Lately snow has fallen and there is ice on the river and we’re well into ‘stick season’ as I call it. So what better time than to bring you some of my fall photos from this year? I didn’t get out as much as I’d have liked, but the season is wicked short so I’m lucky I got what I did.
The first hike was to the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area. It was cloudy, bordering on overcast, but luckily the sky wasn’t just a flat expanse of gray. This year, this far north, the peak of color seemed to happen at the end of September and that’s when I went.
It’s near the town of Presque Isle which is way up on the border with Michigan. With over 2600 acres and miles of trails, you can really get away from the sights and sounds of humanity.
I keep a list of places I want to visit and this one has been on it for quite a while. The main attraction is the many thousands of feet of lake shoreline it protects. Sure, Wisconsin has 15,000 lakes, ponds and flowages, but most of them are developed with resorts and houses (including me, so I totally get it). So it’s a relative rarity to find a completely pristine lake, much less several of them in one area – a total of 15 in this preserve.
In addition to the amazing water views, the forest itself is a treasure. I went off trail a few times to soak it in.
In addition to nature-made bodies of water, there are some beaver creations as well. This one was off trail, but I noticed the opening beyond the trees and went to check it out. Unfortunately I startled a beaver off its resting spot and didn’t manage any photos. Maybe next time I’ll be more aware/lucky!
I did get lucky with a little abstract reflection action though!
And of course, mushrooms! Did you think you’d get through a whole post without them? I found huge swaths of these all through where I hiked. They were fairly young and so bright!
Even the non-lake waters were photo-worthy. It had rained quite a bit lately so there were lots of little autumnal pools around. I doubt that they would stay long, but they made the forest so much more interesting and diverse in terms of photo subjects. And you know how much I love vernal pools, so these are a irresistible!
Oh and another obsession was on hand, too!
So back to another lake.
This one is Knife lake and you have to go down that little spur trail to get to this view. At the junction of it there is a little sign warning of a narrow bridge ahead. I’m glad the sign really meant it was ahead in the trail and not this poor little thing –
You’d have been seriously bummed if that was the only way to cross something safely. What was there in reality wasn’t that much better – just a bunch of logs jammed together in a tight bundle and they were soaking wet, half-rotted and partly under water. Yay for goretex boots!
Surprisingly considering how remote this preserve is, I met a few people on the trail, saw others fishing and ran into some hunters in the parking lot as they were heading in. For most people in Wisconsin it’s a haul, but it’s worth the trip.