Inspecting one of the fairy houses found along the Fairy House Trail. Credit: Vicky McDonald
Unfortunately, some of the fairy houses were vandalized last year, hence the move from Pine Lake Park to the quieter location in Beaver Lake Preserve (a 5-minute drive from Beaver Lake Park).
The fairy houses are all handcrafted by local residents, and though there are fewer homes than in previous years, the whimsical creations did not disappoint.
Finding the fairies
This year, the fairies are operating in stealth mode! When we arrived at the Beaver Lake Preserve parking lot, we couldn’t see sight nor sign of the fairies. After a bit of searching, we finally discovered their dainty dwellings in the forest across the road from the Beaver Lake Preserve trailhead parking lot.
My kids love fairies, and on our regular forest walks, they love to point out all the hollowed-out tree stumps and crevices where fairies might live. Along the Fairy House Trail, we didn’t even have to imagine the tiny dwellings. We delighted in discovering all the little homes positioned along the path.
Favorite fairy houses
The “Fantastical Fairies” house was my kids’ favorite home, and the attention to detail was certainly impressive. The tiny fairy stairs rest on a gnarly tree trunk, and the surrounding fairy garden is decorated with shells, rocks, moss and flowers.
My kids also adored the house called “Mushroomville,” which has a gorgeous red toadstool, some mini bottles of magic potions, moss and pine cones. It looks like the perfect summer dwelling for resort-loving fairies.
My daughter loved the “Dream House,” a cute floral-clad house with a nest filled with shells, moss and pine cones. These fairies really are ingenious builders!
There are nine fairy houses to find and inspect, and each one has its own unique charm. My kids wanted to believe there were more so we chased around the trails hunting for other dwellings in the undergrowth. It certainly made our forest walk a lot more magical than a typical hike.
More fun in the forest
The fairy trail is not very long, so after looking at all the magical homes, we went for a stroll through the forest and picked some huckleberries and salmonberries. If you have not been to Beaver Lake Preserve, it’s a beautiful space and well worth checking out.
If you’ve brought along a snack, there are a few picnic tables near the lake for an impromptu picnic. Of course, you also have beautiful Beaver Lake Park and its swimming beach close by, so you might want to bring your swimsuits and beach shoes to make a day of it.
The beach area is a short drive away from the preserve and there is plenty of parking available by the Lodge.
If your family would enjoy a little extra magic and charm in a fun nature activity, the Fairy House Trail is a good bet. Just go soon, as the fairies are moving out at the end of August!
If you go ...
Open hours: The preserve is open daily, 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Parking: Free parking is available in the gravel lot.
Tips for families:
Fuel up nearby for your fairy hunt:
More magical fun for kids: