Having grown up not 15 minutes away from Cathedral State Park, this trip was a homecoming of sorts.
Many birthday parties, picnics, and just days of exploration with childhood friends were spent at Cathedral. So, it was all the more nice to spend a quite hour or so walking the trails on a cool afternoon.
The park is relatively small (only 132 acres), but it is still quite important. Cathedral is home to the last remaining stand of mixed virgin timber in the state.
The centerpiece to a walk along the trails are the towering Eastern Hemlocks, some reaching over 90 feet in height and over 21 feet in diameter.
Some still very much alive.
And others are in their twilight years.
The trails in Cathedral are fairly smooth and not difficult. Though in places they can get either boggy or a bit rocky.
During my hike
, some vibrant (and unfamiliar) flora caught my eye. After some careful consideration, many photos, and with the help of a wildflower field guide, I've come to know these plants:
White Baneberry, (aka Doll's Eyes). The berries of which are "very poisonous."
Partridgeberry, This one, on the other hand, is more friendly. The berries are edible, and, according to my field guide, "Indian women drank a tea made from the leaves as an aid in childbirth."
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, (aka Indian Turnip). What caught my eye was the bright cluster of berries laying among the partridgeberry leaves.
Along the northern boundary of the park runs the Old Oakland Road.
Now not so much a road but a wide path from which you can overlook a neighboring farm.
On the return trip to my car, I was watched by this little fella:
Guess he wanted to make sure I wasn't packing away any of his winter stash.