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Category Archives: Ice Age Trail

Last week we took a short trip to the Ice Age Trail near Bloomer, Wisconsin. When we arrived there were a couple of cars in the parking lot ant the visitors center was closed. We decided to hiked the 4.5 mile loop trail. It was a beautiful sunny day for a hike. We were hoping to find some Round-lobed Hepatica blooming and we were not disappointed. We also encountered a number of garter snakes on the trail.


It was a beautiful fall day for a hike on the Ice Age Trail. The fall colors were mainly the rust colors of the oaks. One of my favorite subjects for fall photography are reflection shots.


We were looking for an outing so we drove up to the Chippewa Moraine Segment of the Ice Age Trail for a hike. We didn’t bring our snowshoes hoping the trail would have been packed down by snowshoers. It was in some places but others it was still soft enough to make things difficult. It was a bit like walking on the beach and we were pooped by the time we finished the 4.5 mile trail. Not a lot to photograph. We found this large popular tree that a beaver must have been working on. He should have tried for a smaller tree.

A few leaves had fallen in the snow.

A number of places we found that Pileated Woodpeckers had been busy on the trees. It doesn’t take them long to make short work of the tree.

It’s been a long winter and folks are starting the think (wishing for) spring. This Round Lobed Hepatica was featured on the US Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website. It will also be featured in an upcoming issue of the Wildflower Association of Michigan Newsletter.Round-Lobed-Hepatica-08-81--032

One of the subjects I enjoy photographing are leaves in the water particularly when there is water tension involved. On a fall trip to the Ice Age Trail I found a small stream with fall leaves floating down the stream. I spend a little time processing them in Photoshop to give them a little different look.




My wife and I spend a few hours this fall hiking along the Hemlock Creek Segment of the Ice Age Trail. We were returning from a multiday fall leaf tour and just happened to drive by the area and decided to stop and take a break from the long car trip. The trail runs along Hemlock Creek for 1.5 miles before crossing a bridge and returning to the parking lot. The hike offers a variety of scenery and is a great hike to take with young kids.




It’s been cold around here. On Tuesday it was -15 degrees but today it was a relatively balmy 10 ten degrees. Earlier in the week my wife and I were trying to decide which day to take off and go for a hike. Since the warmest day of the week was going to be Wednesday we decided to try and fit in a hike.

 Most of the hiking areas around home are ski trails in the winter and are closed to hiking so we decided to drive up the Chippewa Moraine Segment of the Ice Age Trail. Its located just north of Bloomer, Wisconsin. It had snowed a little overnight and the roads were a little slick on the drive up.


As we drove up to the visitors center we noticed quite a few cars in the parking lot. This was a little surprising since it was so cold out. Along the road a bunch of kids were playing in the snow. When we went into the visitors center it was packed with kids all working of a project to see who could find the most things listed on a list they had been given. We talked to the ranger a bit and he said that students usually come if the temperatures are above zero. We are a hardy bunch in Wisconsin.


It was supposed to be cloudy in the morning but when we reached the visitors center it was a beautiful crisp sunny day. There was not a lot of snow on the trails and we figured they might be icy so we both wore ice grippers on our feet. Turns out that the week before all of the trails were glare ice but a light snow and some thawing provided good traction. However, if you are considering hiking in this area ice grippers are a good investment.


It was supposed to be sunny in the afternoon but by the time we were half way around the 4.5 mile loop it had clouded up and started to snow. The wind picked up making the wind-chill around -2 degrees. Nevertheless it was a great day to be out hiking and getting some exercise.


The past couple of weeks my wife and I took the opportunity to hike several sections of the Ice Age Trail. The weekend weather has been great with nice temperatures and lots of sun. It provided the last chance to get into the woods before deer hunting season starts. Both segments of the trail are open to deer hunting.

The first weekend we hiked the 4.5 mile loop on the Chippewa Moraine Segment north of Bloomer, Wisconsin. It is always a great place to visit because they have an outstanding visitors center. The same ranger is normally on duty on the weekends and he is very helpful and friendly. The visitors center has lots of activities for kids and lots of things to see. This time the highlight was a soft back turtle that had turned its back up into a strange configuration with the edges of the shell pointed toward the sun lamp in the tank. Neither the ranger or I had ever seen anything like it.

The following weekend we were headed to Duluth so we took the opportunity to stop and hike on the Hemlock Creek Segment east of Rice Lake. This is a three mile loop that starts at Murphy Flowage and follows hemlock creek before crossing the creek on a footbridge and returning to the parking lot. The highlight of this segment was a large beaver dam across Hemlock Creek. It had not been there earlier in the summer so this was a large summer construction project. We could see where the beavers had been cutting trees and brush in the area. They also had a large reserve of branches stored in the pond in back of the dam. It looked like they planned to use them to repair the dam. The beaver lodge itself was next to the shore and was quite large.

We were in the Madison, Wisconsin Area over the weekend visiting out son who has transferred from Michigan Tech to U.W. Madison. We also took the opportunity to visit a number of local photography locations including Gibraltar Rock. Gibraltar Rock is located near Lodi, Wisconsin. It rises 200 feet above the surrounding landscape and offers panoramic views of the Wisconsin River Valley and Lake Wisconsin. It is one of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas.


I’ve visited on a number of occasions but have never seem to be there during the best time for photography which would probably be mid to late morning in order to capture the best light. Photography from the bluff usually involves a high dynamic range so I’ve done a few HDR shots to try and capture the full range. The trees are very interesting as is the valley below the Rock. On this trip the trees were not in peak fall color, the sky was not very interesting and there appeared to be a haze over the valley. The last three photos are from an earlier visit to the Rock when the conditions were better.


Additional photos of Gibraltar Rock can be found on my website.

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock



Late last week I made the trip up the Ice Age Trail east of Rice Lake to hike the Hemlock Creek Loop. The weather was overcast and I was hoping to get a chance to photograph a few wildflowers. Much to my amazement I found over twenty different wildflowers in bloom. Large Flowered Trillium were the most common but there were lots of wild strawberries, a variety of anemone, violets and many more. If you have never hiked this segment of the ice age trail now is a great time to do it.

On the down side there were a few mosquitoes out.

Common Blue Violet


Large-flowered Bellwort

Large-flowered Trillium

Rue Anemone

Wild Strawberries