Saturday, November 9, 2013

Exploring The Sylvan Falls Trail

We'd just left the White Hill Wild Forest and followed the map to the Sylvan Falls trail. It wasn't marked, but there was a blank kiosk and parking area in just the right spot, so we parked and began our hike:

The trail, it quickly became apparent, was an old logging road which was filled with wood chips and broken branches. This may sound like a soft, comfortable walk, but the branches were often big and often hidden, ankle twisters of the first order:

And all that organic matter was growing fungi galore. It was almost all plain brown spheres, but then I saw this. I recognized it immediately from a previous hike - Orange Peel Fungus, Aleuria aurantia. I don't suppose I need to explain how it was named:

The recent logging had opened up the forest and the views were terrific even if the walking was treacherous:

And oddly, the dogs stuck close to my feet, closer than ever before. I don't know if the cause was my wobbly, worried walking or the fact that I was whispering to them. There was a farm dog barking loudly near the trail head and I didn't want to make a lot of noise in case he wasn't tied. Maybe my dogs were so used me yelling that they got worried when I whispered:

It was a lovely hike:

But it soon became apparent that without any markers and with old logging roads going every which way, I'd never find the river. Besides, my ankles were having a lot of difficulty on those fallen branches. So we stopped, looked around and then began making our way back toward the car:

It was all great fun but the dogs continued to stick close to me. In fact, they stuck so close that it became a problem as I tripped over them and had to keep encouraging them forward so I could take photos of them:

This was a leisurely, scenic walk in spectacular surroundings:

Madeline tried to go under this log instead of over it. She wasn't able to, though, and in the end had to jump:

But Seamus had the biggest problem, unable to go over a fallen tree. He spent lots of time trying to figure out how to get over it. I waited and called, then walked farther, then stopped and encouraged him again. Finally, he went under it but got stuck halfway. By then I was too far ahead to help him and just kept calling. You can see how happy he was when he finally extricated himself, running joyfully up the trail to join us:

But we were soon back at the car. Despite its beauty, this hike was a disappointment. But not to worry, I had a third hike in mind for that afternoon. I'll post about that tomorrow:

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