Thursday, July 10, 2014

Enjoy four waterfalls, northwoods on trails

Amnicon Falls. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR.
Among the best ways to see Wisconsin’s Amnicon Falls State Park’s top sights is via a day hike. Just three short trails will allow you to enjoy each of the park’s highlights – waterfalls, a classic Northwoods setting, and winter scenery.

To reach the park, from Superior, Wis., take U.S. Hwy. 2 east about seven miles. Go left/north on County Hwy. U. The park entrance is 0.3 miles on the left.

Some 500 million years ago, a fault line stretched from what is now Ashland, Wis., to near Minneapolis-St. Paul, leaving rocks at 50-60 degree angles. Today, four waterfalls – Snake Pit Falls, Lower Amnicon Falls, Upper Amnicon Falls, and Now and Then Falls – sit on the fault line, all accessible via a pair of unnamed but well-groomed trails (combined 1.5-miles round trip) that includes a covered bridge across the Amnicon River.

Classic Northwoods setting
Thick with a variety of trees and wildlife, the Wisconsin Northwoods awes anyone who spends the week working and living in a concrete jungle. A good way to sample the setting is the 0.8-mile Thimbleberry Nature Trail, which includes a side trip to a pond that at one times was a brownstone quarry.

Winter scenery
Northern Wisconsin gets plenty of snow, dramatically changing the appearance of the landscape. During winter, the state park opens the 1.5-mile looping Snowshoe Trail that takes visitors through a woods as well as above and out of the river valley. As the trail’s name suggests, you will need snowshoes to cross it.

Find out about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.