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Icicle Gorge Nature Loop — Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

Central Cascades
A trail normally overlooked became a great rainy-day choice. An easy 4-mile loop walk, it follows and crosses Icicle Creek in and out of pine and cedar forest. Fall brightened this dark day in the form of luminous vine maple, cottonwood and devils club, complemented by the blue berries of Oregon grape. While surveying nearby trailheads post mud-slide, we hit the Fall Color Jackpot at Chatter Creek. In-your-face bold colors could be enjoyed from the car, but the trail beckons for total immersion - just step around the elk droppings.

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