Today the kids were acting all crazy, being cooped up in the house, so I loaded them up in the car and took them down to a nice little campground and nature trail along the Sol Duc River. Tumbling Rapids Park owned by Rayonier corp. is located right around mile 203.5 on highway 101 and in addition to being a cozy little campground on the river, there's a really nice little loop trail on its' west side.
Called the Ron Smith Memorial Trail, it's about 1/2 mile long, parallels the river for about 1/3 of its' length and for you geocachers out there, there's a fairly good sized cache containing lots of goodies for the kids. It is cache #GC7239 for those of you interested.
At the point where the trail veers away from the river, there's a spur trail that goes to the river itself and a small sandy beach with some shallows perfect for getting your feet wet, and a nice sized fishing hole just downstream.
The trail is fairly unremarkable, but where it shines is in the abundance and diversity of flora contained within. It's perfect for teaching the kids about common plants of the area. You make your way past hemlock, fir, maple, sword ferns, deer ferns, bracken ferns, holly, huckleberries, salmonberries, devil's club, salal and much much more. There was even indian pipe mushrooms sprouting on the trail today.
I figured that with my previous hard core hikes, a nice easy walk with the kids was in order. This is a perfect little area to take a break driving to or from the coast. Lots of shade, a nice cool river and a picnic area at the trailhead makes this a perfect, little known spot to sit back and relax. Enjoy