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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crossing Paths on the Prairie

On Sunday morning Wayne got in line to dump the tanks in the fifth wheel at Ottawa Lake and I got in my little Vibe and headed back to the Evergreen lodge parking lot (restrooms and water!) at Lapham Peak State Park to hike the beginning of the segment that we skipped the day before.  The Lapham Peak IAT trailhead is located on Cushing Park Road if you want to start at the actual beginning of the segment, and if the small parking lot there is full, drive one-half mile north and park at Cushing Memorial Park.

Bloodroot at trail crossing on Hwy C

If you park at Lapham Peak's first parking lot after entering the park you can cross county Highway C like I did and after getting on the trail and crossing the edge of a pond you start the hike through some beautiful prairie habitat.

pasqueflower on the prairie

Not only was there pasqueflower just opening up, at the end of the hike I saw some prairie smoke too.  I missed it completely myself, but luckily I struck up a conversation with Vicky on the trail and after asking if she minded me walking along with her we compared notes on what we've seen blooming so far this season.

Vicky approaches across the Schoeninger Savanna

In addition to the 17 miles of trails within Lapham Peak, Delafield has quite the network of trails through this area and folks were crossing our paths from all directions.  It was windy, but at least it was fairly warm and no one was going to complain about sun after the long winter.

One lonely rue anemone (?) getting a jump start on the season

After we made it to the trailhead parking lot and turned back for our return we saw a sandhill crane hotfooting it across the prairie for the woods.  A look around confirmed the culprit was a leashed dog who'd spooked it.

Timm's Woods looks like safety to this spooked crane

I'm guessing the prairie is stunning in the summer when all the prairie flowers get going, and Vicky is a lucky gal to live nearby!  Actual mileage we walked is up for debate, my best guess is about 4 miles.

Wayne enjoyed our little getaway so much that he volunteered to go again this coming weekend, so more trail reports and spring wildflowers ahead.


  1. Those are the neatest flowers that you found. I've never heard of any of them but they are so cool looking and each so different. Thanks for sharing:) So glad to hear your husband had fun and is willing to go again.

  2. Nice that you're seeing some wildflowers this early. Are you keeping a running total of miles hiked on the IAT, or just marking off sections?