Monday, April 11, 2016

Array of trails await at Beaver Creek Reserve

Maps of  North trails (top) and South trails (bottom).
Courtesy Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve.
An variety of great trails await day hikers at the Beaver Creek Reserve in west-central Wisconsin.

The reserve preserves 400 acres, overseen by the Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve, alongside the Eau Claire River. A number of nature and conservation programs, as well as scientific research, occurs year-round at the reserve.

To reach the reserve, from U.S. Hwy. 12 in Fall Creek, go north on County Road K. The reserve is on the north side of the Eau Claire River. The county road splits the reserve in half.

North trails
Six trails (listed here from east to west and south to north) are located north of County Road K:
Youth Camp Trail – The 0.6-miles one-way trail leaves from the Citizen Science Center/Wildlands School and passes the main lodge to the Exercise Loop. Park at the science center.
Naturalist Loop – The 0.2-mile loop runs part of the way alongside Deinhammer Creek. Access it via the Youth Camp Trail.
Exercise Loop – The 0.9-miles trail sits between Cedar Lodge and the Eau Claire River. Park in the lot for the observatory and walk west past the lodge.
Pine Loop – Deinhammer Creek runs along two sides of the 0.85-mile loop. The quickest way to reach it is via the Youth Camp Trail then taking the connector trail across the creek.
Oak Loop – The reserve's longest trail on the north side at 1.2 miles, the quickest way to reach it is via the Pine Loop. A connector trail from the Exercise Loop also links to it.
Big Falls Trail – A 0.8-mile trail heads from the northwest corner of the Oak Loop along the Eau Claire River.

South trails
Located south of County Road K, park at the Nature Center for all trails (listed here from east to west and north to south):
Interior Loop – The 1.3-miles trail passes Beaver Creek, an oak savanna, the Eau Claire River, and a turtle pond.
Savannah Loop – A 0.6-mile trail runs past a creek, through an oak savanna, and by the turtle pond.
River Loop – The 1.3-mile loop offers the longest stretch of trail along a creek and river at the reserve.
Boundary Loop – The reserve's longest trail at 2.5 miles, it includes several footbridges, a picnic area, and an observation deck for a marsh.

Learn more about nearby day hiking trails in my Day Hiking Trails of the Chippewa Valley guidebook.