Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trail of Two Forests

We finally went on our last forest outing and it is a cool one. I used the Trail of Two Forest as our newest edition to our nature journal. The Trail of Two Forest is in the South Cascades, near the base of Mt. St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens is a volcano that erupted in May of 1981, locate less than 2 hours from Portland, OR. This isn't the first time the volcano has erupted, and an eruption from over two millennium ago tells the tale of one of our two forests. Lava casts of trees are left behind after the lava solidified quicker than the trees burned. This easy 1/2 mile loop is a great way to see three dimensional lava rock of imprints. In fact, they even have a lava tube that you can climb through and out for almost 50 feet. The old forest is the molds left behind but now a new forest has emerged. Now there is a new old growth forest that grew 2,000 years after the first. The new forest is made up of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. It is amazing to see new trees growing out of the same casts left behind. What a great way to see nature rejuvenate itself. The trail has a boardwalk you must stay on to protect this amazing ecosystem and who wouldn't want to protect this amazing study of history and nature!

Mt. St. Helens
"A" discovered his first lava cave-he's proud!

Start of the Trail of Two Forests

I like this baby tree growing out of the lava rock

"B" liked the nature hike too!

Tree Cast
There are tree casts you can climb through. A tunnel over 50 ft.

50 ft. of tunnels to crawl through

New Forest (which is relative)

New growth in old cast
After "A" went through the tunnel twice with Daddy he tried it on his own.
It was fun to see if "A" could tell me why the cast would be this shape instead of the holes. He correctly guessed the tree must have fallen first! Good Boy!!!
See the lava ripples!
Doing some learning along the way


  1. Wow, what a beautiful and interesting place!

  2. You have so many great resources around you! Thank you for sharing your explorations and experiences!

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