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    • The Hellcat Interpretive Trail is a boardwalk loop in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. It was originally built in the 1970s by high school students in the Youth Conservation Corps. The (original) building material was wood, the width was 4 feet, and the boardwalk included stairs in places. It has been closed for the better part of a year as a new boardwalk was constructed. The new boardwalk is made of synthetic Trex plastic planks, is 6 feet wide, and has no stairs.

      The rebuilt and wheelchair accessible boardwalk had a soft open last weekend. Informational signs have not yet been placed but the boardwalk is open for exploring.

      I walked Hellcat yesterday, enjoying the autumn colors popping in different areas of the trail.

    • In honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week, the North Pool Dike Path in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is open for walking this week. I headed to the refuge today to take advantage of this uncommon opening.

      As I walked along the dike I noticed patches of bright red in the salt marsh. Luckily I was able to ask a refuge staff member for its name. The plant is glasswort, a succulent that thrives in saline environments. It wears bright red as the season turns to autumn.

      There were clouds in the sky, with a bit of blue showing behind them occasionally.