Friday, March 9, 2018

Photo essay: Ice Age Trail at Loew Lake

I recently went for a short hike along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail where it runs through the Loew Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Caught a few shots to share.

The Ice Age Trail, of course, runs for 1,000 miles, looping through Wisconsin along the terminal edge of the historic glaciers. I’ve never walked more than a few miles of it at a time, but I love the idea of it.

The Loew Lake segment of the State Forest is located at Highway K and County Line Road in Washington County. There is a parking lot for the trail there. The park is 1,090 acres of glacial topography and wetlands along the Oconomowoc River. The trail connects with the Holy Hill segment on the north and the Monches segment on the south, in case you want to hike farther than the 4.8 miles in the Loew Lake segment. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hartland Marsh Preserve

Located off Highway 83 in the Village of Hartland, Hartland Marsh Preserve spreads across 180 acres protected by the Waukesha County Land Conservancy in partnership with the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the Village of Hartland. The Bark River meanders through the preserve. Ranked as a Class 1 Wildlife Habitat by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, the preserve protects ancient bur oaks and a vital habitat for birds and various woodland animals, including mink and turtles.

I discovered the preserve recently in my efforts to explore new wild lands in Southeastern Wisconsin as part of the project, A Wealth of Nature, that I'm working on with Preserve Our Parks. The goal of the project is to bring awareness to the wealth of opportunities there are in our vicinity for the enjoyment of nature. Stay tuned for the launch of a new website and much more.

The day I went to Hartland Marsh was warm, almost spring-like except for the overcast and still-thawing ice. I saw no one else the whole time I walked in an around the looping trail, but then said trail was sheer ice and extremely treacherous, so it wasn't too surprising. I managed to get a few nice shots of the wintry but snow-less scenery.