Winter Respite: The Virgin Hemlock Forest

It's been a strange winter here, so I guess it's no surprise that we started our hike on Saturday in t-shirts. The Virgin Hemlock Trail is one of my favorites in any season--short enough that even slow-poke kids can do it, and with an enchanting other-worldly feel in parts, thanks to a large grove of hemlocks that's over 300 years old. 

In the summer you can walk through the creek to cool off. Saturday it reminded me so much of Oregon--the moss was so vibrantly green.

I love all the textures. We saw so many different varieties of lichen and moss (and this crazy spoor-filled puff ball above right).

My dad is a forester. He tried to teach Coban helpful things, like how you can identify a hemlock tree by turning the needles over to see if they have stripes on the back. Coban was much more interested in hooking the bungee cord he brought along to my Dad's belt loop or using it to haul logs he found along the trail. What can I say? He's 5.

I love how ice and water create such great compositions. If you haven't been, you should definitely check this trail out. It's also amazing in the snow.