Kentucky Falls/North Fork Smith River

June 17, 2007

Be prepared, I’m going to gush! This was an incredible hike. Eleven very nice people joined co-leaders, Julie Dorland and Chuck Eyers. We started at Kentucky Falls and continued down along the North Fork Smith River trail. The trail has been lovingly maintained by volunteers, and despite the forest service description (“very dangerous trail”), the trail was in good condition with a few overgrown areas and some “slide off the narrow trail and down the hill” areas (but easily traversed with a little caution). The bridge is in! Highlights: unexpectedly, tons of wildflowers, including rhodies, columbine, tiger lily, white and purple iris, fox glove, lupine, daisies, monkey face flowers, and a magical “forest” of delphinium; huge trees, including an 11-foot diameter Doug Fir; the multiple bridges spanning the river; three mile bridge (an architectural wonder); three lovely little grottos; and of course, waterfalls. We did a shuttle, adding about an hour and one-half to the overall trip. A few mosquitoes, but only bothersome when we stopped. Elevation loss of 1400 feet, but with ups and downs, probably gained 1000 to 1200 feet along the way. Many thanks to drivers Beth Roy, Carol Fairbanks, and Nola Nelson, who kindly and uncomplainingly drove and shuttled us!

Hikers were: LaRee Beckley, Walt Dolliver, Julie Dorland (leader), Chuck Eyers (co-leader), Carol Fairbanks, Phyllis Fisher, Linda Hovey, Nola Nelson, Beth Roy and Pat Soussan; and nonmembers: Wayne Cleall, Bill Rodgers and Aaron Smith.

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