Thursday, February 18, 2016

Joseph H Stewart State Park - Rogue River Trail

February 15, 2016

Since we had Presidents Day off, what better way to spend it than hiking!  So in honor of George, Thomas Abe, & Teddy (and the rest of the presidents), we took Katie and drove up highway 62 to Joseph H Stewart State Park and Lost Creek Lake.  Ok, technically it is a State Recreation Area, but to us it's a State Park.

This could be an interesting hike?!?!?

There are so many options for hiking or biking at this park.  You can take a short hike along marked nature trails or try to hike/bike the 17 mile loop around Lost Creek Lake.  Our hike started in the day use area by the lake as we trekked along the paved bike path towards the campground and Peyton Bridge.
Nice wide paved bike path near the start of our hike
Along the way we ventured in and out of thickly forested areas, some with very large Madrone trees.We also passed many waterfalls and creeks, all of which have plenty of water this year.

Mostly cloudy skies, but still a nice upward view.

Trail through area with large Madrone trees
One of the many streams/creeks that we passed.

Once we arrived at the campground, the bike path took us along a large open meadow area with some very large and very old oak trees.  This meadow continued almost to Peyton Bridge, which is where our trail took a sharp left turn and began to follow the shoreline of Lost Creek Lake and became the Rogue River trail.
One of the large oak trees in the meadow area
Having left the meadow, we were now back into the forested areas and encountered deer along the way. Katie wanted to make friends with the deer, but they would have none of it.  They would look at us for a few moments and then disappear into the woods with a few quick bounds. In addition to some greats views of the lake, we continued to cross many streams/creeks, some with waterfalls, via multiple wooden bridges on the trail.  At one point we went off-trail so we could see the large falls that we heard from the trail.  Unfortunately it was very hard to photograph with all the underbrush and shrubs.

Can you find the deer?  We did.
At times the paved trail was covered with green moss which only added to the already very green woods.  It was along these portions that we spotted a different color -  a faint glint of purple -- could it be, yes!!!  Our first glimpse of wildflowers --- Snow Queens almost to the point of full bloom!!  It won't be long till the Spring flower blooms are everywhere!

Lost Creek Lake

Snow Queen --- spring is coming!
Even as we finished our hike along the marina and store area, we were still treated to more beauty.  The river inlet at the marina, which normally has very little water,  if any, was quite full and very beautiful with a small waterfall as it made it's entry into the marina.
View of the inlet stream upper canyon area

Inlet stream flowing into the marina area.

The marina.  End of the hike for us.

Our total hike was just 6 miles along a mostly flat paved trail.  But in those few hours we were treated to meadows, forests, creeks, streams, waterfalls, the lake, deer, flowers and the wonderful smells and sounds that go with them.  It made us almost want to shout BULLY in honor of TR.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

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