We passed by this beautiful spot many times on our way to somewhere else but finally made Federation Forest our destination. According to the brochure, “the park is home to stands of majestic, old-growth evergreen trees – some more than 1,000 years old. Visitors can enjoy 12 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails that spread through cedar groves, along marshy wetlands and display the beauty and strength of the White River.”
Yes we did! We found many lovely trails through the thick forest and its carpeted floor that made walking – even in the rain – wonderful. We started out carrying umbrellas as we took the trail to the White River.
The air was fresh and clean and wildflowers of all sizes, shapes and colors brightened the way. Can you smell their sweet scent?
The aptly named White River comes from snowmelt off the Emmons Glacier from nearby Mt. Rainier.
The milky river was difficult to access so we didn’t stay long and soon were off on another trail among big trees, this time with splashes of sunshine and no umbrellas.
The forest is comprised of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and Western red cedar, all wonderfully fragrant. Vine maples are scattered throughout and mosses, ferns, salmonberries, devil’s club, salal, and Oregon grape make up the understory.
We saw no one else on the trails though we did see animal droppings – whether deer or bear I don’t know – I only know I paid more attention after that.
Federation Forest is on the Chinook Pass Scenic Highway on the way to Mt. Rainier, which I suppose is why we never stopped before – our usual destination is the Mountain. Still this is much closer to home and now that we have discovered it we’ll return again to walk through the old-growth forest and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
Shared with Sunday Stills.