December 7th, 2021 – West Branch Nature Preserve and Scenic Rail Trail

Report by Kathy and Bill Holmstrom. Sixteen members hiked the blue trail in the West Branch Nature Preserve, a 1.5-mile loop highlighted by a moderate climb along a cascading stream through an old growth hemlock forest. The size of the trees and the abundant moss and fern growth is reminiscent of Pacific Northwest forests. On the way back down, we took a short side trail to visit a magnificent old white oak at the edge of a meadow, then continued across Rt. 10 to the Rail Trail. We hiked the one-mile segment towards Hamden until reaching Rt. 26 where we turned around and retraced our path back to the parking lot. The West Branch of the Delaware River is in view for much of this portion of the trail. Total mileage for the morning was 3.8 miles.

Photos by Scott Fielder.

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