Drought leaves Kangaroo Walk above water
On the July 25 walk, I chose to walk with the short-distance hikers because Jake Gerlach was not able to join Ellen Davis to lead the walk. With this walk, when there are walkers who are not very familiar with the trails, one leader stays up front while the other keeps track of the ones in the back.
We walked around Lake LaGrange on the Ice Age Trail and horse trails. This is always a beautiful walk and this was no exception. We chose to go off the trail using the Kangaroo Walk across Lake LaGrange, which is entirely above water after being submerged for several years before our drought this year. The trail to it was overgrown with brush, and poison ivy covered half the trail in a couple spots, but we made it through and onto the wooden walk. The walk was in pretty good shape with only two rotting boards and one short stretch that was not level.
After crossing the walk, we spotted two blue herons and a white egret. There were some very pretty prairie flowers in bloom, including Joe Pye weed, rosin weed, compass plant, blue vervain and butterfly milkweed.
Along the horse trail, Barb Converse caught a very small American toad for us to see before releasing it.
After the walk, we had lunch. As we were finishing up, the long-distance hikers came in. They had been hiking between four miles and five miles on the Nordic Trails.
On the previous day I did not hike, but Norwin Watson took those who did come to the Nordic Trails to hike five miles of that complex. The Nordic Trails have several loops, with distances ranging from .7 mile to more than nine miles Almost any length of hike can be done there by combining loops.
Happy trekking, Russ
-- Tyke Hike and Smokey the Bear birthday party, Aug. 11: Bring your tyke and their teddy bear to the Shelter A parking lot at Ottawa Lake at 5 p.m. for a short hike on a paved trail. Older kids wanting a longer hike will be shuttled to the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail or another nearby hike. Smokey the Bear birthday celebration follows. Contact Lynn Larson, (262) 462-3980.
-- Monthly Meeting, Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Aug. 21: Meet at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Bank in Elkhorn. Contact Carol Prchal, (262) 495-8502.
-- Trail workday, Aug. 25: Meet at 9 a.m. at U.S. Highway 12 trail crossing five miles east of Whitewater for trail maintenance. Contact: Jerome Converse, (262) 473 7304.
-- MSC Project, Aug. 23-26: Revisit Yellow River, USFS area to complete May work on bridge/boardwalk construction and trail relocation. Contact Gary Klatt, (262) 473-4973.
n Weekly walks: The Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance meets at 4 p.m. each Tuesday and at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Highway 12 Ice Age National Scenic Trail crossing located about four miles east of Whitewater and about a quarter-mile east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Sweno Road. The parking lot is at the west end of Sherwood Forest Road, which is a short road that intersects U.S. Highway 12 at each end. All ages are welcome. A state park pass is required to park a car at the meeting place. You may purchase one on site with correct change. Contact Russ Helwig, (262) 473-2187.