Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fall Hiking Week Two: A Return To The Ice Age Trail

In last week's travel post I shared that my husband and I made a brief stop at the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Trail.  We took a small loop behind the Interpretive Center  and enjoyed it so much we decided to come back the next week to hike the 4.5 mile Circle Loop Trail.  

(If you missed last week's post, and want more information about the Ice Age Trail and why it's named as such, be sure to check out last week's post, as I won't be repeating that same information in this week's post.)

On our return trip, we were so excited to see that fall colors were still so vibrant!  We were afraid they would be past peak before we got the chance to come back, but there was still a lot of color.

This loop trail is very easy to hike.  It is mostly flat with slight inclines and declines here and there.  It primarily goes through a forest and passes many small lakes and ponds.

Because of all the bodies of water surrounding this trail there are lots of cute rustic bridges that provide great photo opportunities.

I just love it when there is fall color both above you in the sky and on the ground below.  It's like you are surrounded in a sea of color!

The lake views and the mirror reflection in the water are just stunning.

This bridge was so low it was flooded with lake water so they added some beams right in the middle to walk on so your feet don't get wet.

I just love walking through a forest on a crisp cool day, don't you?  The sounds of leaves crunching under your feet and being out in the fresh air is wonderful!  So good for your spirit. 

I did stumble upon a grass snake on the path and screamed because it startled me;  but grass snakes are completely harmless.

I love how even the ferns below the trees turn a gorgeous yellow hue.

I found so many pretty red leaves that I took home and pressed between a book and they are now part of my interior fall decor!

The AllTrails website describes this trail as "Easy" but in the comments other hikers said "Moderate" would describe it better because of the inclines.  As a 58 year old experienced female hiker who has hiked all sorts of trails all over the country in many different types of terrain and climates, I would definitely describe this trail as "Easy" as well.  Yes, it is 4.5 miles long, but it is so level most of the time, I was not even out of breath once.

 I hope you're all getting out and hiking this fall.  Many of you have commented that it's still hot where you live.  We are experiencing unusually cold temperatures here in Wisconsin with it being only in the thirties during the day and in the twenties at night.  Despite the cold weather, we are still getting out and enjoying life!  I recently discovered Under Armour Cold Gear and I can't say enough about their products! I'm sold for life and I will have to do a fashion post on them soon!

Next week I will be back with a another hiking trip in Devils Lake State Park!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Fall Garden Tour

My husband and I have been taking off every weekend to see all the beautiful fall colors in our state.  Last week when we got home we chuckled to ourselves that we drove hundreds of miles to see color when it was in our own backyard the whole time!  I usually share pictures of my garden when the flowers are in bloom, but this time I thought I'd share what my garden looks like when there are no flowers at all.  Because of all the color of the foliage, there is still so much beauty!

Enjoy the video below where I walk through my entire yard, followed by a few photos my husband took.


Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Fall Hiking Week One: The Ice Age Trail and Brunet Island State Park

Hiking in the fall is one of my husband and mine favorite activities.  Every weekend from the sign of the first turn of color till the last leaf drops we are hiking in our beautiful state of Wisconsin enjoying the fall colors.  For the next few weeks, I will be filling my blog with the beautiful colors of fall in Wisconsin and sharing information on the hikes we took.

For our first week of hiking, we decided to go north.  The colors up north always turn first, so it made the most sense to go north then gradually work our way south down the state.  We made plans to spend the day in Brunet Island State Park, but after attending church services in the area, a congregant told us about the Ice Age Trail nearby.  Now, you can't live in Wisconsin without hearing about the Ice Age Trail as it covers pretty much half the state, but we had no idea that we could hike a portion of this trail only about an hour and a half from our home.

The Ice Age Trail

If you look at the map below, the green line is the Ice Age Trail.  We live in the area south of Chippewa Falls, so we caught a portion of the trail in New Auburn.  The Ice Age Trail is 1200 miles long.  If you were tempted to hike the entire trail, it typically takes 7 to 12 weeks.  The record is 22 days and was set by Jason Dorgan in 2007.  

The trail is named the Ice Age Trail, because many years ago an immense flow of glacial ice sculpted a landscape of remarkable beauty across Wisconsin.  The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is one of America’s eleven National Scenic Trails. It is predominantly an off-road hiking trail, similar to the Appalachian Trail. The route generally follows the edges of the last continental glacier in North America, a time known as the Wisconsin glaciation. Besides providing an excellent opportunity for hiking, the trail preserves some of the finest features of Wisconsin’s glacial landscape as well as other scenic and natural resources (source).

Now because we weren't planning on hiking this trail today, we decided to just explore a very short loop behind the parking lot of the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Center and return and hike a 4.5 mile loop the following weekend (which you will see in next week's travel post).  

This trail is very easy!  Even when we returned the following weekend and did the 4.5 loop I thought it was very easy.  It is mostly a flat, level walk with small inclines here and there.  It is well marked with trail markings high on the trees so you won't get lost when all the leaves cover the trail path. 

The trail has many rustic bridges making perfect photo opportunities!  

I think the thing that struck us the most about this trail was how many lakes there were!  I couldn't copy and paste a map of the trail to my blog to save my life, but if you look at this map HERE, there are more lakes than you can possibly count.  The trail winds around all these lakes so you almost constantly have a view of water somewhere on this trail.

The fall foliage was so incredible both weekends we were there.  It was mostly yellows with a few oranges here and there, but then we ran into another hiker and she said just the week before the forest was all red.  I will have to remember that for next year, to go even earlier in the season and see the red colors!

My favorite part of the lakes was seeing the mirror image of the fall tree foliage in the water.

Birch trees are always one of my favorite fall trees.  I love the contrast of the white park against all the beautiful colors.

Is this a magical photo or what?  I am literally engulfed by a sea of color!

We took the Dry Ice Age Trail back to our car to finish the loop.  It provided a different change of scenery looking out into open land, gorgeous grasses, and scenic vistas of changing leaves.

Brunet Island State Park

Our next stop was Brunet Island State Park.  We were only here for a very short time and only hiked one very small trail call the Jean Brunet Nature Trail, but boy was it worth it!

This trail is absolutely stunning in the fall.  I felt I was in a magical fairly land the entire time I was there!

Most of the park is essentially an Island and the Jean Brunet Nature Trail takes the hiker along the shore line of the peaks of the island with views of two other islands (see map HERE).

Because you're seeing two other islands from the peak of the one you're standing on, the views are absolutely breath taking!

On this trail is the cutest rustic bridge with a very unusually steep ramp.

The water view on this trail was so beautiful!

So many gorgeous colors, especially the yellows!

I loved this little spot in the trail where the forest trees were closing in on us.  It felt we were entering a magical spot in the forest.

I hope you enjoyed my fall pictures and that you also are getting out and enjoying the fall colors if they have them where you live.  I will back next week with more fall hiking experiences, and in many weeks to follow.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!