The Waskahegan Trail is a unique resource that exists only because of the generosity of landowners. Before you set foot on the trail, know the landowner rights and the trail user responsibilities.
Eighteen hikers set out on a hot spring morning. Thank goodness for sun screen and mosquito spray!
We hiked across open meadows and fields, through shady trees and over many stiles.
We enjoyed our lunch on a small hill with a slight breeze.
Nine volunteers came out to clip, mow, repair signs, and clear away fallen trees in preparation for the hike on Sunday.
After organizing our equipment and tools at the bridge, we split into two work parties and headed in opposite directions. One group went west on the south bank of the Pipestone, and while the other went to the north bank and headed east.
With the temperature at 29C or higher, it was a relief to spend a good portion of our time in the forested parts of the trail, especially where the trees are most ancient.
Accompanying the west-directed work party was our plant expert Jerry Shaw. One of the special features of this part of the Pipestone Creek trail is the variety of flora. This Sunday, hikers who wish do a shorter distance and spend more time enjoying the flowers will split off into a separate slower group. For our benefit, Jerry put stakes next to specimens of several uncommon species. Thanks to Jerry, flower lovers on Sunday’s hike are in for a treat.
When we finished our work, we all met in Millet at Ivy’s for coffee, courtesy of the Waskahegan Trail Association.
View more pictures on Flickr
Thirteen people came out to hike the Saunders Lake trail. After negotiating the electric fence in our unique ways, we marched forward along the lake.
Saunders Lake is a great place to see birds. Besides the ubiquitous red-winged blackbird along the shore, we saw different kinds of ducks, perhaps mergansers, a grebe, and coots in the water. Swooping over our heads were swallows and chickadees.
Yellow warblers were also spotted, but alas, no pictures.
And then there was an interesting pair of birds that we could not identify. This species is somewhat larger than a robin. Do you know what this is?
The weather was warm, sunny, and quite humid. The breezes kept the mosquitoes at bay for most of the walk. There were a few types of wildflowers.
Total distance covered was almost 10 km. View more pictures on Flickr from Seonhee, Stella, and JoAnne.