Last weekend I went hiking with Leigh Ann, Paula, and her two dogs, Seven and Chloe. We began on the Choke Creek Nature Trail, and finished on the Pinchot Trail. The forests offered every shade of green and the mountain laurel blooms were nearing their peak. We missed the rhododendron blooms by a few weeks.
The trail was easy as it followed a wide grassy grade. Keep an eye out where the trail leaves the grade to the right; blazes mark the way. The trail meandered through the woods, passing thickets of mountain laurel and some small meadows. Soon we were at the Pinchot Trail, where we turned right. We passed one lone backpacker along the way. The Pinchot soon brought us to beautiful Choke Creek, with its dark tea colored water, a natural result of swamps. We took a break at a ledge overlooking the creek where there was also a campsite. The dogs played in the water. The trail followed the creek closely and then meandered through thick jungles of rhododendron, hemlock, spruce, and laurel. It is one of my favorite sections of trail because the forest becomes thick, verdant, and mysterious. The laurel blooms were more impressive as we hiked; some were white, others almost blood-red.
We reached the dirt road and turned right to return to the car.
Pictures of the hike.