Thursday, September 22, 2016

Voyageurs National Park: Kab Ash Trail, Beaver Pond Parking to Ash River Community

It was another wonderful day to be on the trail. The weather was perfect. There cannot be many weather days like today left on the calendar for northern Minnesota. I made the drive down to the Ash River portion of Voyageurs National Park to hike another part of the Kab Ash Trail.
Trail through moss and pines
This section of the Kab Ash Trail was easy to follow, just like the other sections that I've previously hiked. There are not many wildflowers in bloom anymore, just some scattered asters.
aster
I did see some fall color though.
red leaves
It's definitely not peak color yet, but it is starting to get a bit colorful.
maple on moss

While I didn't see much in the way of wildflowers, the mushrooms were prolific. They were everywhere and in many different varieties. There were white ones, tan ones,
mushrooms
black ones,
black fungus
brown ones,
mushroom
and many other colors. I also saw some wildlife in the form of the ubiquitous red squirrel
red squirrel
and a black backed woodpecker.
black backed woodpecker
The coolest thing about the hike though, was the different types of micro-habitats that the trail traversed.
hiker Eric
There were open rocky ledges with far views.
overlook
There were luxuriant carpets of astro-turf like moss.
carpet of moss
There were red pine forests.
in tree grotto
There were white pine forests. There were also swamps and small meadows.

After hiking for a few hours I found myself at the end of the Ash River Trail. I paused for a rest there,
at trailhead
used the facilities, and then turned around to hike the whole thing back to where I had started. It was a wonderful way to spend one of our fleeting fall days in northern Minnesota.

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