Thursday, November 10, 2016

Connecting Route Between Albany and Janesville Part 2: Gibbs Lake County Park to Leonard Leota Park in Evansville

With unseasonably warm November temperatures in the forecast, I continued the road walk between the Arbor Ridge and Albany Segments of the Ice Age Trail (IAT). When I began this road walk, I decided to try the new route west of Janesville in place of the old Highway A route. The Highway A route, known to IAT hikers as "The Dreaded A", runs east to west for about 21 miles and supports a relatively high volume of traffic. The new route detours through Evansville in place of the "Dreaded A", making Evansville the newest trail town along the IAT.

This new route in total is 33.5 miles (53.9 km), longer than the 21 mile (34 km) Highway A route. If I had taken "The Dreaded A", I'd be off-road and back on trail, but would have missed the chance to walk the quieter back roads during this time of fantastic fall color and would have missed the walk through downtown Evansville.

St. Patricks Church on First Street in Evansville

Maple leaves on East Countryside Drive in Evansville

Along Main Street in Evansville

Grass Lake along Tolles Road
Along Tolles Road

Corn and Oaks on W. Gibbs Lake Road


Gibbs Lake

Downtown Evansville

Leonard Leota Park

Leonard Leota Park

The road walk progressed much like the Connecting Route from Janesville to Albany Part 1: Gibbs Lake County Park to the Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age Trail. Plenty of country roads and corn for miles. I left my car on one end of the walk and my bike at the other for self-shuttling purposes once gain. And once again, the "easy" bike riding part turned out to be the hard part, and the 9.6 mile (15.4 km) walk turned out to be the easy, more enjoyable part.

Following the map from West to East, this route begins on Antes Drive at Leonard Leota Park, after a brief walk east on Grove Street, the route heads South on First Street and then east on Main Street. From Main Street, the route follows Countryside Drive to County Road M. After heading South on Tolles Road, the route heads east on W. Gibbs Lake Road, north on N. Casey Road, and then east again on W. Gibbs Lake Road over to Gibbs Lake County Park. Good parking opportunities are found at both Gibbs Lake and Lake Leota.

Map of today's roadwalk.

That's all for now. Get outdoors, and keep our wild places wild!

Trail (Road) Conditions - Started out 41°F (17C) and warmed to 60°F (17C).

Total Distance Covered  - 9.6 miles (15.4 km) on foot.

Difficulty - Easy with easy to moderate hills.

Highlights - Cardinals, blue jays, fall colors, downtown Evansville, and Gibbs Lake.

Location - Parked at Lake Leota Park in Evansville and road walked to Gibbs Lake County Park in Rock County where I had stashed my bicycle. Biked back to Lake Leota Park.

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed  192.3 miles (307.7 km).   

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