Right to Ramble
At the bottom of the ravine near the rapids ("Flat Rock") is an old sign to a spring. The spring is still there, but authorities advise against drinking the water.
2013 update: Most of these signs have been removed, but you might find one if you look carefully.
The Nature Trail
Alright, I'll admit you won't see this every winter. In 2008, the snow banks in the Vanderwater parking lot were so high, I took a shovel and created a "tunnel" to the start of a trail. It was well over seven feet tall. I took pictures of people in the tunnel and kids loved it. Unfortunately the snow plow operator didn't. At the next snowfall, he destroyed it with a vengeance, plowing extra snow into the hole. It was fun while it lasted. Any takers for tunnel building next year? February 15, 2008
For at least two years, a goshawk has made Vanderwater its home. In the spring of 2008, it was starting a family in this nest close to the parking lot. Unfortunately the nest has disappeared. Hopefully the goshawks will return. Goshawks have a distinctive warning cry. If people come too close to the nest, they will dive bomb while making their cry, coming within inches of heads. The nest was close to the trail, so some unwary walkers got a shock. April 13, 2008
Click here for images of goshawks.
There are a couple of shelters along the trail. This one is on the green trail; the other is on the red trail. Just beyond this shelter, the trail curves to the right and goes up a hill. In the valley on the other side of the hill, I've often seen deer when I am quiet.
The beginning of the Nature Trail, just after the pond near the entrance. Unfortunately, a decision was made to pull up both the rotten and sound planks on the nature trail. It has made it definitely more difficult to negotiate.
Update: These signs are no longer here, but you can still walk the "Nature Trail." There never was any danger. January 2013
An evening walk in winter has its rewards. Here, the whole cedar forest was in a beautiful monochrome. The flash doesn't tell the full story. In fact, the whole forest is filled with a kind of glow from the snow. It's a "you have to be there" moment.
February 15, 2008
Left; A foots-eye view of one of the sections of a stream
waiting to lure the unwary boot. On this snowy night in
the early evening, my flash captures a bit of the mystery of
a stream poking through the snow in mid-winter.
This was on part of the "Nature Trail." It's still quite possible to negotiate this part if you have a bit of adventure in you.
Right:The Nature trail. Here the path goes under trees that lean over the trail making a natural arch. This is the beginning of a boggy section and the wet ground eventually is too much for larger trees. This is a fascinating section of the trail, which allows you (albeit precariously these days) a glimpse into the middle of a swamp area. February 15, 2008
January, 2013 update: The trees lean a bit more, but this is still a beautiful trail. I've cleared a few of the more obstructive trees on ther trail.
Right: Nature trail, a snowy woods, early evening. February 9, 2008
January 2013: It's still there, as beautiful as ever. The Nature Trail is seldom used these days and in the past four years I've never met a soul on it — and I usually walk it three times a week in winter. It's a bit buggy and wet in the summer.
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Page created: February 3, 2009
Updated: January 3, 2013