Gardens and Views of Pseudocraters
I don't know if I should call this a hike or a pretty place to visit. It certainly has paths to follow, branches to explore, and a bit of an incline in places. Stairs made from the earth and branches aid the walker, and many stops are made to view the wildlife and the scenery. Late fall landscaping of a garden in the middle was a nice suprise before you tuckback into the wooded path. It is very unique compared to the otehr hikes in the area as it is surrounded by trees and does not have the volcanic look and feel ni teh immediate surroundings, although while viewing the lake at a few points, the land and rock formations remind you of where you really are.
Whatever this place is - a hike, stroll, or opportunity to view flora and fauna, it was a nice short stop along the road that circles the lake. We think there is an admission fee but we may have arrived late in the season and what might have been a ticket booth was closed. As this was listed as a Must Do in the tour book, we could not resist. For the short visit to this peninsula, the sun was out and the views were crystal clear. It was a pleasant break from the smelly hikes we had done earlier and uniquely sheltered from the wind.
This is a tour bus destination. While we were there off season, there was still a small bus of people coming to visit this site. It was a trip where the people stayed in one group with the guide while she explained the differnet aspects and points of interest. People in the group where there to take photos from the best vantage points - and who could bale them as to miss out on this would be heartbreak to the avid photographer. We chose to walk in the opposite direction than them and this only came across them once at a really nice vantage point. The best place is one point on a rock by the edge of a drop off, so we wandered down the trail and came back after they left for safety reasons. We had all the time in the world and they had a bus, schedule, and a group to consider.
Paths and Flower Gardens
We were there during the fall and the gardening opportunities, like in many places in the northern hemisphere, are limited. There were pansies along a stone walkway and a circle of monkshood in a really thick patch that were humming with bumblebees. It was a pretty patch of elegance and organization in between winding forested paths of a variety of trees with pinecones and fall foliage. The land area thatthe pathswind on is pretty small, but the visitbiity from one turn to the next makes every turnoff a mystery as to where we were or where we would end up. We knew we were done when we arrived at the parking lot after wandering for a while and figured we must have reached the end of the path.