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Clemmons Forest

posted Nov 10, 2014, 8:45 AM by Justin P   [ updated Nov 14, 2014, 5:27 AM ]

This past Saturday, I headed over to Clemmons Educational State Forest near Clayton for an afternoon hike.  Betsy was leading the hike and there were about 15 of us participating.  The forest doesn't open until 11, so we got started around 1130.  We started off from the Water Quality Deck near the pond and got some pictures of the nice fall color on the pond.

The still waters on the pond made an almost perfect mirror, reflecting the vibrant colors of the tress along the shore.  Walking past the pond, we got on the Talking Rock Trail and listened to some of the interpretive displays describing the geology of the area.  We also saw the oldest loblolly pine in the forest along this trail.

After finishing the short loop, we started hiking the Demonstration Trail, making a quick stop to see an old pine straw baler just off the trail.  Shortly after this detour, we hiked through an area near Beddingfield Creek where a large number of ferns were growing in the floodplain of the creek.  The Demonstration Trail makes a double loop and at the far end, we got on the Watershed Extension Loop that runs along the northern perimeter of the forest.  There was some nice fall color along this area as we hiked along creeks and through powerline clearings.  Much of the best fall color to be seen was along these clearings with bright orange and red leaves lining the edges of the clearings.

Betsy was planning to do a “scavenger hunt” hike to find mushrooms in the forest.  However, with the cold weather, there weren't a lot of fungi growing, though we did see some pretty turkey trail right in the middle of the trail.

Over half-way through the Watershed Extension Loop, there was a stream crossing over Mike's Creek and I saw a guy that looked an awful lot like Bill hiking up the other way.  Turns out it was Bill!  He decided to join us and caught up by hiking the trail in the opposite direction.  When we finished out the loop and got back on the Demonstration Trail, we made a stop for lunch and snacks, then finished up the loop back at the parking area.  After our hike, about half of us were a little thirsty so we headed to Deep River Brewing Company in Clayton for some after-hike drinks!