August 5, 2015

North Rim Trail, Pratts Falls

When we hiked at Pratts this spring, we took the Falls Trail loop down to see the full view of the waterfall at high water conditions.  By the time we got over to the western trailhead, Frankie's little legs weren't too fresh, so we just hiked the shorter Crossover Trail loop.  Today we went back to hike the longer North Rim Trail.

These two trails are nestled, with the first and last parts overlapping.  The shared sections of trails are in mixed forests, with hemlocks along the streams and hardwoods elsewhere.  After about half a mile, near the unmarked junction where we headed back last time, there is a lean-to nestled in the woods off the trail.  Frankie was eager to check it out, so we stopped for a rest and snack.  From here on out was new territory for him on his own power, as we were last here with the Kelty carrier.  At the marked intersection, the Crossover turns back while the North Rim continues an additional mile through successional old fields and young forests before reconnecting again.  The fields were beautiful with riots of color from the flowers and sky, but of course a bit warmer with the exposure.  Despite his contrarian claims to love hot weather (which I most certainly do NOT), Frankie was eager to get back in the woods.

He seemed to like the sections of trail in the mature forests the best.  He set a fast pace for most of the return hike, running ahead on the long downhills.  We stopped for long time at the West Branch Limestone Brook crossing to throw rocks and play on the bridge and take pictures.  Once we got back to the trailhead, we wandered over to the little pond near the main parking area so Frankie could revisit the tiny covered bridge, then it was onto milkshakes on the way home.  Another great day in the woods!

The North Rim Trail is posted at 2.6 miles but with the covered bridge detour, Map My Ride tracked the hike at 3.1 miles. 

pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys)

doll's eyes (Actaea pachypoda)

Carrot snack in the lean-to

View from the lean-to

Even though he'd had blackberries at home with breakfast, Frankie declared that these Rubus alleganiensis tasted poisonous.


spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

orange-fruited horse gentian (Triosteum aurantiacum)

pale jewelweed (Impatiens pallida)

forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)
post-hike milkshake

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