|Reflecting Pool on Smith Creek|
This morning was great landscape weather. This is due primarily to relatively cool temperatures and high humidity from all the flooding. The river continues to rage above flood stage.
Unless you are ready to wade, the wildflowers in Lost Valley are pretty much out of reach. Today the dogwoods are in bloom -- just. Some are white and many blooms are still green. This will evolve very rapidly so if you plan to visit, certainly most will be white this weekend. Wildflower fans can locate plenty along trails on high ground all along the river hiking trails. Rain has been pretty ideal this year and the wildflower bloom is heavy.
Waterfall and cascade fans will experience what could be the very best weekend in 2012 for visiting so far. It could be the best all year because it does not get much better than this. There are now cascades where they seldom occur, and the traditional cascades and falls are running hard.
Smith Creek Preserve will be very good now. The road down to the creek is lined with wildflowers. The creek itself has many beautiful cascades and water features. Dutchman's Breeches are in bloom and Smith Creek is one of the best places to see them. The hike down to the creek descends about 500 feet in a mile, it is not hard, but it is also not easy. Experienced hikers will have no problem with it. See the website for directions and details. It is now marked with a sign on the north side of 21 as you head out of Boxley Valley. Park near the sign, and walk past the gate following an old road down to the creek. Remember this area is not patrolled so you should not hike alone, and also let someone know you are going to hike there.
If you don't mind getting a little wet, you can wade the bridge at Lost Valley and see the falls, cascades, and wildflower bloom along the trail. Water levels drop pretty fast so it might be dry by the time you visit.