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.
The information and video featured in this post show my layered clothing system for winter hikes in Southern Wisconsin. Footage was shot along various segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). Warmer clothing than shown here is required for camping or extended periods time in the outdoors, this clothing system is what I wear for active winter day hikes.
On a gray March morning, I parked at the UW Waukesha Field Station and stepped from my car to hear sandhill cranes for the first time this year. As I stepped from the car to hike the Waterville Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT), I noticed the signs. Unauthorized parking from sunset to sunrise is not permitted at the field station. Shortly after I began to hike, the sun slid over the horizon. Problem resolved. With the Glacial Drumlin trail and IAT meeting at the field station, the area at the field station tends to be very busy with dog walkers. I felt happy to head South to the IAT for a quieter walk.