What fun! It’s not often I do a new hike within 100 miles of Portland.
Gnat Creek was a real treat. The trail began at a campground east of Astoria. The first 1 1/2 miles passed through a hemlock and Sitka spruce forest with massive nursery stumps remaining from 100-year old logging operations. The creek gurgled and splashed as it cascaded along near the trail.
After crossing Highway 30, there was a small fish hatchery to explore. Then the trail led over two miles into the deep upper valley of Gnat Creek. There were various places where elk had crossed the trail to access the creek.
The strong odor of skunk cabbages was very evident in places, accompanied by the bright yellow flowers of the plants. Other wildflowers strewn along the trail were trilliums, wood sorrel, stream violets and salmonberry.
A very pleasant way to spend a Saturday. Next time I may bring a fishing rod and give the steelhead a try.