December 28, 2012

More walks inside the Molalla River corridor

Saturated, mossy trailway in the Molalla River corridor
After having familiarized myself more with the short and abundant trails along the Molalla River corridor, I have come to the conclusion that these trails (and logging roads) resemble what I would describe as “nature trails.” That is not a bad thing, but the experience offered by this trail system is limited – far more restricted than the nearby trails in the Table Rock Wilderness.

Fern Creek
For a walk in the woods with minimal effort, the trails throughout the corridor are great. Although I never really followed the term nature trail, because I always figured just about any trail is a “nature trail,” I have come to the conclusion, through experience, that nature walks are fairly short and flat jaunts through the woods. The trails of the Molalla River corridor, except for a few moderately steep stretches, match this description.

Spindly, moss laden trees bent in arches
Trails named Deer Skull, Rim, Huckleberry, Elk Run, Fern Creek, Bobcat and Bear Woods are only a few of the numerous walkways. Some of these trails and old logging roads are so near each other they can be seen for quite a distance from another trial.
Around Fern Creek, a recent tree thinning operation has opened up the forest. Except for the black rings on the forest floor from recent slash burning, this area offers a pleasantly scenic hike.
After a few days of persistent rain, the woods were saturated. Moss-laden limbs stuck out from the largest of trees, while others bent under the weight of the clinging carpet of green.

A tree I call The Centipede Tree in the
Molalla River corridor
I like to enter the low elevation forests of the old Cascades now and then, because they remind me of the forest I grew up with during my childhood. Big ferns growing in large groves; firs, hemlocks, cedars and maples and small streams throughout the Molalla River corridor remind me of those days. Playing hide-and-go-seek among the ferns, climbing trees and building forts in trees and in ground depressions where large trees had been uprooted was all part of growing up in the forest.

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