Forest Friday

#ForestFriday - Fall in the U.P.

I've got fall on the brain, because summer is already dragging on. So, for today's "Forest Friday" feature, I'm throwing it back to October of 2008 when two of my friends and I went on a little road trip to Copper Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Not all of the photos are from Copper Harbor, some are from the ride up and various other places throughout the Upper Peninsula.  Take a break and drift off into the fall colors, imagine the smell of the leaves, and feel the cool breeze... is it working?  Have a good weekend!

#ForestFriday - Michigan's Upper Peninsula

This week, I'm sharing some photos you may have already viewed over on my Hike 20 post from my recent trip to Michigan.  I don't care if it's a cop out, the forest was gorgeous and quiet and deserves to be shared again.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is about a 2.5-3 hour drive north of my hometown, where I stay when visiting.  It was a warm morning, and the sun illuminated the lower levels, highlighting the ferns and mosses with a beautiful glow.  Everything was green and vibrant, making it feel so alive.

Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend ahead, and enjoy the forest photos.

#ForestFriday - Cape Flattery

"Walking through the forest on the west coast will always be a treat to me"

Today I'm looking back on a 2009 trip to the northwest tip of the contiguous US.  Two of my best friends and I were on one of our cross-country road trips and decided we needed to see Cape Flattery - if for no other reason than to say we went to one of the most northwest tips of the US.  The forest was lovely, as forests are, but I can still remember being amazed by the turquoise water crashing on the rocks below more than anything else.  I've attached a few photos of the trail and the views.

To park in the lot with the trailhead, you need to obtain a permit from the Makah Reservation.  I've included a link to get more information about where to find that pass and a little background on the Makah Tribe.

Makah Tribe Website // Cape Flattery Trail Information

The platform with all the views...

#ForestFriday - Special Edition

It's been a little while since I've made a post, mostly because I've been lazy but also because I've been doing other things.  Anyway.  This edition of Forest Friday is a few highlights from a very brief trip to Sequoia/Kings Canyon last August.  Enjoy and may the forest be with you.

General Grant Grove

The General Sherman

#ForestFriday - The Greenbelt in Austin, TX

To any Austin, TX resident or visitor, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is a definite source for cooling off in the summer and exercising any time of year!  Here are some photos from my various visits to parts of the Greenbelt over the years.  Urban forests deserve all the love too!  Go love the trees and make sure you take care of your urban green spaces.

**Unfortunately, some people can't respect the urban trees and they take abuse like this graffiti

#ForestFriday - Sleeping Bear Dunes Backcountry

In 2010 I embarked on the one and only backpacking trip I've ever taken, to date, and it was in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore White Pine Backcountry area of Northwest Lower Michigan.  Wow, that was a mouthful.  My buddy and I packed up, (he mostly) carried in a normal sized tent, normal sized gear, and beer, and camped at site number 1.  It was nice to be away from most people and so close to the lake.  The hike in was about 2 miles, and you can find out more information about the area HERE.  Enjoy some photos I found from the trip.  Enjoy the forest near you!

#ForestFriday - Herman Vogler Conservation Area

Back in my hometown of Rogers City, MI there is a park called the Herman Vogler Conservation Area.  The park has a few trails over the river and through the woods just down the road from my grandparent's house.

This place is special because my grandma would take us there to cross-country ski and walk the trails all throughout my childhood.  I have fond memories of muddy feet in the spring and sore back sides from falling while skiing in the winter.  This park is where I learned to love cross-country skiing and reminds me how much I miss it!

At the end of 2017, I was fortunate enough to be up in Michigan for the holidays and did my final two hikes of the 52 Hike Challenge 2017 here.  Hike #51 & Hike #52  Both hikes were through the snow, and both brought back memories instantly.  I hold this place near to my heart and look to it as a way to remember the good times from childhood, especially now that my grandparents are older and less active.

The photos below are from a visit my BFF Molly and I made in October of 2009.  Enjoy the forest and happy trails!

#ForestFriday - Quinault Rain Forest Adventure

I had been to the Hoh Rain Forest before, but had never even heard of Quinault until my most recent visit to the Olympic Peninsula.  I was making my travel plans and took the suggestion of an awesome guidebook, and several people, to explore the Quinault area.  I didn't quite know what to expect, but I left from breakfast at the Kalaloch Lodge with an open mind and nearly an empty tank of gas - so I had to stop anyway.  I gassed up, turned on to the South Shore Road and was instantly in love with the area.

Highlights: Gorgeous lake views, rivers and creeks, waterfalls, moss-covered trees, mountain views, and more.

I drove South Shore Road, with a few stops to walk around, deep into the valley and back on the North Shore Road.  Do it however you want, but make sure you drive the North Shore Road.  Enjoy the forest, wherever you can!

You technically enter the National Park along the dirt road deep into the valley, I'm assume after leaving it for Olympic National Forest.  The borders and boundaries flow together.

Bunch Falls - just behind the sign in the first photo.

The road narrows further into the woods and as it comes around and becomes the North Shore Road.

The North Shore Road is more scenic with less houses and resort stuff overall.  Here's a narrow spot with a steep drop-off!

Along the Maple Glade trail, you'll follow a creek with vibrant green plants, moss covered trees, and plenty to see.

As you walk or drive through, you'll notice how these plants all live together - dependant on one another for survival.

A panorama along the Maple Glade trail.  You must see it in person to fully appreciate, but this is a good preview.  Stunning natural beauty.

#ForestFriday - Dino Valley has trees, too!

Texas has some big trees - they just live a few hours away from me.  If you go east from Dallas, near the border of Louisiana, you'll find some big pine trees that make you say "ahhhh" when you see them.  I love when I have to go out of town and drive through that area, but it's still a bit of a distance for a quick day trip.  In a previous post, I focused on the trees in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area at Cedar Ridge and this entry will feature another local treasure known as Dinosaur Valley State Park.  People visit Dino Valley for the visible dinosaur track fossils in the Paluxy River and the dinosaur sculptures at the entrance.  I visit because you have to cross the river to hike, weeding some people out, and because the hills are great exercise.  I ALSO visit because there are streams that flow into the Paluxy and those streams mean trees grow nearby and trees mean heavenly shade from the beating sun.  The trees along the trails range from oaks to juniper, with some cedar and live oaks in between.  I've found a few, old and large live oaks throughout the park and plenty of little forest areas to offer a cool reprieve from rocky ridges and open fields.  Here are a few photos of some trees from my many visits over the past 15 months to this wonderful little gem, only an hour from the metro area.

#ForestFriday - Tillamook State Forest, Oregon

Back in 2013, I visited the Tillamook State Forest for a minute or two on my way from Portland, OR to the coast.  I visited the Tillamook Forest Center and learned a little about the area, took in the sights from a fire watch tower (replica?), and enjoyed the sound of the Wilson River trickling through.  Here are some photos, enjoy!

**Excuse any grainy or poorly lit photos, they're from a 2013 smartphone.

#ForestFriday - Late Spring in Northern Michigan (2016)

It was (near) Mother's Day weekend and I had made an impromptu visit to the north country to see my mom.  I was surprised, actually, that the trees were still so bare and the air still so chilly but it was enjoyable nonetheless.  These particular forest photos are from some land that is known for sinkholes and giant cracks in the ground near Posen, Michigan in the northeastern Lower Peninsula.  Many plants were still asleep and waiting for more sunshine, but there were a few trillium flowers in bloom.  Enjoy the forest where you are, and if you can't, I hope you enjoy these photos.

#ForestFriday - Chugach National Forest in Alaska

June 2017: I hiked through parts of Alaska and it included trails in the Chugach National Forest.  I went to many places in the ten days I was there, but this place was one of the most magical for me.  From moss covered trees to mountain views, this forest had it all.  Happy Forest Friday and I hope you find yourself among the trees this weekend.

#ForestFriday - Cedar Ridge Preserve

I'm going to start a new Friday blog series featuring photos of the forest for everyone to enjoy for a few minutes as the work week ends and the potential adventures begin. 

Today's location is Cedar Ridge Preserve near Dallas, TX.  This place has become a staple for me because it's so close to my house and it has great trails.  For the weekends that I can't get away to somewhere more adventurous, I have Cedar Ridge Preserve as a solid local option and for that, I'm grateful.


This place is lush and green in the summer.


In the fall, it's a little more open so that golden sunlight is especially nice.


Even on rainy days, Cedar Ridge Preserve offers a great escape. 


While this may not be a traditional forest to me, growing up with large hardwood trees in Michigan, it's what we have available here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.  Enjoy the escape into my local forest and stay tuned for a new post every Friday.

For more information on Cedar Ridge Preserve, check out this link.