Diane was in charge of organizing the local Probus hike, and she asked if they could come here. Of course -- our trails are open to ski, snowshoe, and hike. We do ask for a small fee that goes to trail maintenance (and Brian underlined that point by driving past us today on the tractor doing some work on the trails -- just to underscore that it requires a lot of work to keep hiking/skiing trails in great shape)
Last year we hiked with Diane's group to the Lookout. This year, we all walked down to Beaver Town -- or as we call it, Damalot. Taffy was on her first big hike with a group, and on the whole the puppy did well -- except for sideswiping Annette at one point, off into the tea bushes. Oops... She then got right into the action, wading out into the second of the three big beaver ponds at Damalot, looking of course for the Beaver himself. Other than the ripples Taffy produced, the ponds were mirror still.
Along the way we found lots of serviceberry bushes adding touches of blue; winterberry painting the bushes red; wintergreen berries and bunchberries carpeting the forest floor along with the most beautiful ferns and mosses.
We also found wolf scat that was so fresh we were suprised the wolf wasn't still hovering over it. Some extremely fresh beaver scat also presented itself for inspection. It's amazing how interesting animal droppings can be, actually...
We found lots of signs of Beavers at work. Jim from the Oxtongue Craft Cabin told us he can watch them at work damming up his culvert most evenings. That's our beavers... working hard to keep the 'damn' in Damage... Taffy did her best to illustrate the point that a dog who has fallen into the river, into the beaver pond and into what one hiker described as an "inkwell" of dark water (all in the name of finding out who lives there) is a happy dog.
We came home along the Hidden Lake Trail, which winds through various eco-systems and skirts a gravel pit -- where there were plenty of wolf tracks on view. From there we ventured into the Black Spruce Bog that is Hidden Lake. That trail is always a wet one, you must step carefully, but the reward is the vegetation that thrives in those conditions.