A short loop with sturdy wooden bridges and walkways over streams and wetlands. Trail is used as an interpretive teaching trail for school groups.
Need to Know
This park can be hard to find. Continue past the Officers Mess Building and go right around the sharp corner to see the sign. There is no restroom or water available in the park.
This trail is a loop that starts and ends in the dirt parking area near the picnic table. Park politely, leaving room for other visitors and horse trailers.
There are a few faded interpretive signs describing some of the common trees and shrubs in the park. If you want to go counter-clockwise, as I did, take the trail to the right and follow the seasonally muddy track into the remnant old-growth forest. Towering Sitka spruce and a carpet of sword fern dominate this forest. Almost immediately, the sounds of the outside world fade away and you're immersed in a shadowy green past when humans tread lightly in a vast wilderness of cedar spruce rainforest.The towering old-growth is reminiscent of the forest-moon Endor and you half-expect to see Ewoks or dinosaurs among the tree trunks.
Take a left at the first fork. The right-most trail leads out of the loop and east toward the power lines, where it dead ends. Staying left, continue to follow the loop around. You'll cross a few sturdy bridges with good tread to prevent slipping as you meander through the lowlands and cross several burbling streams. Keep to the main path and stay left to avoid user-created trails that branch off towards the power line and streams. This trail is often muddy. There are frequent elk tracks and soft bird calls all around. Mushrooms sprout on downed giants and moss drips from overhead branches. It's cool, peaceful, and damp in this little slice of ancient forest.
The loop ends with a bridge and a sturdy set of stairs leading up to the parking area where you began. I frequently pass people walking their dogs and the trail also allows equestrian riders, so you may see paw-prints and hoof-prints in the mud.
I love this trail for it's quiet peace and the convenience of experiencing such a beautiful old-growth forest so close to town.
Flora & Fauna
Sitka spruce. Western red cedar. Elk herds frequently use the trails. Banana slugs. Sword fern.
Shared By: Samantha Goodwin