The Woodland Trail

Big Bear Lake, California
Sunday, February 23, 2002

Gloriously clear, 
today is a benevolently warm day
in February. 

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?

Instead,
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 
called
The Woodland Trail.

This day is Nature's gift,
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 1 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 interest.  

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 our alpine 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.

Above all:

KISS: 
Keep it simple, stay!  
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 trailhead. 

Important:  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.

 >> Click here 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:

>> Click here for dog-friendly information.

For those who'd like to virtually join us on our hike today, 
click below:

>> Next



Click here for lovable dogs awaiting adoption at the 
Bear Mountain Dog Rescue
 
in Big Bear Valley.

"Adopt, Don't Shop"  ~ "Spay...Don't Litter"

These pages are dedicated to the memory of Laki 
and the good and kind people at 
Bear Mountain Dog Rescue.

Big Bear Lake

September Morn 2002