Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pine Island State Wildlife Area and Pine Island Savanna State Natural Area

The Pine Island State Wildlife Area and Pine Island Savanna State Natural Area are part of the connecting route between the Sauk Point Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and the Portage Segment. The Caledonia Levee runs along Levee Road between the road and the Wisconsin River through the Pine Island Areas. Although there are no designated hiking trails through these areas, hiking is allowed. Today's total hike out and back was 15.5 miles (25 km).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review - A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

In 1999, a dear friend, understanding my love for both hiking and reading, recommended I pick up a copy of A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. I loved the book. So much so, that is has become a ritual to reread it as cabin fever sets in each winter.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Roznos Meadow, Merrimac Segment, and Connecting Route to Ferry Landing

Love the beauty of the bluffs at Devil's Lake State Park? How about the slippery ice and snow covered rocks on the ascents and descents? Two sections of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail offer fantastic views of the bluffs and surrounding hills without the slippery climb. The Roznos Meadow Trail and the Merrimac Segment provide easy hiking terrain with views of hills and bluffs in all directions.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January Hike on the Sauk Point Trail

The Sauk Point Trail is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and travels east-west between Parfrey's Glen and Hwy 113 through the Devil's Lake State Park. It is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Baraboo, WI. The Sauk Point Trail is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) in length according to the map, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) according to the signage at the park, but only 3.9 miles (6.3 km) according to my GPS app. If you don't bring 2 cars, plan on hiking a total of about 7.8 miles (12.6 km) out and back.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January Hike on the Johnson Moraine Loop Trail

As I day hike my way through the Devil's Lake segment of the Ice Age Trail, I am in awe of Devil's Lake State Park's beauty, even on grey winter days. If we get much more snow, the Johnson Moraine portion of the Ice Age trail will be groomed for cross country skiing and therefore closed to hikers. Because the trail is not currently closed to hiking, I decided to hike the Johnson Moraine Loop starting from the Ice Age Trail parking area on Highway 113.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yaktrax for the Casual Hiker Updated

I love to wear my waterproof trail runners for as many months of the year as possible. Their comfort can't be beat. They keep my feet as warm as boots, perhaps because they're waterproof. Unfortunately, they quickly lose traction on hard packed ice and snow.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tips for Getting Your Protein on Hiking, Backpacking, and Paddling Expeditions Using Inexpensive Grocery Store Foods

Protein is important on long distance hiking and paddling trips. Without adequate protein we fatigue, our muscles repair more slowly, and our immune systems weaken. Meats, dairy, beans, and nuts provide protein. Fresh meat and milk, heavy and perishable, don't work for back country adventures. Compact, lightweight, nonperishable foods fit the bill.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How to Get Your Veggies on Backpacking and Paddling Adventures

For some hikers and paddlers, veggies are not a consideration. They burn mega-calories on long distance hikes and paddles. They require calorie dense foods, high in fats, proteins, and sugars, for fueling extreme adventures. But some of us have other nutritional objectives, or even concerns about keeping the plumbing moving. This can be especially important when camping with kids.

Monday, January 5, 2015

20 Things Three Season Hikers, Backpackers, Paddlers, and Campers Can do to Beat the Winter Blues

Get the blues during months of snow, ice, and temperatures below freezing? Eventually it feels like forever since you’ve been in camp. Cabin fever sets in. How can a three season camper beat the winter blues? Read on for Mama’s suggestions.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Day Hike 2015

Devil's Lake is the largest state park in Wisconsin, extremely busy in season, and beautiful even in January. The park is 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Baraboo, WI and contains over 29 miles (46.7 km) of hiking trails. While much of the world stayed awake until midnight New Year's Eve, I went to bed early and started 2015 the best way possible. Hiking!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Ice Age Trail

The 1,000+ mile (1,609 km) Ice Age Trail beckons from the covers of the Ice Age Trail Guide 2014 and Ice Age Trail Atlas 2014. Who wouldn't be drawn to the footpath portrayed on each book-cover. Lined by cool ferns, it meanders through serene deciduous forest. The Ice Age Trail zig zags across Wisconsin, tracing the edges of the last glaciation, heading both north-south and east-west.