Saturday, August 3, 2013

Great hiking trails await Danbury WI visitors

Gandy Dancer Trail bridge over St. Croix River
Several excellent day hiking trails await visitors to the Danbury, Wis., area. Among the trails:
g Gandy Dancer Trail segment – Day hikers can walk across an old railroad bridge over the St. Croix River on a segment of this long trail. In Danbury, parking for trail access is next to the walking route north of Wis. Hwy. 77 between Wis. Hwy. 35 and North Glass Street; from the lot, take the trail north, turning around on the bridge's other side for a 2-mile round trip. 
g Grouse Walk Trail – Three trails of various lengths run across a meadow dotted with pine groves at the Big Bear Lake Nature Area. The Grouse Walk Trail takes in a half-mile loop and can be extended with a link to the Big Bear Meadows Trail loop for an additional mile.
g Danbury State Wildlife Area trails – A goal post-shaped set of jeep trails form a square with County Road F, running through pine barrens and lowlands. Keep an eye out for snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse, beaver, mink and otter.
g Matthew Lourey State Trail – Across the river in Minnesota, this trail runs for several miles roughly north to south through St. Croix State Park. A pleasant 2.3-mile segment heads from a trail center to Hay Creek.
g Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area trails – Take a walk down any of the gravel roads leading into these sand barrens for an Andy Griffith-style hike into the backwoods. Watch for sharp-tailed grouse and the upland sandpiper.

Read more about family friendly day hiking trails in my Headin' to the Cabin guidebooks.