Rockport State Park — Friday, Feb. 27, 2009
Sarah felt like visiting old growth forest. We love the beer at the Birdsview Brewery, we love the bulk candy department at the Food Pavilion in Arlington, so Rockport State Park was the natural choice. I was very happy with the trails we chose to hike. The last time I was there, the Evergreen Trail was closed for repair, and I had never taken the Broken Fir trail before. All the trails we walked today are in excellent condition. Huge Douglas fir and cedars at this park, and big leaf maple. We started on the new accessible West Loop Interpretive Trail. This trail was built for the State Park by the Forest Service and state corrections. They did a great job. The interesting old growth forest interpretive signs are in place. The trail winds along creeklets and next to wetlands and open spaces where big leaf maple are aplenty. We then took the Evergreen Trail. This trail gains a little elevation and the forest canopy closes; it's darker here, and the mosses coat everything. Nurselogs with 6 inches of forest litter on them are scattered all over the place. Here are what I call the "octopus" trees – green mossy bent branches radiating from every tree. Simply amazing. No one can walk this forest and not marvel at them. We then hit the Broken Fir trail. A portion of this trail skirts a deep canyonic slope and also boasts a picturesque curved puncheon that spans a marshy area. The Broken Fir is a wonderful fellow to visit. No cause to mourn this 314 year old giant; snags are useful for many, many years after the tree dies. Such a beautiful park. Closed for camping due to a certain inherent nature of old growth - falling trees and limbs. Day use is open; nice, clean restrooms and a great information kiosk at the parking lot that is always stocked with lots of brochures and park maps. Afterwards Sarah and I went to the Birdsview Brewery where we had burgers, brats, and beer. And a cookie, of course. Birdsview Brewery is on Hwy 20 a bit west of the Baker Lake road. Its eating area is kid-freindly, so bring 'em in. Rockport State Park is on Highway 20, east of Concrete and before the juction with Hwy 530.