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Last Friday we drove up to the Ice Age Trail for some hiking/snowshoeing. Our first stop is always the Interpretive Center to check on trail conditions and find out what is going on in the area. It is also a great place to visit if you have kids. They have live fish, snakes and turtles at the center as well as stuffed animals and birds. They also have a variety of activities for kids. In the winter they also have snowshoes available for use.

Stanley

We happened to encounter Stanley at the visitors center. He is the unofficial hiking companion dog that will hike the trails with you at no charge. He resides in the area but spends a good part of his time walking the trails with hikers. His name is Stanley and he is kid friendly. He was on hand at the center on Friday but had just come back from a hike with someone else and didn’t seem inclined to go out again. This is a photo of Stanley taken last summer. Since I’m generally doing photography on my hikes Stanley usually becomes bored and heads off to do his own thing.

We generally take the 4.5 mile loop trail that starts from the visitors center. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of trail conditions because the trail is heavily used snowshoe trail in the winter which means it could also be a little slippery after warm weather. We took along the snowshoes and traction devices for our boots just in case. As it turned out the trail was hard with some ice so we chose to use the traction devices. It was easy walking and we made good time. Also I didn’t stop to take any photos so that speeds things up. My recommendation for navigating the trail this time of year is to bring along snowshoes, traction devices and hiking poles so you are prepared for a variety of conditions.

It was one of the few bright sunny days we have had recently with temperatures in the mid 20’s. There was some strong winds blowing so it was cool on the ridges.

We followed up the hike with a stop at the Bloomer Cafe for some pie alamode.

There are more photos of this segment of the Ice Age Trail on my website.

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