After viewing the elk at Jewell and walking to Fishhawk Falls, highschool friend Dan and I drove to the Soapstone Lake Trailhead in the Clatsop State Forest in mid-February. It was a relatively easy hike – – – three miles roundtrip with 475 feet of elevation gain. The area lies on the West side of the Coastal Mountains about 13 miles from Seaside. A newer trail, it’s in good shape with four footbridges. There were huge Douglas fir stumps visible from the trail, likely the result of logging in the late 19th century. Dan remarked that it felt like walking through a valuable piece of Oregon history. Upon reaching the far side of the spring-fed lake, we spotted several Oregon newts along the trail. It was truly a pleasant outing.
Trek Tip no. 5: Upon returning home, always download your digital photos onto a hard drive and put them into an organizing software program before settling in for the evening. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. If you procrastinate, the amount of photos will soon overwhelm you. (Thanks to good friend Fred for this valuable tip.)