Middle Fork Section: Barton Fen to harvest area on ridge

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Middle Fork Section: Barton Fen to harvest area on ridge

Postby BossHog » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:44 pm

Saturday 9/27: went for a few hour stroll on this section of trail (yes I was taking my time). Neals Creek is flowing fine, but not high….easy to cross dry. The drainage tube for the beaver dam is exposed and looks ridiculous laying there next to the stream. The trail/path/whatever that actually used to go through the bottomland along the fen is no more. You can pass the OT sign at the Neals Creek crossing, and head down the path a little, but then it abruptly stops. I have mixed emotions about this. I’d like to see a “nature trail” through the fen area, but the thing that was there before was such a piece of junk that it is probably better off closed. And the fen sure could look better, but who knows what MTNF plans on doing there. I keep envisioning some awesome, sprawling wetland spread out below me as I hike the foot-traffic only section of the OT up on the hill, but that is probably wishful thinking. Trail was in very good shape, with only a couple of downed trees. Mowing from earlier in summer sure is a nice thing. Met one guy along the hike, “Dan from Affton” who had hiked up from Hwy J, and was going to turn back once he hit the fen area. Water was flowing in all streams – pretty impressive for this time of year. The harvested area is beginning to lose it’s “boy I can really see a long way from here” charm, as the undergrowth is coming back with a vengence. It would be a good thing if MTNF put some effort into burning this area now that they have harvested. Great day to be out, plenty of chiggers and ticks. Lots of mushrooms, too many mosquitoes, not bad on flies and gnats. Some color coming into the hills. Will try and post some pictures later.
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