Sunday, April 21, 2013

Excellent trails await at Balsam Lake, Wis.

View from footbridge on D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area trails.
Visitors to Balsam Lake, Wis., won’t be disappointed by the quality of trails that this community in the northwestern part of the state offer. Among the pickings:
g Black Trail – This 3.4-mile trail that is one of the Balsam Branch Cross Country Ski Trails passes Ox Lake and a couple of ponds as winding its way through a hardwood forest. The paths are wide.
g Blue Trail – Also at the Balsam Branch Cross Country Ski Trails, the Blue Trail is a bit shorter at 2.4 miles. It takes you through the heart of three adjacent parks that the ski trails run through.
g D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area trails – The 1.25 miles of unnamed trails west of the Balsam Branch Cross Country Ski Trails form two loops. Part of one loop circles Balsam Branch, where a river widens into a lake, and includes two footbridges.
g Gandy Dancer Trail – West of town, the old railbed turned hiking trail passes between Centuria and Miltown. This section of the Gandy Dancer also is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Read more about day hiking this and nearby trails in my Hittin’ the Trail: Day Polk County, Wisconsin guidebook.