Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Voyageurs National Park: Blind Ash Bay Trail

This morning we got our new canoe registration at the DMV in town. Unfortunately, the forecast today was for high winds, and so we put off our first adventure out on the water. Instead we headed down to Ash River to do some hiking on the Blind Ash Bay Trail.

Our first stop was the Ash River Visitor Center at the old Meadwood Lodge.
Ash River VC
We explored the building a bit
Meadwood Lodge
and then headed down to the lake for lunch at the wonderful picnic area there. Besides lunch, we found some turtle eggs that had recently been dug out of the soft, sandy soil by a hungry animal.
turtle egg
After lunch we headed back to the car and got our gear ready to hit the trail.

We immediately passed some yellow flowers
yellow flower 2
and red-osier dogwood in bloom.
pretty flowers
Sierra decided she wanted to hike on her own which was fine with me.
they are hiking
However, she didn't want any help on the rocky or slippery spots.
Sierra refuses help
She told us that she is a "big girl' and that she didn't need any help. After some arguments, we finally convinced her that everyone needs a hand now and then. Soon, a view opened up just below the Kabetogama Lake Overlook.
1st overlook
We quickly admired the view (the mosquitoes were starting to bite) and then started moving again.
Sierra and Daddy walking
There was bunchberry scattered here and there along the trail.
bunchberry

two hikers
Besides the wildflowers, there was fungus scattered along the trail
fungus
and a few big white pine trees.
tree huggers
Eventually we made it to the loop intersection
Sierra and Mommy hiking
where we found the Hike to Health rubbing plate. This one was an owl
owl rubbing plate
which Sierra did an excellent job of making a rubbing of.
Sierra and her Hike to Health book
After having made the rubbing we started the loop portion of the hike, moving in a clockwise direction. Some nice views opened up out to Blind Ash Bay and Kabetogama Lake.
at Blind Ash Bay
view from Blind Ash Bay

After completing the loop, we retraced our steps on the trail. We saw three garter snakes
garter snake
at the base of a white pine tree and after Sierra had pointed out  a pink lady slipper, we noticed a small, well camoflauged tree frog
little frog
hopping along the forest floor. Good eyes Sierra! By the time we returned to the car we were all quite tired. After a short hike on the Beaver Pond Overlook Trail to get the rubbing, (we had forgotten our Hike to Health book when we hiked it a few weeks ago)  we returned to the car and Sierra promptly fell asleep!
sleepy hiker

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