Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington – United States

Deep within Washington’s majestic Hoh Rain Forest dwells a hiking trail known as the Hall of Mosses. To walk it is to enjoy a positively magical walk just under a mile long through a gorgeous clutch of moss-covered trees. There are tower-tall bigleaf maples and lanky Sitka spruces to admire, among many other types of trees. Some stand tall, while others have fallen long ago. Because of the rich nutrients present through every inch of the soil here, the trees that call this place home don’t require roots that reach deep in order to survive. However, this can make them easy victims for the strong, bracing winds and storms that sometimes shake this place.

The velvety mosses that give this trail its name grow abundantly over all of the trees. They clothe the trees that are standing in glorious garments of umber brown, olive green, and sea foam mint. They cover those that have fallen in downy blankets of chocolate sable and saturated emerald, ensuring they are every bit as beautiful and alluring as their living brothers and sisters. It takes perhaps an hour to walk the Hall of Mosses in its entirety, but it’s an hour that promises to be one of the most magical of your life.

‘Walking with Giants’ was captured during a chilly winter morning’s visit. It was unusually clear that day, not to mention profoundly calm as nature often is at that time. The living, green smell of the moss hung heavy and intoxicating in the air, mingling with the rich, fragrant scent of the earth under my feet. Graceful ferns clustered around the bases of many of the trees, adding the perfect finishing touches to the scene around me. As I walked reverently and quietly among the ancient trees there, I felt I was visiting a place populated by fairy tale giants, wise beings filled with timeless secrets I could only guess at.


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