Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hike 2011.057 -- Honker Lake and Woodlands Walk

Hiked Thursday, August 25. This is basically a re-walk of Hike 2011.053. I returned because it's been the most interesting of the area: Good lake views, lots of avian viewing, lots of deer, and a fair distance for when I get a late start.

As was the case the last time, I got here about 5:15pm, local time. The actual nature center (Woodlands Nature Station) closes at 5pm, but there are several parking areas outside of the gate that you can park at and walk the trails beyond. Today, as I approached from the south, I saw a large flock of deer, near the furnace ruins and across the street from the nature center drive. Between 10 and 12 deer were there, mostly appearing to be does and fawns.

I parked south of the Woodland Nature Station entry road, in a small lot adjacent to the main road and to an access road that heads on in towards the Honker Lake Trail. This is also the parking lot for the short, .2-mile, wheelchair-accessible, Long Creek Trail. However, I decided to just repeat my circuit of Honker Lake.

The trail seemed somewhat shorter today than it did the last time, in part because I knew the trail and didn't have to spend as much time wondering if I had gotten lost or something. Also, much of the bird life was almost exactly the same place that evening as it was the week previous. There was a grey heron near where I saw one last year (there were several other heron that were NOT there last time), and the egret was almost exactly the same place, too.

There were also many deer, again. They mostly went hopping off as soon as the saw me. The except seemed to be the ones within view of the road, at the start and end of my hike.

The only significant change I noticed was that the trail had been mowed in the interim, so several areas that were starting to get a little overgrown were no longer so.

After getting back to the car, I snapped several pictures of the large deer flock (pictured at the top of this post). When I finally got under way, I saw another grey heron, hanging out in the small pond adjacent to the road. I also saw the largest skunk I ever saw, rooting near the road, and holding his big, bushy, white tail like a flag to all who could see: Don't mess with me. Oh, yes, and I saw two wild turkeys along the road, too. This area is definitely a wildlife hotspot, at least on warm summer evenings.


  1. I bet that place will look amazing in the fall when the leaves start changing colors.

  2. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It's got a mixture of species, so the color should be an interesting palette. Definitely be heading back on this trail later in the fall!