Hike Distance: 8.3 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1783.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 929 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 231797 feet
I had to take my car in for an oil change, and my mechanic is located north of Battleground. This put me in close proximity to the Moulton Falls area, so I went there after the car was serviced.
Being a very wet day, there were very few cars parked at the lot on Lucia Falls Road. I headed out toward Yacolt Creek Falls. I was intending on doing a loop around that area but the bridge was moved out of position for the season. 😦 It was a bit disappointing but the hike was young.
So I headed out over arch bridge that spanned the East Fork of the Lewis River. I didn’t see anybody and the solitude was amazing. I guess the steady rain kept away all the fair weather hikers. As I was walking I passed up a Clark County maintenance vehicle (only people I saw all day). I was surprised to see a large number of trees that had been cut down. I’m hypothesizing that these trees were removed to avoid a future issue with the railroad, that is very close by? It looked horrible but there may be a good reason I’m not aware of? I hope they plan on replacing these trees!
I continued to walk the entire distance of the Moulton Falls trail and was close to the Hantwick parking area. I was near a bridge, that spanned some small unnamed stream, when I noticed a trail going north into the woods. I’d been here before, and expected it to terminate about 50 feet in, but it didn’t! In fact, this is a mountain bike trail, and I suspect it is illegal? I know it’s a mountain bike trail because of the features I found along it’s length. I followed this trail for about a half mile, but it continued on. This trail was in great shape and looked like it was there a long time, but I don’t remember seeing this before. I plan on reporting it to some appropriate county or DNR person. Unfortunately, I’ve found many places where mountain bikers destroy the forest in the name of creating a new exciting route for an Adrenalin rush. This is what I call loving the outdoors to death. Animals stay away from areas like this because of the noise they make when speeding down the trail. Hikers tend to stay away from these types of trails because of the danger of getting hurt. I deplore this kind of behavior that makes people think they can do what they want. I’m sure nothing will be done as I’ve called before and gotten lip service. 😦
I hiked the three miles back to the car and saw nobody along the way. I truly enjoyed this hike but was glad to get out of the rain. Everything was soaked at the end of the hike, and I’ll need to dry them thoroughly when I get home.