Well this week will be the last of the fall hiking adventures. And for those of you who have grown tired of seeing pictures of hiking trails, I can hear your sigh of relief through the computer screen. 😁 We did spend almost every weekend hiking this fall, and I didn't even show you all our hikes, just the ones I thought were most "blog worthy". But all good things must come to end, so this will be the last hiking trail post, then I'm taking a Christmas break to spend time with the family, and I will be back with some trips we took this past summer.
If you remember THIS POST we hiked Grandad Bluff in LaCrosse, Wisconsin; while there we could see other beautiful bluffs in the distance. My husband saw those bluffs and said "I wanna be up there!". So we looked at a map and we saw there were many more hiking trails called the Hixon Trails; they are divided into the "Lower Hixon Trails" and the "Upper Hixon Trails". Because my husband wanted the views, we took the Lower Hixon Trails (Why they are called that when they go up to the scenic bluffs and have great viewpoints, I have no idea. Ironically, I couldn't see any viewpoints on the Upper Hixon Trails, which are mostly used for mountain biking.).
Depending on where you start on the map, this is the grand view you end up seeing: Lookout Prairie. It is totally worth the hike up the bluff!
Now, we didn't do much research before starting this hike, so we ended up hiking a lot of extra miles. We should have parked our car in the Hixon Forest Parking Lot then our hike would have only been 3.6 miles. Instead we parked at the Trail Access by the Aspen Trail and ended up hiking the Aspen Trail (0.65 miles), the Log Loop (0.55miles), the Bicentennial Trail ( 1.8 miles), the Vista Trail (around 3 miles) to the Savannah Trail (0.3 miles), to a Connecting Trail, back to the Bicentennial Trail, back to the Log Loop , and finally back to the Aspen Trail. I have no idea how many miles that ended up being but we barely made out of the forest by dusk, and we were all aching the following morning.
However, in spite of its length, all the trails were gorgeous...even without any foliage on the trees. We usually hike in the summer or fall, so my husband and I were commenting how nice it is even to hike once all the leaves have fallen because you can see through the dense foliage and get more distant views.
If all the trees had their leaves, you would never be able to see the bluffs in the distance as you can in the picture below.
In case you're wondering who the young man is in all my photos, that is my son. These photos were taken Thanksgiving weekend when he was home to visit.
In the Hixon Forest Parking Lot is "Pooh's Lair". My son couldn't resist having some fun with this dead tree.
There are two magnificent scenic lookout points on the Vista Trail: Vista Prairie and Lookout Prairie . The first one on the trail starting from the parking lot is Vista Prairie.
After admiring the views we hit the trail again to find the next lookout point and came across this beautiful wooden bridge.
The next look point was the most magnificent of the two: Lookout Prairie. The sun was just starting to go down making it hard to see, but at the same time providing beautiful sun photos. People were starting to gather up at the top to watch the sunset. Unfortunately we couldn't stay for that because we had a much longer walk back to our car than they did and we did not want to be walking through the forest in the dark.
The Driftless Region is certainly a beautiful part of the country!
After enjoying the views, we hurried as fast as we could down the bluff. After consulting the map, we discovered the fastest way down the bluff was to take the Savannah Trail to the Connector Trail so we did that and it saved us a lot of extra steps and time. We made it out of the forest well before dusk, so we headed out for some delicious burgers; we were ravenous! But believe it or not our walking did not end there. We decided to take in the LaCrosse Rotary Lights while we were already in the city. They are always so beautiful and considered one of the best Rotary Lights in the state. I will post a few pictures of them on my "Holiday Break" post.
Have A Great Day! Amy
Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!