Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Brule-St. Croix Portage

Today felt like a good day to pay a visit to Wisconsin. Noelle and I packed up a daypack and the dog and headed east into the Badger State. Our destination today was the portage between the Brule and St. Croix Rivers which effectively connected the Mississippi River and Lake Superior for the voyageurs and Native Americans. The trail-head is located in Brule River State Forest near Solon Springs, Wisconsin.

The weather today was again beautiful and as soon as we stepped out of the car we were treated to views of wildflowers, especially hepatica.
The portage trail also happened to be a segment of the North Country Trail. We were able to sign a trail register to record our visit shortly after beginning our hike. The trail was also marked with boulders which had engraved metal plaques bearing the names of some of the known users of the old portage. These users included Henry Schoolcraft, the "discoverer" of the source of the Mississippi River near present-day Bemidji, Minnesota.

After about an hour of walking and a visit from a porcupine that Parker got really excited about, we had made it to the headwaters of the Brule River. The river was quite shallow at that point. So shallow, in fact, that it is difficult to imagine being able to float a canoe in the water. We stopped and basked in the sun there for a while before retracing our steps to the trail-head.

1 comment:

Mike said...

My wife and I were there today also for the first time with our dog, Jack at about 5:00. The porcupine was about 20 feet up in a tree. When we got home we had to pick 32 wood ticks off of Jack, and he is only a 20 pound dog. Check for ticks :)