Thursday, July 20, 2017

Buckner Lane - A Lovely Stroll

There are many hikes in the Lake Chelan National Recreation area, and a wide variety of skill levels required. But, there is a little gem of a hike in Stehekin that is often overlooked - the Buckner Lane.
a little bit hard to find - just past the bridge over Rainbow Creek
Whether you are walking up the road to go visit the Buckner Orchard, biking with friends, or looking for a small adventure, this short trail is a pleasant excursion. I recently took my three-year-old grandson for an outing and, since he wanted to "hike", we enjoyed the Buckner trail.
starting out with enthusiasm
This short trail goes from the road just past the Rainbow Creek bridge, along the irrigation ditch, into the Buckner Orchard. The irrigation ditch has been established for such a long time that it looks more like a creek than a "ditch".
If visitors to the Orchard are planning to walk in via the long, dusty driveway from the road, this small, shady hike is a much more pleasant alternative. Even bikes can be left at the "trail head" and the coolness of a walk along the creek is the reward for choosing the path less traveled. 
one of the many little bridges on Buckner Lane
As the irrigation ditch carries water into the orchard, meandering around roots and rocks, its babbling is soothing in the quiet of the surrounding forest. There is no need to hurry. 
a resting spot along the stroll into the Buckner Orchard
With bridges and benches, the overarching feeling is that this little trail is here to provide an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the beauty. And, if it's a hot day, sitting on one of the many bridges and dipping feet in the water is very refreshing. 
Right after I said, "don't let your croc fall in the creek", and just
before I had to race along the irrigation creek to try to capture the floating croc!
If strolling with children, a contest to see whose twig can travel from one small bridge to the next can be an fun competition. Counting the bridges, or benches, or downed trees along the way help to teach powers of observation and get the children to engage with their surroundings. It's not uncommon to see deer in the area, or squirrels, woodpeckers and other birds, too. 
'Here comes my stick!"

If you get the chance, slow down and stroll along the Buckner Lane. Remember, you can choose to not be in a hurry when you're in Stehekin.