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).

Wisconsin River from the Caledonia Levee.

Views of the surrounding hills from the Caledonia Levee.

Almost stuck my foot in this snare trap in the Pine Island State Wildlife Area.

Pine Island Wildlife Area.

Pine Island is a great area for birds.

Almost to Schepp Road.

On the Caledonia Levee.

Trail Conditions - No designated trail, can walk alongside levee, on levee, or along the road.  Overcast and 22°F (-5.6°C) increasing to 32°F (0°C) and partly sunny. About 3/4 inches (2 cm) fluffy snow on levee. Over hard packed ice and snow alongside levee. Mid-afternoon the snow in open areas started melting.

Distance Covered Today - 15.5 miles (25 km).

Difficulty - Easy.

Location - Pine Island State Wildlife Area and Pine Island Savanah State Natural Area near I-39 overpass, southwest of Portage, Wisconsin on Levee Rd.

Concerns - This area is open for hunting and also contains a dog training area. Wear blaze orange, and keep your eyes and ears open. I heard a number of gunshots while hiking.

Highlights - Views of the Wisconsin River and the surrounding bluffs and hills. Watching super active hawks and being scolded by one of them.

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Trail 18.3 miles (29.5 km), connecting route  9.2 miles (14.8 km), total 27.4 miles (44.1 km).

Total Additional Ice Age Trail Backtracking, Bushwhacking, Loop Backing, and Otherwise Diversionary Miles Completed - 27.5  miles (44.3 km).

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