Middle Fork Snoqualmie River
A soft, steady rain filtered through Hemlock needles was quite manageable for this 12 mile hike. And it actually seemed more appropriate to be hiking in the rain with how green everything is, even in February: rolling carpets of moss under the trees, and the Big-leaf Maples and alders completely covered in it too.
Hundreds of Sword Ferns and Deer Ferns line the trail but are all flattened from earlier snow (all melted now). In a few places, a vine-like moss caught my eye, later identified as Stag’s-horn Clubmoss.
The trail is surprisingly varied for a hike like this, only following the river closely for a few short sections, sometimes far enough away that you can’t even hear it. It’s mostly second-growth Hemlock forest with a few old-growth trees near the campground, just before the final bridge over the river at about 6 miles in. This is where we had lunch and turned back.
The river itself is beautiful, fast-flowing and clear. At one point we saw two American Dippers foraging not far from shore, jumping off rocks, disappearing under the current, and popping up a little farther away. With the constant rain, other birds were pretty quiet, but I did hear the usual suspects in a few places: Golden-crowned Kinglets, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and a Pacific Wren.