Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Connecting Route Storrs Lake Segment to Clover Valley Segment of the Ice Age Trail

The connecting route (CR) from the Storrs Lake Segment to the Clover Valley Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT)  runs 9.3 miles (15 km) along country roads. With a careful eye, small arrows along the route at most turns can be spotted. 

Trailhead parking area.

Turkeys along East Bowers Lake Road

Nice to see a little pop of color along East Bowers Lake Road

Didn't know Southern Wisconsin was bigfoot country!

I started Part 1 of this connecting route (CR) at the Storrs Lake Wildlife Area parking lot on N Bowers Lake Road on a grey, windy morning, and hiked 5 miles (8 km) before the cold wind turned me around around for my hike back to the car for a total of 10 miles (16 km). The quiet country roads made for a pleasant walk. I enjoyed the rolling hills and quiet surroundings, and especially enjoyed seeing about 25 turkeys crossing a field in the distance.

Starting to get a little icy

Along County Road KK

The connecting route is lightly marked if you keep your eyes peeled.

Parking along E Willow Drive in the Lima Wildlife Area

Between hikes the snow came. I began Part 2 of the CR on a cold December morning when I headed out early to finish the remaining 4.3 miles (6.9 km) of the CR. After parking at the hunters parking lot on E Willow Drive in the Lima Wildlife Area, I headed east towards Lima Center to the Clover Valley Segment. Highlights included watching a hawk hunt on E Willow Drive and enjoying the first snowy view of the season.

Along E. Pioneer Road

Clover Valley Segment on County Line Road

Along County Line Road

Along N Lima Center Road.

Lima Center.

Lima Town Hall.

E. Willow Drive.

Along E Pioneer Road.

Details of the entire connecting route (CR) are as follows:

From the IAT parking lot at the Storrs Lake Wilderness Area, the CR heads northeast along N Bowers Lake Road, then east along E Bowers Lake Road. The CR briefly jogs to the North on N Vickerman Road, then to the east again along E Bowers Lake Road. At N County Road KK, the CR route heads south to E Willow Drive through the Lima State Wildlife Area to Lima Center. 

There is a small parking area for hunters along E Willow Drive exactly 5 miles (8 km) from the Storrs Lake Parking area, which I used as my halfway point. When I passed through Lima Center I noticed the Town Hall would have been another potential parking area. Lima Center offers no amenities for the hiker.

At Lima Center the CR heads south on N Lima Center Road, then east on E. Pioneer Road for a time. The route turns north on County Line Road for a quarter mile before arriving at the Clover Valley Segment. 

I enjoyed these quiet walks. Despite the cold, the time passed quickly. As far as road walks go, these were pleasant with the only lightly busy portion being along N County Road KK. 

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

Part 1: Storrs Lake to hunter parking area on E Willow Drive.

Part 2: Hunter parking area on E Willow Drive to Clover Valley Segment.

Total Distance Covered -  18.6 miles (30 km) total, 9.3 miles (15 km) one way.

Difficulty - Easy with a moderate hill on E Bowers Lake Road.

Trail Conditions - This road walk is lightly marked with small yellow arrows, and the traffic is minimal. Part 1: 31°F (-1C), grey and windy. Part 2: 16 ° F (-9C) and cold.

Highlights -  Large flock of wild Turkeys, quiet country roads, old homes and barns. 

Total Ice Age Trail Miles to Date - Total official trail distance completed  223 miles (357 km).

Amenities - No amenities. Parking at the IAT parking area on North Bowers Lake Road, and the hunter parking area on E Willow Drive.

Location - Part 1: Parked at the trailhead parking area on Storrs Lake Road at the Storrs Lake Wildlife Area and hiked to the parking area at the Lima Wildlife Area. Part 2: Parked at the parking area in the Lima Wildlife Area and hiked to the Clover Valley Segment.

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