A Hike to the Pine Forest - Part 1

As spring was winding down I planned a sunrise hike to the Pine Forest in Glen Helen. I hadn't been there in a few years and was excited to go back and be amongst the tall pines. However, when I awoke at 5am and checked the weather I almost pulled the plug and crawled back into bed. It was in the high 50's with dense fog, there was a particular image I wanted to create and fog was not part of that. 

But its 5am,  I am awake, and my gear was packed and ready to go so I decided to head out. It is not always about getting the shot I want, sometimes it is enough just to be out.  The trek took slightly longer than I anticipated to get to the trail head and start towards the Pine Forest, sunrise was going to be over sooner than later at this point. Things were not going as planned, but that all changed once I got into Glen Helen.

Path into the Glen

The fog gave a wonderful ethereal feel to the quiet forest that was still in the early stages of awakening. Ideas began to come to mind about other shots that might work if the fog didn't burn off before I could get there.

I decided on a route that would take me to the Grotto, the Yellow Spring, the Cascades and finally the Pine Forest. In the end I did this route but ended up going back to the Cascades on my way out. More on this in part 2!


First stop was the Grotto, I have attempted to photograph this multiple times, but I have yet to get one I like. This trip might have broken the spell. I am still editing that image but I think it might make into the gallery before too long, stay tuned for updates on that one.​

The Grotto is the run off from the Yellow Spring, there is a wooden bridge that leads you right to it if you take the hiking trail to the north instead of the Inman Trail. From here the water will continue its path into the Yellow Springs Creek which will ultimately feed into the Little Miami River.


Next stop and where I will end this entry was the Yellow Spring. I have photographed this in every season, multiple times, I just can't help it, if I am walking by I need to take a shot. This time was no exception, with the fog in the distance and the stairs leading towards the Cascades I knew it was something special that I hadn't captured before. This is one of my favorite images to date of the Yellow Spring and I am excited to share it with you.

Prints are available, click here to goto the store.

24mm, 2.5 sec at f9, ISO 100

In part 2 we will goto the Cascades, twice, and finally reach the Pine Forest and we might just meet a few monsters along the way...