today is a benevolently warm day
Ah! Fickle Nature!
We're supposed to be in the dead of winter,
with the white of February's snow.
But the temps are expected to climb into the 70s!
What happened to winter's frosty blasts?
The dashing snowflakes?
The icicle spears?
a blissful, picture-perfect day for an invigorating hike
with our dogs on a dog-friendly dry woodland trail
on the north side of Big Bear Lake
The Woodland Trail.
This day is Nature's
an inspiring one that has moved me to
to share it with you.
>> Click here
to find out what the weather is like right now
via Kuffel Creek Press' WebCam Links
The trail is a 1½ mile interpretive loop which was created by dedicated
volunteers. In a transition zone of mixed conifers and pinyon-juniper woodland, the trail rises
250 feet in elevation, from 6750 feet
above sea level to 7000 feet.
The Forest Service
pamphlet says this trail is suitable for hikers of all skill
levels. We particularly enjoy this trail for its dry woodland scenery and its stunning lake panoramas and mountain
vistas, as well as its geological and botanical points of
As the season changes,
so does the trail.
Season by season, nature puts on an
ever-changing display here. The winter brings snow and stark
contrasts. Spring brings delicate wildflowers and streams. The
trail is a cool place to be in the summer, compared to the
sweltering heat of the flatlands, "down the hill" as we
are wont to say. The fall brings splashes of
orange, gold and yellows.
For those who are unaccustomed to
elevation, we recommend an unhurried pace. The hike -- or the walk
in the woods -- takes about 45
minutes to an hour, or longer for those who choose to take the time to take in
the scenery, smell the vanilla-scented pines, and listen to the wind
in the trees or the birds singing.
For us, Big Bear Valley is a
natural place with the power to heal and restore. As Thoreau said, "In the wilderness,
there is life."
Walking this trail serves as our respite from the
stresses of life and a place to feel at peace.
The trail is on a good
mountain footpath in a forest setting, and walking shoes, stout
shoes or boots are adequate. Don't stray from the path, as getting lost
is an ordeal for humans and dogs, alike. Remember: This is a dry
woodland area and water is scarce. You might want to
bring a water bottle with you.
Keep it simple,
Stay on the path.
For those who are
actually doing the hike, be sure to stop first at the Big Bear
Discovery Center which is one mile west of the trail on North Shore
Drive to pick up an excellent free interpretive guide map and a National Forest
Adventure daily pass (that is, if you don't already have an annual
pass) so you may park in the Forest Service parking lot near the
Be sure to use the bathroom at the Discovery Center, as there is no
bathroom at the trail. (More on this later) And have a
drink of water at the water fountain just outside.
for more information on The Adventure Pass.
It's the cheapest recreational usage fee you'll ever pay.
And you're doing a good thing:
You are investing in and supporting our -- your -- forests.
For those who are
actually doing the hike with your dog/s:
for dog-friendly information.
For those who'd like
to virtually join us on our hike today,
for lovable dogs awaiting adoption at the
Bear Mountain Dog Rescue
in Big Bear Valley.
Don't Shop" ~ "Spay...Don't
These pages are
dedicated to the memory of Laki
and the good and kind people at
Bear Mountain Dog Rescue.
Big Bear Lake