Great day for a hike

It was a gorgeous day out there today.  We continue to try and keep up our hiking.  And today was made for a good hike.  We enjoy hiking a lot and it’s healthy.  While over vacation, we decided to try and keep up with some long walks and hikes.  Rich and I lost about 10 lbs a piece over vacation on our hikes.  Seems like a good thing to keep up with.

Originally, it was going to be the three musketeers.  Then Rick got a better offer to go and have lunch with some of his friends.  We always tell him to be social, if possible.  After breakfast, we dropped Rick off at the house and gathered our camelbaks for the hike.  Since we didn’t know if dogs were welcomed on the trails, we left Sascha behind.

Last week, we went to Volo Bog and wished we had packed the baks.  We had water bottles, but a little more would have been helpful.  The baks give us somewhere to stow jackets when it warms up.  It’s also nice to take a sip as you walk when you need it.  I’d say it was one of the best investments we made in equipment.

Glacial Park is about 20 minutes north of us.  This is an example of what the glaciers did in the area as they pushed south.  All the rock, dirt, and debris were pushed out in front of the moving mass of ice.  At the park, there is an excellent example of a kame, which is the large hill of debris just in front of the glacier.  At the back of the park, you can climb Camelback kame and overlook the valley on both sides.

The area was a homestead for farmers who settled here in the early 1800s.  Their original house, barns, and other outbuildings are still standing on the property.  The park invites you to walk the trails during the good weather along with horseback riding.  During the winter, the trails allow you to snowmobile or cross country ski.

Today, we were walking the trails.  We started out at the main barn and just above the amphitheater.  We headed to the kame first.  The climb up the hill is relative easy.  We came across a set of grandparents out with their grandkids.  The kids were young enough to make the hike seem hard.

From the top of kame, you can look west and look out over the Nippersink valley.  The Nippersink Creek winds its way gently through the grassy meadows.  The Prairie Path runs through the valley as it runs north to Wisconsin.  The valley was green and lush at this time of year.  The trees have hardly started to change and the grasses are still very green.

Walking along the top of the kame, the path is wide and pounded down.  The gravel kicks up easily in the dirt.  The path is cut through the tall grasses and ground cover.  Sumacs grow in places and their leaves are red and shiny.

The other side of the hill is steep and very gravelly.  Rich slips a couple of times going down.  I’m overly cautious because I don’t want to land on my face.  I side step down to prevent having an accident.  My legs burn again.  Going down is so hard on the upper thighs.  Downhill is my  least favorite way to go on a hill or mountain.

We continue on the trail.  At one of the overlooks with a bench, we come on an older couple with their dogs.  Yes, we did see the sign that told us it was okay to have your dogs on the trail.  One of the dogs was blond and small.  The other was most definitely a beagle, that didn’t bay.  I stop to pet both dogs and talk to their owners.

Back on the trail, we head down the Coyote Loop.  This adds another .75 miles to the 1.5 miles on the Deer Path trail we are on.  Just a good stretch of the legs.  We circle around to the outer edge of the park on the south and can see the farm land adjacent to the park.  We walk over the rolling hills and through the oak grove.

At the end of the Coyote Loop, we come out at the parking lot.  From here, we jump to the Kettle Bog trail.  This trail lets you walk a boardwalk through the actual bog.  It starts out easily and you can see the path, but it quickly it overgrown and just a single path through the tall grasses and other growth related to a bog.  The ground squishes and the boardwalks are floating above a bed of mosses.

We head back down the Bog trail through the tall grasses.  I look down at my feet and see a small snake just at the toe of my right shoe.  I screech to a halt and almost throw my shoulder out of the socket.  The snake is fast and darts into the tall grass before I get a good look at it.  I assume it is a garter snake with its dark brown scales and yellow pinstripes.

Rich totally missed seeing the snake slither away from him.  Now we see them leaving the trail pretty quickly ahead of us.  They all seem to be out sunning themselves on this nice day.  We see one snake that is over 12 inches long.  This must be a very healthy population.

One more hill stands before us as we head to the end of the trail.  This hill takes up back to the top of the kames.  We inch our way up slowly.  With sore legs, it is a little harder than when we started out.  We make it to the top and over to the amphitheater.  The parking lot is just ahead.

We unpack our gear and stretch our legs before climbing into the car.  We have one stop at the store before heading home.  Rich is making Coq au Vin for dinner today.  A nice warm and cozy meal just tops off the day.

Rich out on the top of the kame.
Rich out on the top of the kame.
Path on the top of the kame.
Path on the top of the kame.

 

Rich standing out on the bog trail.
Sweeping view from the kame down into the valley and farmland.
Sweeping view from the kame down into the valley and farmland.
View to the Nippersink Valley with the creek and Prairie Path.
View to the Nippersink Valley with the creek and Prairie Path.

 

Rich standing out on the bog trail.
Rich standing out on the bog trail.