Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Diverse hiking opportunities await at Crex

Trailhead for Dike 6 South Trail

Migrating birds, rare plants await on number of great jeep trails

An array of short jeep trails at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area can be used for day hiking, offering the opportunity to see migrating birds and rare plant life.

Several of them can be found on Crex Meadow’s west side. To reach them, from Grantsburg, follow the signs and yellow goose painted on the roadway, to the wildlife area’s southwest corner. County Road F heads north along Crex’s western boundary while County Road D heads east, roughly paralleling Crex’s southern bounder for a few miles.

Jeep trails on west side of Crex Meadows that make great hiking trails include:
g Dike 3 Sedge Meadow Trail – Day hikers can walk near a wetlands once harvested to create carpet and furniture on this 1-mile round trip out-and-back-trail. The trailhead is on West Refuge Road. In less than a mile north of Main Dike Road, turn left/west onto a jeep trail; park in the lot at the end of the jeep trail. Walk it back to West Refuge Road.
g Dike 6 South Trail – A pleasant 0.8-mile walk along a jeep trail skirting a flowage’s shoreline awaits hikers on the Dike 6 South Trail. Park at the end of Abel Road just north of Main Dike Road; the trailhead is southwest of the parking area. The trail runs 0.4 miles to County Road F; at the highway, go back the way you came.
g Dike 6 Center Trail – From County Road F, take the second jeep trail on the right as heading north from Main Dike Road. The jeep trail heads to a parking lot near Dike 6’s narrow center. From there, walk the 0.2-mile out-and-back trail back to County Road F for a 0.4-mile round trip.
g Dike 6 North Trail – The jeep trail heads north from Dike 6, briefly skirting a dry run, to Larson Road for a 0.8-mile round trip out-and-back trail. To reach the trailhead, from County Road F turn onto Larson Road; where Larson Road veers north, take the jeep trail south to the parking lot alongside Dike 6.
g Furhman Lake West Trail – A sedge meadow along the west side of Furhman Lake await day hikers on this 0.6-mile round trip trail. To reach the trial, from North Refuge Road, east of Buggert Road, turn north on the trail. The trailhead is at the parking lot on Furhman Lake. An out-and-back trail, walk back to North Refuge Road. The trail can be extended by crossing North Refuge Road and following Rices Lake Road for an additional 0.4 miles.
g Furhman Lake North Trail – The 0.5-mile round trip out-and-back trail runs between Furhman Lake’s northwest shore and Buggert Road. To reach the trailhead, turn south from Buggert Road west of Murphys Road; the parking lot is near the lake’s shore.
g Rices Lake Trail – The trail runs to and from a sedge marsh southwest of Rices Lake. Reach the trailhead by taking the jeep trail heading south from North Refuge Road just east of Buggert Road. Park in the lot where the jeep trail reaches the marsh. Walk back to North Refuge Road then back to your vehicle for a 0.4-mile round trip.
g Whiskey Creek Flowage Trail – A jeep trail heads along the southern shore of Whiskey Creek Flowage for a 1.5-mile out-and-back walk. The trailhead is at Phantom Lake Road north of County Road D and heads to the southeast corner of Hay Creek Flowage. The hike can be extended by taking the intersecting Upper Hay Creek Flowage Trail.
g Upper Hay Creek Flowage Trail – This trail branching off the Whiskey Creek Flowage Trail can be reached in a couple of ways. The first option is to walk the Whiskey Creek Flowage Trail from its trailhead on Phantom Lake Road (north of County Road D) for about a half-mile to the Upper Hay Creek Flowage Trail junction. From there, head north another half-mile to the southern tip of the Upper Hay Creek Flowage for a two-mile round trip. A second option is to drive the jeep trails that make up these connecting paths. Rather than walk, drive the route described in the first option and park in the lot at the terminus next to the Upper Hay Creek Flowage. Treat the Upper Hay Creek Flowage Trail as an out-and-back trail, walking to and from its junction with the Whiskey Creek Flowage Trail for a one-mile round trip.

Read more about day hiking Crex Meadows in my Hittin the Trail: Day Hiking Crex Meadows Wildlife Area guidebook.