5 Mile Road to Freesoil Trailhead

4 miles: 142 miles total

At this point the trail diverts about 3 miles to the west, passing along 5 mile road through a cottage community around a cluster of small lakes.

The trail passed through a small grove of large white pines. I’m always happy to see these mature trees and can only imagine what the primeval forest looked like before logging stripped the land. I’ll confess, it seemed a bit disrespectful to tag this elder tree with the NCT blue blaze.
Artist’s conk is so called because the delicate white under surface when scratched with a sharp object reveals dark brown tissue–kind of like a natural etch a sketch. If you look closely you can see a faint light streak flowing from the left edge which was the spores being released into the breeze.
This cardinal flower was growing near the bridge over Muckwa Creek.