Camping with extended family provides a chance to get closer to nature and closer to one another. Copper Falls State Park in Northern Wisconsin offers a great place for families to enjoy gorgeous scenery, mountain bike trails, a swim in Loon Lake, or a short paddle. At the concession stand families can enjoy delicious, cool icecream or a hamburger after hiking, and on Sundays and Wednesdays the concession stand offers giant, fluffy pancakes with sausage for breakfast. Copper Falls State Park is located near Mellen in Ashland County, Wisconsin just off State Highway 169.
Loons swam with their chicks calling loud warnings as eagles swooped down from warm, sunny skies. They called mournful calls as night fell wrapping the lake in a blanket of cool darkness. Bullfrogs croaked. Thousands of tadpoles in various stages of development filled the shallow waters along the lake shore. Turtles sunbathed on logs. Wildflowers waved in the breeze. Fungi and moss thrived on fallen trees. Cool green ferns lined serene footpaths. Reflections of clouds on the lake mirrored the tranquil sky. The Sylvania Wilderness gave our family all of this plus so much more.
Time in the wilderness is good for our family. It brings us closer together, and closer to nature. For our first wilderness adventure of 2017, we headed north to the Sylvania Wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest in Upper Michigan near Watersmeet. What a luxury to get away from the distraction of work, school, homework, electronics, and evening conference calls. On this trip, I showered my family with attention. I don't care if the mosquitoes bit or how much it rained, I enjoyed every minute with my family in this wonderful place, the Sylvania Wilderness.
I felt the warm April sun and delighted at the smell of bacon frying as I walked through downtown Delafield, a charming historic trail-town along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). I found downtown Delafiled to be a wonderful spot to relax and click a few photographs. The new route along the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial River Walk (in place of walking along Main Street) proved equally delightful. The river walk provides a stretch through a marshy area as well as a walk through history with the war memorials along the Bark River.
The Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) is not far off the beaten track, and along much of trail the rumbling of traffic is heard in the distance. Part multi-use trail and part footpath, this segment carries the hiker through forested areas as well as restored prairies, with the majority of this segment within sight or earshot of civilization.
Smell honeysuckle's sweet orange scent along urban bicycle trails. Take in the colorful, ornate architecture in small town Wisconsin. Spot turkeys along quiet country roads. Hear warning honks as mama geese hustle goslings away from passersby along the shore of the Rock River. The Ice Age Trail through Rock County awaits. With each season the trail renews itself, with sections I've hiked in the past made new by the change in seasons.
The hills, eskers, and kettes of the Southern Kettle Moraine area drew me in. I hiked over slippery ice, through rain and fog, and on days with frigid temperatures...I couldn't get enough. The quiet enveloped me. Winter in Southern Wisconsin is truly a magical time.