Friday, June 30, 2017

Port Gamble Beaver Dams - #SaturdaySnapshots

My FitBit says I walked 7.25 miles on June 16th, and 5.5 miles of that distance were logged in the magnificent Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park, located on Hood Canal, Washington. 

Although we walked through towering trees, up and down hills, and through the biggest collection of ferns I've ever seen, the most memorable parts of the hike for me were the beaver pond and dam. We didn't see the shy inhabitants, but we found ample evidence of their presence. Looks like they've been as busy as ... well... beavers! [Click on photos for a closer look.]

Downed trees.

Their dam.

Freshly gnawed building materials.


One of the men on our walk educated us about ferns, and we learned to identify several varieties. The ones in this photo are predominantly sword ferns, but we also learned about bracken ferns, lady ferns, deer ferns, and licorice ferns. Who knew there were so many kinds? 

This forest may soon become a residential neighborhood unless money is raised to purchase the land as a refuge and for recreational use. The following video tells more about the situation. It also includes gorgeous photos of the beauty I saw on my hike.





More info about the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park and a map of hiking trails: HERE

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mercer Slough - #SaturdaySnapshots

I have to admit that the June 13th walk along Mercer Slough wasn't my favorite, mainly because of the mosquitoes! But the nature park was lovely, and the weather was nice and cool. It's amazing that such a quiet, serene green space exists right next to the intersection of two of Seattle's busy freeways -- Interstates 405 and 90.
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

Our path took us along a stream...



Among skunk cabbage...

And over the slough.



Raised walkways kept our feet dry.

Portions of the park were closed for renovation and we couldn't visit the Blueberry Farm, but we explored what we could and had a great time.

From the Bellevue, Washington, Parks & Recreation website:
Nestled in the heart of Bellevue, the 320-acre Mercer Slough Nature Park offers a tranquil setting for a variety of recreational experiences: biking, hiking, canoeing , blueberry picking, and environmental education. The Mercer Slough is Lake Washington’s largest remaining wetland, containing hundreds of plant species and an abundance of water resources. The park provides a diverse habitat for over 170 species of wildlife. Interconnected boardwalks, soft surface trails, and asphalt paths transport visitors through this unique urban wetland.

More info:  Mercer Slough Nature Park


Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
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Friday, June 9, 2017

Twin Falls #Hike - #SaturdaySnapshots

Seems like every hike and walk I take has something that sets it apart from the others. Last week's out-and-back trek started off at Olallie State Park and followed along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River in western Washington. I love the sound of a roaring river. 


We then veered inland and hiked up, up, and up some more to the top of Twin Falls. The view was worth the effort! The area had a lot of rain this past winter and spring, so the river was full and so were the falls. I took lots of photos of the upper falls. Here are two from different angles.



We continued upward to intersect with the John Wayne trail, so our hike ended up being around five miles. The trail was well tended (washouts had been rebuilt) and lined with ferns, bleeding hearts, salmonberry bushes, and other lush foliage. This isn't a great photo with that big tree smack-dab in the middle, but I wanted to show the ferns, switchback trails, and the hikers down below.



And here's the lower falls:

We walked down 104 wooden steps to reach the viewing platform where I took this picture. Of course, then we had to walk back up! My legs were quivering by the time I reached the top, but the dramatic view of the 135-foot plunge made it all worthwhile.

I hope you're able to view my video to get an idea of the roar from the falls:

video


The various hiking websites I visited described this as an easy hike. Maybe it would be if I were 20 years old! Although I was able to complete the whole thing, easy isn't a word I would use to describe the trek; but I'm sure glad I went.

For more info: Twin Falls Hike


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