5.6 mi rt
max: 844 ft
gain: about 1000 of ups and downs
gpx track, use at your own risk: Nesset
Today’s walk was a frog scouting walk. There is this nice long wetland that I wanted to check out as a possible survey site for this years season. This property is near the land that has the Oregon Spotted frog on it (an endangered frog I work with/for) and it appeared from google earth to meet the requirements for what they like. Even if they aren’t there this will be perfect amphibian habitat to check out in a month or so when it comes time to put on the chest waders and crawl around in wetlands counting egg masses.
The Nesset Farm is part of the one day to be developed South Fork Park, a Whatcom County Park. This is another piece of property that the Whatcom Land Trust helped on procuring. The thing is that there really isn’t any easy access to this wonderful public area because to reach it you have to drive up a private driveway and the owners of that driveway don’t want the public to use it.
The other way to reach it is the way I went today. I had been back here once before so I knew how to go. I started out parking outside the gate at the end of Saxon Road across from the Hatchery. The gate was open because they are logging way back in the hills but I have no desire to get locked in so I am happy to walk. I headed up the road and got to just about where the main road goes right and the unused road I wanted goes left when right in front of me was the Acme Elk Herd. Well, about 200 ft from me. I am respectful of these great creatures so I moved slowly and took lots of pictures while they watched me.
I was starting to move on when I looked a ways down the road wondering what that brown mass in front of me was and oh, it is a really BIG elk, bigger than the rest and all by himself.
This one I couldn’t walk around so I had to make noise and convince him he wanted to get along his way.
Shortly past Mr. Elk I came to the ORV trail that leads down to the property. This dropped down onto the park property about 0.4 mi from the wetland. Instead of walking up the road I headed into the woods and followed the elk trails pushing my way through wet, wet bushes and grass. Did I mention that it had been raining with some snow mixed in all day?
Once I got to the field by the farm there was a mowed path around the perimeter so my walk turned into a walk in the park. After checking out the wetland I walked to the other side of the farm house and continue north on an old road that eventually connected me with an old road turned ORV trail. It went the general direction I wanted to be going so I took it. Following that led me back to the end of the road I had walked in on so then it was just a matter of walking back to the car. I did see a Hairy Woodpecker on the way out, a good way to wrap up the day.