Monday, May 9, 2016

Koochiching State Forest: Tilson Bay Hiking Trail

Today Noelle, Sierra and I opted to stay close to home for our adventure. We made the short drive west on Highway 11 to hike the Tilson Bay Trail. I had hiked the trail shortly after arriving in town, but I thought I would head back to explore with my girls at a time when the flowers are starting to bloom and the leaves are starting to burst out on the trees.

We arrived at the parking lot, crossed the highway and checked out the fishing dock. We then headed up a flight of stairs to begin our hike.
squinty Sierra
There were some small trees with blossoms on them,
flowers
and wild strawberries blooming as well.
strawberry flower
The trail climbs
Noelle climbs hill
to a nice overlook. There isn't a view of the lake, but a nice view of the surrounding forest.
Noelle at overlook
The newly emerged aspen leaves gave the forest a nice, bright green glow. Occasionally, the trail traversed rock outcrops
Noelle walks rock outcropping
and open areas where blueberry bushes showed their flowers.
small flowers
We found a geocache just off to the side of the trail and took a look inside.
geocache
It was filled with the usual trinkets and trash that one tends to find in those boxes.

After crossing a few wet areas on small bridges
Noelle onbridge
Daddy and Sierra on bridge
and following some cairns over exposed rock,
cairn
we made our way down to County Road 137. The trail followed the road for a short distance, passing the "Little Free Library",
Little Free Library
before heading back into the woods. Eventually a view opened up out to Tilson Bay.
Tilson Bay view
We then made our way through an area that had recently been planted with pines.
silly Mommy
The pines grew over the trail and tickled Sierra as she brushed up against them. We made our way back up to some rock outcroppings with scattered violets growing on them
violets
before descending back to the highway and the car.

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