It was an overcast, cool day in mid-July. We decided to take an outing to the Coastal Mountains.
L.L. “Stub” Stewart Memorial State Park was our destination. It is situated next to the Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail.
The original railway line was built in the 1920s to move logs and lumber from a company mill in Vernonia as well as freight and passengers to Portland. The railroad line was abandoned in 1973. One year later Oregon bought the right-of-way. In 2007 the State Park opened adjacent to a segment of the rail-trail.
We drove to the upper parking area, used primarily by equestrians. However, this day we were the only visitors.
Our hiking destination was Unfit Settlement View, a little more than a mile uphill from the trailhead. I read once the name “Unfit Settlement” refers to a 19th century surveyor’s assessment of the poor homesteading potential in the area.
Upon reaching the viewpoint, the highest point in the park (1,528 feet), it became clear that trees had grown high enough to obscure most of the views. But, to our surprise we spotted a western tiger swallowtail butterfly enjoying a group of tiger lilies. Due to late snowstorms and lots of spring rainfall, there have been very few butterflies to be seen this year.
All in all, it made for a nice outing in the middle of summer.
Red Elderberries Daisy and Foxglove