April 17, 2016

Berm Trail North, Three Rivers

Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area is one of the few places close enough to Erin's house that a hike can be sandwiched between Alden's morning and afternoon naps.  It is also a place my Mom used to frequent when she lived here, making it a good choice for another family hike on this visit.  We decided to make another Berm Loop, following the banks of the same drainage ditch we hiked last month, only this time going north of Potter Road instead of south.  Once again, we parked at the gate on Potter Road and headed east, but then in short order took the first left onto a dirt road heading northwest.  This is a service road that passes a number of sunken bunker-like structures.  We crossed over another service road about a half mile from the car.

After pausing to admire some pussy willows near the seventh bunker, we turned right onto yet another service road heading northeast.  This road passes a small pond where we saw a turtle sunning.  Frankie and Mary wanted to take a break by then, but there was nowhere dry to sit near the pond, so we intentionally overshot the berm trail junction a bit looking for some shade.  This was not particularly effective, but a break was taken on a dry patch of the next service road.  There was snacking, there was Alden taking his turn running around, and in a new twist... there was reading.  Frankie had snuck his new pocket space book into his backpack, and after reading on his own a bit, insisted we take turns reading to him.  I'm honestly not so sure about this development.

Then we back tracked around the corner and veered onto the Berm Trail.  This is the only part of the hike that is a single track and not a dirt road, so it is inherently more scenic and charming -- definitely the best part of the hike.  Frankie perked up a bit on this section, finding and pointing out wildflowers.  It is impossible not swoon a bit when your five year old says, look, a red trillium in flower!  Mercy.  That boy!

heading down the gated portion of Potter Road

Alden touching his first pussy willows

trout lily (Erythronium americanum)

spring beauty (Claytonia caroliniana)

The pink is the loop we hiked today, which could easily be combined with the yellow Berm Trail south of Potter Road for a longer hike

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