Thursday, March 28, 2013

Great family day hikes near Somerset, Wis.

Trail in La Grandeur Natural Area.
If staying near or driving through Somerset, Wis., this summer, you’ll find a lot of great day hiking trails in the region that’s best known for tubing down the scenic Apple River. Among the trails:
g La Grandeur Natural Area trails – A short set of trails in the La Grandeur Natural Area, located at the village’s northeast side, wraps around the water tower and pond to the west. Part of the trail is used as a disc golf course.
g Mound (White) Trail – South of Somerset is an often overlooked section of Willow River State Park. The 1.1-mile Mound Trail offers views of the Willow River and a glacial mound (a hill that resisted erosion during the last Ice Age) on the opposite shore.
g New Richmond Heritage Center/Paperjack Creek Trail – East of Somerset in the city of New Richmond, hikers can combine a walk near a stream with a loop through a historical village and farm that show what life was like in western Wisconsin during decades ago.
g Parnell Prairie Reserve trails– A set of unnamed trails, including a nice central loop, run through this dry mesic prairie that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is restoring. Less than 1 percent of this type of prairie remains in the United States.

Learn more about nearby day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of St. Croix County guidebook.