Continuing the theme of Seaquest State Park that I started on Monday, this shot makes it easy to see both why some stands of timber in the park were thinned and why I thought those stands of forest looked fantastic at the same time.
Hiking the trails in the park near Castle Rock as a kid, we would pass through these seemingly vast stretches of trees whose branches started to grow and suddenly stopped because of their proximity to other trees. As moss grew on those branches, the entire feel of the forest became otherworldly over time — especially on a rainy day when some mist had set in further back.
I’m glad some of those stands of trees still exist, because they create fond memories of days spent hiking with my dad and brother, and also visiting my great-grandparents who used to live a quarter-mile from a side entrance to the park.…
Seaquest State Park near Toutle, Washington is often overlooked by travelers wanting to get to the Mount St. Helens area about an hour to the east, but it’s one of my favorite places.
Today I took a trip to Longview and decided to visit Seaquest on the way home. There has been some extensive forest thinning in areas that officials said needed it due to overgrowth, and as a result the trails were in pretty bad shape. Rain didn’t help, and recent storms have taken down other trees too.
One of the trails leading out from Paine Road now carries a rerouted creek that has cut a small waterway through what was formerly a path. It made for an interesting scene in a forest that continues to change by the year. I really hope the logging operation helps the forest, but I’m kind of sad that scenes like this with the moss on the trees and the really dense ferns along the sides of the trail are fewer and further between.
I’ll post some more photos from Seaquest this week, with some more stories to accompany them.…
We are blessed here in the Centralia-Chehalis area with a gem of a trail that extends for miles and allows for excursions among scenery that groves of trees, a rushing river and farm fields can provide. Having once served as a railroad, the Willapa Hills Trail serves an entirely recreational purpose as a rails-to-trails project.
I shot this photo in autumn 2015 as two projects to bridge gaps in the trail over the Chehalis River were underway. One of those gaps about three miles west of the community in Adna was largely untouched, and the autumn leaves had covered the trail and rested there, seemingly frozen in time and turning the path a golden brown.
Now, the trail is used by dozens of people per day thanks to those gaps having been bridged. The Willapa Hills Trail is a rural treasure that I enjoy visiting simply to reconnect with nature, and I highly recommend you make your way down here at some point and experience it too.
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