Monday, November 23, 2009

N 44° 14.634' W -90° 43.932

Over the weekend the missus, her sister, and I drove from Madison to Eau Claire, WI. When we left Madison the weather was glorious - sunny and clear, approaching 60 degrees (F). We had a plan to stop at a rest area sis knew about so we could hike the short trail there to the scenic overlook. As we passed Black River Falls, the weather got overcast and very hazy, and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees as well.

We stopped as planned, and did the short hike out across a 550' boardwalk that crosses a small ravine. The haze made photos there pretty ho-hum. Taking the other fork, we walked to the top of the nearby Bell Mound peak, the trail following right up the ridge line. The views were a bit better along this part of the trail.

Rest Area South of Eau Claire, WI

Rest Area South of Eau Claire, WI

The walk was steep, but made relatively easy by steps that must have been a challenge to build:

Rest Area South of Eau Claire, WI

Once at the top the view was much grander. The haze still made the horizon a dull blob, but it made the contrast between the pines and the naked birches all the more interesting.

WI Fall Forest 1

This is worth viewing LARGE.

All in all a pretty good little hike with some nice views. I wonder if it is as interesting when the sun is shining? In case you are curious, the rest area is on westbound I-94, milepost 121, near Black River Falls in Jackson County.

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