A group of nine ladies headed out after work to the Highwoods to try the North Fork Trail for an evening hike. There were clouds looming over the Little Belts but the Highwood mountains looked inviting. It was nice to have Bonnie along on the drive because she was raised in the area and gave us some history and showed us the family ranch with all of the newborn calves that her brother now runs. She also pointed out some sketchy bridges and guided us on the dirt road.
We arrived at the parking area and then crossed a small foot bridge to the trail head. All though the hike is a short one, it is a little steep and starts in the trees and heads to a ridge where the view are super. You can see Baldy which still has some snow on the top of the mountain. After the ridge we came to a stand of trees and five of the group lead by Katie, headed to the top. The rest of the group continued along the trail to meet up with them. When we stopped we were in voice contact with them but they did not show up so our group turned around and then waited for them on the ridge. We started down the trail and very shortly the group was in view.
Although the flowers are late this year, we still saw 20 different varieties, including pasque, cous biscuitroot, fritillaries/yellow bell, sugar bell, chickweed, woodland star, shooting star, golden pea with the arrowleaf balsamroot just starting.
We were dismayed to fine that motorcycles had used the trail and also there were other vehicles had climbed a hill by the parking lot when motorized vehicles were to remain on the road.
After a beautiful evening for a hike we returned to Great Falls at 8:30 just as a few drops of rain came down. Thanks Amber and Jeanne for driving.
The ladies who went were: Amber, Rose, Judy, Jeanne, Beth, Katie, Gail, Bonnie W and Christi.