Starting in April of this year, FOHR folks have taken 4 “walkabouts” on the north (Index town) side of Heybrook Ridge County Park with Snohomish County Parks Senior Planner, Chris Mueller. We hiked the Park’s land, and (with owners’ permission) adjacent properties that SnoCo Parks is ready to purchase and turn into a trailhead and potentially, a parking lot (see Money Matters).
These hikes are intended to familiarize us with the lay of the land, so that we can identify “points of interest” to either aim for or to avoid in our future trails, and to keep us realistic about the slope of those trails. Once we have covered both the north and south sides of the Ridge, we will be prepared to work with the Washington Trails Association on preliminary trail design, planned for this fall. WTA shares our goal of arranging trail-building parties early next year.
So far, we have walked gently through wetlands, visited a beaver pond (where we found bear prints and scat) and noted its changes as the wet season gave in to summer, swatted mosquitoes, moved carefully through devil’s club, found logging leftovers (cables, saw and board marks in old growth stumps are now historic landmarks), marveled at nature’s greenery and ability to heal itself (the old growth nursery logs and stumps are inspiring), scrambled up hillsides and avoided cliffs, admired small streams and a waterfall, heard bird calls, and smelled the fresh richness of it all. We took declination and GPS readings to update maps.
Our 5th walkabout will focus on the south side of the Ridge, where the views of Bridal Veil Falls Canyon Fall are stunning.
Heybrook Ridge County Park is a beautiful area, one we are delighted to call yours and ours. We put out a call as soon as trail crew volunteers can get started on trail building in 2014.
All photos by Ann Darlington