Forest Glen Loop Trail

Hours

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Review

Photo Credit: Bud Hardwick
The Forest Glen Loop of the Roche Harbor Trail system offers a pleasant and varied trip through interesting forest and wetland habitats. The frequent ups and downs of the trail while not severe provide for changing scenery and added interest. Views are primarily close, intimate, and traveling slowly increases the chances for wildlife sightings. Among the plant communities, unusual and in some cases rare plants are encountered as the trail passes over and through small bogs and forest wetlands.

The Forest Glen Loop is appropriately named for despite the predominance of trees there are many areas of more open terrain. Dry open pine forests growing on thin-soiled hilly bumps are closely arranged with small wetlands including mysterious black water bogs and the unusual plants that thrive in and around them. Throughout the year, though more frequently in spring and summer, amphibians are active; sometimes seen but usually noticeable by their distinctive chorus.

Extensive shrub patches provide not only ideal bird habitat but also excellent viewing opportunities. In other areas, the trails pass through dry grassy meadows and down moist, fern covered hillsides. The entire loop covers less than a two mile distance yet the many connections that pinwheel out from it can provide more prospects for exploration. Several dead-end spur trails lead into the loop as well; their short length encouraging investigation without requiring very much distance or effort to double back to the main loop.

Maps of the Forest Glen Loop are partially keyed to numbered signposts provided at some of the trail junctions. These can be helpful but don’t rely solely on them for directions. While you may happen to notice sounds of traffic from nearby roads; visually, you’re delightfully isolated and surrounded by the natural world. Despite the mazelike confusion that can set in during your outing, you’re never far from the boundaries of the trail system, comfortably bordered by the Road trails on three sides and the Airport Trail across the north.

Among the many options for connections, the Roche Harbor Road Trail and Airport Trail most conveniently allow for a hiking or biking loop from the Roche Harbor Resort. Nearby, and across Roche Harbor Road to the south, the Roche Harbor Highlands provides an even more extensive northwest forest experience. If short of time, stick with the main loop; but if not in a hurry, and it’s best not to be, enjoy the twists, turns, and junctions with an eye to exploring, just be sure to leave plenty of time and bring plenty of patience.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 10/15/2009

Directions

There are numerous points within the Roche Harbor Trail system from which hikers and to a lesser extent trail bikers can access the Forest Glen Trail. These include the Airport, Roche Harbor Road, and Rouleau Road trails and trailheads (see related articles this website).

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