Four hikers and one dog enjoyed a lovely spring hike, beginning at the south end of Vic’s marsh where we were fortified by ripe salmonberries. We stopped for a look at the old barn built by Vic Balatti. The building is still sturdy but several square-timbered floor and ceiling joists have been removed. The trail winds along the marsh through open Douglas fir forest with occasional old growth fir. Past the end of the marsh the trail passes through stands of moss-covered alder, hemlock and back into mature fir. Several old growth cedar are lying on the ground where they were cut sometime in the past and left for some reason. One large solitary Western white pine was noted along the trail. We stopped for lunch in a grove of old growth fir, then proceeded on a short distance to the main stand of old fir trees. One giant clearly stood out in the crowd, a massive, stovepipe-straight beauty that was worth the hike all by itself.
The north half of the trail is less used but well-marked with flagging tape. Sections of the trail at this end could be improved by a chainsaw and clippers where downed trees make going slow. On the way back, we stopped off for a snack at the bluff overlooking the lake at the north end of the marsh. By mid-afternoon, the day was warming up so a cool Northwest breeze was welcome. Hiking time was a bit more than 5 hours moving at a good pace, and including lunch and a snack break (13.2 km). Highlights were the old fir trees, of course, but also the wide variety of plant communities we hiked through.
(click on photos to view larger)