Thursday, September 29, 2016

BWCA Little Indian Sioux North, EP 14, August 21-28, 2016

For our third annual Boundary Waters trip, we decided to do a more ambitious trip than our previous years and found ourselves rewarding with a challenging and beautiful trip. We took the LISN loop counterclockwise through Shell, Hustler, Gebeonequet, Little Beartrap and Loon lakes, adding up to more than 60 miles including the double portaging. We didn’t see much impressive wildlife, but we encountered some needed solitude and no obtrusive weather. I came back feeling recharged and still in love with the Northwoods, so I don’t think I could ask for much more.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Winter" Camping at Governor Dodge State Park, Dodgeville, WI, December 19-20, 2015

Staying warm
 Regrettably, despite the unseasonably warm November, we didn't make it out camping once because of family obligations, football season and general laziness. As the warm weather continued into December, I began to become more antsy to get out again. Although the temperature would not get above freezing on Saturday, Sunday was forecast to reach the low to mid 40s (F), so I figured this would be our last chance to get out and to test the limits of our current gear.

Friday, December 18, 2015

High Cliff State Park Halloween Camground Event Weekend, Sherwood, WI, October 23-25, 2015

Every year, the Friends of High Cliff State Park host a Halloween Campground Tour in which campers decorate, sometimes elaborately, their campsites with Halloween decorations and crowds come to trick-or-treat. We camped at the park last year, and it was a fun, unique way to end our camping season, so we again booked a site early this year for the Halloween festivities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Backpacking Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest, Boulder Junction, WI, October 2-4, 2015

Family picture at Concora Rd Trailhead
The Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest (NHAL) offers a number of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, hiking, biking and winter activities. I previously wrote about a day trip we took on one of the canoe routes we explored in the NHAL. I look forward to further exploring some of those routes on multi-night trips, but we promised our daughter canoe camping was over for the season. Instead, we planned a backpacking trip on the Lumberjack Trail near Boulder Junction, WI.

Bridge over White Sand Creek Rd
The Lumberjack Trail (pdf map from WI DNR) is the only backpacking opportunity the DNR lists on its website of the NHAL, although there are probably others. The trail is about 12.5 miles long, including a figure 8 loop that offers 4 and 6 mile hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. The trails are classified as intermediate, which I assume is rated for winter sports because it's an easy hiking trail that is wide and well-maintained. There are a couple stream crossings, but there are sturdy bridges, so there is no fording necessary. There are no established campsites, so if you want to camp here, be prepared to explore off trail for a suitable campsite. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hartman Creek State Park, Waupaca, WI, September 25-27, 2015

Taking advantage of a beautiful and warm late September weekend, we headed to Hartman Creek State Park where Lorraine could hike some of the ice age trail and where we could paddle and swim the Chain O' Lakes.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sylvania Wilderness, Watersmeet, MI, September 5-7, 2015

The Sylvania Wilderness is a small but beautiful Federally designated wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest with 18,000 acres of pristine lakes, old growth forests and spacious campsites. The campsites are available only by reservation either in advance or from the ranger station, so unlike the Boundary Waters, you can guarantee yourself a campsite even on holiday weekends. Having a reserved site on a lake without motor boats makes Sylvania an ideal holiday weekend getaway, so we reserved a site for Labor Day weekend. The sites were most interested in taking were either reserved or not reservable in advance, so I booked Perch 1 on Whitefish Lake.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Taking Amber to Amber Lake, August 15-22, 2015

We had such a good time last year in the Boundary Waters that I was ready to go back before we even got home. So this year we planned a full week with more travel than our first trip. After considering a number of routes, we decided to take our daughter Amber to Amber Lake. Here's a video and slide show I put together of the trip.