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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Waterville Segment - That Old Oak Feeling

Last weekend I checked out the Waterville segment of the Ice Age trail which is just past the Ottawa Lake campground.  Unlike some of the other trailheads this one was easy to find, just take Cty Hwy C from Hwy 67 then a left on Cty Hwy D and you can't miss it.  I parked on the side of the road, something that is allowed in most Wisconsin rural areas unless posted otherwise.

The trail winds through private land here, and the topography is a little less severe than it is in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  It started out mostly flat, with views of oaks just hitting peak color.

Once into the woods watch your footing, especially in fall as there was a lot of chunks of dolomite protruding from the ground and the leaf litter obscured the hazards.

It was hard to keep my eyes on the obstacles at my feet with the late afternoon light pouring down through the oak leaves overhead.

Because I had my eyes up above a caught sight of a couple of bluejays darting from tree to tree, and I spotted a woodpecker fleeing my intrusion too.

One of the great things about oak leaves is the color variety that can happen all on the same leaf.

I know an oak when I see one, hard to miss that pile of acorns on the ground, but there are quite a variety of types in the Midwest including common red oak, pin oak and burr oak.  The red oak family will have point lobes like the ones above, white oak family will have rounded lobes like the one below which was probably from a burr oak.

When the trail entered the woods it climbed up and down some hills, not as steep as what can be found in other areas of the trail and it was a very nice walk with just enough difficulty and variety to keep things interesting.  The guidebook puts it at 3.8 miles but I'm going to disagree and say it can't be more than 3.4 as I completed the whole thing in just a little over an hour and of course those hills slow you down.

Well, they slow me down, but they don't seem to slow the squirrels down any.


  1. The leaves are turning the wonderful color yours over here as well. Drove down a road yesterday with some beautiful sunlight shining through them, unlike you I did not get a chance to stop look

  2. Doncha just love autumn colors? Everywhere!