlooks along its banks.  But unless you want to step into the creek, your options are also limited.  (I thought about stepping in, but didn’t want to deal with wet Tevas in case I decided to camp that night and needed them.  Nobody wants to put on clammy wet shoes for a mid-night bathroom run.  But in retrospect, I probably should have gone for it.)

I used the 12-40mm with both a polarizer and a strong ND filter and shot from the tripod.  By f/11 I was getting shutter speeds of several seconds, plenty long enough to capture the motion of the falls.

BRENT PENNINGTON Rapid Run spills over the tiny, geometric dam at Sand Bridge State Park on the afternoon of 29 August 2015.  Photographed during the State Park Blitz.

There’s little more I can tell you about Sand Bridge.  I worked the various angles, got a couple of nice shots, and enjoyed what little time I spent there.  Maybe a half-hour, total, and then I was on the road again, headed for the next park on my list.

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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