Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hiking the Hartman Creek Segment of the IAT and Canoeing the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes while Camping at Hartman Creek State Park

Hartman Creek State Park is the perfect launch point for hiking the Hartman Creek Segment of the Ice Age Trail and canoeing on the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes. The park is located west of Waupaca on Hartman Creek Road, south of State Highway 54 and north of State Highway 22. Arriving just after dark on a Friday evening, we set up camp looking forward to a weekend of outdoor fun.

Saturday morning, I fixed an oatmeal, fruit and nut breakfast and waited for enough daylight to begin hiking. Walking towards the Ice Age Trail (IAT) on this cool, foggy morning felt good. As soon as the flat trail became hilly and I saw those yellow blazes, I really felt like I'd come home. Deer crashed around in the brush, owls hooted, and I took care not to squish any of the cute mushrooms sprouting up mid-trail. I hiked the Hartman Creek Segment of the IAT twice, once in each direction, and backtracked back to our campsite. Today's hike totaled 8.3 miles (13.4 km).

Deer on the Ice Age Tail.

Walking by foggy Allen Lake on the way to the Ice Age Trail.

Trail head - Hartman Creek Segment of the Ice Age Trail.

Pines on the way to the Ice Age Trail.

The end of the Hartman Creek Segment, or the beginning depending where you start.

A good day for mushrooms on the Ice Age Trail.

One of many mushrooms in the trail.

View from the Ice Age Trail.
Hiking the Ice Age Trail Hartman Creek Segment.

After lunch we took a short paddle on the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes and stopped for a cool swim at Marl Lake. The waters here are clear and gorgeous, it is not too far from the Fox Cities, and a number of the lakes do not allow motors, making this a nice paddle spot. It will become particularly beautiful in mid-October with the coming of autumn's brilliant reds and golds.

Paddling the Waupaca Chain 'O Lakes.

Portaging between the lakes.

Acting silly on the portage.

Stopping for a swim on Marl Lake.

Fish in Marl Lake.
A wee paddle on the Waupaca Chain 'O Lakes.

After dinner and a nice campfire we slept nicely in the cool night air. Sunday morning I enjoyed another hike, this time around Hartman and Allen Lakes. Today's hike totaled an easy 3.7 miles (5.9 km). Then I returned to cook a bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast, the likes of which my family does not see on back-country trips as these foods do not survive will in the backpack.

The trail around Hartman Lake.

Many spiders at this time of year along the hiking trails.

The trail around Hartman Lake.

A field of spider webs.

Allen Lake.

Hike around the Lakes - The GPS mapping program somehow got it wrong, actually hiked around Harman Lake.


Trail Conditions -  Overcast with fog and a few sprinkles, 54°F (12°C).

Difficulty - Easy  - a few lightly rolling hills.

Location - Stayed at the campground at the Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca, Wisconsin south of State Highway 54 and north of State Highway 22.

Highlights - Saw 5 deer on the Ice Age Trail, and hundreds of mushrooms.

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed 94.9 miles (152 km). Trail 48.2 miles (77.1 km), connecting route 46.7 miles (74.7 km).

Total Additional Backtracking Miles Completed - 80.1  miles (128 km).

Trip Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit & nuts, bacon, eggs, toast, bananas

Lunch: Hotdogs with grapes and carrots

Dinner: Grilled ham and cheese, pudgie pie with grapes and carrots

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