Monday, May 16, 2016

Voyageurs National Park: Oberholtzer Trail

We stayed close to home again for our mini-adventure today. Noelle, Sierra and I headed over to the Rainy Lake Visitor Center to hike the Oberholtzer Trail. The trail is named for Ernest Oberholtzer, a conservationist and author who lived across a portion of Rainy Lake from our rental house, on Mallard Island. Of Mallard Island, Oberholtzer wrote "My home all these years has been an acre and a half rocky island in Rainy Lake, half a mile from the Canadian border." Today Mallard Island is home to the Oberholtzer Foundation, which "maintains Ober’s legacy and North Woods island home as a source of inspiration, renewal and connection to Indigenous Peoples, kindred spirits, and the natural world."

Back to the hike though. We began in cool temperatures, under mostly cloudy skies.
start of Oberholtzer Trail
We passed a few trees which were showing off their spring flowers
flower
and headed over to a part of the trail where there is an expansive view of the wetlands that fringe Black Bay.
wetland
We crossed a swampy section of trail on bog bridges
on boardwalk
and then headed into the forest. There were a handful of large white pine trees along the side of the trail.
in white pine
The trail splits into two loops. We decided to take the right loop first, across a road and to the Hike to Health "rubber".
near rubber
Sierra was excited to help make the rubbing
doing rubbing
and when she had finished
rubbing
we continued on through the evergreen forest.
on the trail

We saw a few violets in bloom.
violet
However, we were still a bit early for the spring wildflower show. We saw some columbine that looked as if it will be in bloom in about a week. On the other loop of the trail there is a nice overlook of Black Bay
overlook
where one can rest on their choice of two benches. We decided to keep moving. We passed through two boulders, probably glacial erratics,
through the rocks
and soon found ourselves back at the start of the trail.

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