Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day trails abound in Turtle Lake, Wis., area

Skinaway Lake Recreational Park trail
Cabin-goers to the Turtle Lake, Wis., area will find a number of good hiking trails in that area. Among them are:
• Cattail State Trail – From the village limits, the trail heads west into Polk County to Joel. This five-mile segment includes wetlands and a thick woods, both of which teem with wildlife, including white-tailed deer, otter, mink, fox, eagles, osprey a couple of hundred bird species and even black bear. Alternately, you can go east on the trail for up to 5 miles to Almena.
• Joel Marsh Wildlife Area jeep trail – Berry picking and wildlife watching are popular activities on this wildlife area; among the first pair of nesting trumpeter swans were located here in 1991. An old jeep trail begins where the main road ends south of Joel Flowage and runs for almost a mile to 120th Avenue.
• Loon Lake State Wildlife Area trail – Along the oddly named 18-1/2 19-1/2 Avenue is a trail heading east through woodlands to a pond. The wildlife area is an excellent place for birdwatching with around 140 species spotted.
• Silver Creek County Forest – A number of trails run through this county forest south of the village; a good one begins at the end of 5-1/2 Street and parallels Turtle Creek for a 1-mile round trip. It includes a spur leading to the waterway.
• Skinaway Lake Recreational Park trails – On the north side of town, a trail makes its way through a mixed hardwood forest along the shores of Skinaway Lake. The lake is popular for its largemouth bass and several varieties of panfish.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.