I spent yesterday exploring the frozen waterfalls at Matthiessen State Park. One of my favorite things about winter hiking is the solitude. In 3-4 hours I only saw a handful of people. If you can brace the cold, it's a great time to be out! #matthiessenstatepark
Foraging in an Eastern hemlock fir tree forest in icy hard-packed snow. The deer got there first and made a feast of all the lower branches. Hemlock (not to be confused with poisonous water hemlock, an unrelated plant), is high in vitamin C, can help the immune system fight off colds and flus, and is used as a tea to help coughs and fevers. It can be included in a double extract of reishi mushroom to significantly increase the mushroom’s medicinal potency - I find this really cool because it is the main tree we find reishi growing wild on here in the Ottawa Valley. The needles can be made into a tea, salve, syrup, jelly, liqueur, essential oil, hydrosol, and more. The local florist uses it for Christmas floral arrangements and wreaths. Hemlock is a sacred tree. It can be used to align yourself more closely with the genius loci - local nature spirits. It protects and blesses, heals and nourishes. You can tell it apart from balsam fir by how small and short the needles are. Be careful not to mistake it for yew (a scrubby, short, and poisonous evergreen bush in Ontario which lacks an evergreen scent and can have red berries). #foraging#wildharvesting#wildcrafting#easternhemlock#hemlocktree#wildmedicine#treemedicine#herbalism#winterwilderness#fernandfungi#reishi#winterhiking#wintermedicine
The Teller Trail. Perfect for when higher roads and trails are too icy. A relaxing amble along the quiet Bitterroot River with a chance to see some wildlife.
Head south on Hwy 93 (up or down the Bitterroot, depending on your viewpoint). Drive past Stevensville until you reach the light at Woodside Cutoff. Turn left, heading for Corvallis. After the bridge, take an immediate left. Park at this fishing access trailhead (Note: If you have dogs, scan the area before you let them out, so they don't excitedly dart for the river and disrupt a fisher person's quiet waters.) Walk 50' down river, and you'll see the gate at the start of the trail. (And the cut-around lazy people like me have carved out on the side to avoid the gate.) Anyways, follow this trail at your leisure. This access borders on the Teller Wildlife Refuge, so watch for raptors, owls, and other fowl. When we went, we spotted a Bald Eagle perched atop a towering snag.
The route loops amid cottonwoods and bull pines with lots of blowdown hidey-holes to entertain dogs, kids, or curious folk. No worries about getting lost, though. You'll loop back to the gate. Took us about an hour this time of year.
When you're done, drive into Corvallis and grab a bite at the Merc (Which, incidentally, my parents owned for about 20 years.) You may want to turn onto the Eastside Hwy for a scenic drive home.
#bitterrot#bitterrootvalley#bitterroottrails#winterhiking#wintertrails#missoulatrails#CorvallisMerc#themerc#1LessChickontheCouch#just move #ActiveWoman#mtchick#montanagirl#bopo#bodypositive