For over 35 years I have driven past the South Lake Trail but never walked it. Yesterday Bruce and I, Lee and Eva, Eva's mother, Nancy, and grand-dog, Tucker, decided to hike the trail. It was a very interesting trip.
Of course, with this group you are going to have lots of laughs. So as Lee was parking the car next to the road in the "sway" (according to Bruce), Nancy had to chip in, "Is sway a fancy word for ditch?" We laughed about one thing and another from then on.
Just a short bit in on the trail is a long log ramp through a low swampy area. Next you cross the snowmobile trail. All along we passed almost endless raspberry and thimbleberry bushes just loaded with ripe berries. The bunchberries and blue-bead lillies were all along the trail too.
We also saw lots of hazelnut bushes. They were loaded with nuts which is unusual because the squirrels normally eat them up. We picked quite a few to take home. After these nuts have dried for a bit, we plan on taking the shells off and trying to roast them. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Beyond Birch Lake and another pond, we eventually came to Moss Lake. There is a small campsite along the trail. We continued on hoping to make South Lake for lunch. Past Moss Lake the trail in quite overgrown and hard to follow. There are a couple of Y's with no markings to show which way to go. Eventually we turned back before reaching South Lake. If you plan on hiking this, I would suggest turning around at Moss Lake which is a great lunch spot. It is also a great spot for a cooling dip in the lake. We were all envious as Tucker swam around in the water.
We did have one interesting encounter after Moss Lake. Lee heard, and then we all spotted, two bear cubs near a raspberry patch. One was starting to climb a tree but they both ran away. There was no sign of the mother which was nice. In all my years up here, it was the first time I have seen a bear while walking in the woods. It was a nice highlight for our day.
When we returned to the car, there was only one way to go -- back to Trail Center for malts. It was a perfect ending to our hike.