Saturday, September 22, 2012

Walk - Featherstonhaugh State Forest

Yesterday, I got out for an afternoon walk at Featherstonhaugh State Forest.  I haven't done much walking in local areas this summer, focusing more on biking instead.  But for some reason, walking has more appeal at the moment, so I'm going with the flow.

Featherstonhaugh is not a great place to walk outside of the winter season.  Normally, it's very wet, and even in a dry year, the main ski trail is pretty overgrown until the ferns and undergrowth start dying off in the fall.  And that was what I found yesterday.  The trail was mainly dry, but the ferns and goldenrod were often up to my chest, even in the middle of the trail in spots.  Trail markers also seemed a little sparse, making this walk almost a bushwhack in places.  I did manage to follow the trail around the entire loop to the south and east of Lake Road, but not without some difficulty.  There were several occasions where large trees had fallen across the trail, further contributing to the confusion.  The annual ECOS trail maintenance trip here in November will have plenty of work to do if these large ones are to be cleared.

A new feature was a beaver dam on the small stream that runs through the forest.

This dam is new this season, and has quite a pond backed up into the very flat forest behind it, not affecting the trail, but clearly visible from it.

After pushing through all that underbrush, I was relieved that a tick check when I got home revealed nothing, which was actually pretty surprising.  Looking forward to XC skiing here this winter when trail conditions will be much improved.

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