Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Voyageurs National Park: Kab-Ash Trail Middle Section

I've been itching to get out for a hike lately. Today, with blue sky and mild temperatures, I decided to brave trails I knew would be icy in spots and head out to hike a section of the Kab-Ash Trail that I haven't hiked yet (the middle section). I reached the trailhead early and was surprised by the complete lack of snow.
Kab Ash Trailhead
However, I guessed that there would still be some ice and snow on the shadier sections of trail. I brought along my microspikes, just in case.

After inspecting a large anthill near the start of the trail,
large anthill
I started my walk. As I made my way into the woods, I found icy and slushy sections of trail, just like I had expected. I never felt the need to put on my microspikes though. Perhaps the iciest section of trail was the crossing of the snowmobile trail spur that leads to Ash River.
snowmobile trail
Soon enough I made my way to the most interesting portion of the hike: a long bridge spanning a fork of Daley Brook.
long bridge
The view of the water from the bridge was beautiful,
Daley Brook
and I even caught a glimpse of a bald eagle off in the distance.

I made my way further east, travelling through some ice covered wetlands on long sections of bog bridges.
bog bridge
I found the first of two loops that I planned on traversing. There were some ridges to travel and the ridges were marked with cairns.
tall cairn
I found the loop a bit confusing though, and after a short time found myself back at the junction where I had turned onto the loop. Besides the crossing of Daley Brook, perhaps the most interesting part of the hike was an old, trailside beaver pond.
beaver pond

The second of the two loops was also a bit confusing. I couldn't follow the northern part of the loop heading east. However, I was able to follow the southern portion of the loop to the trail sign that marked the last section of trail I had hiked.
addition to sign
I took a gamble and thought the northern loop might be easier to follow headed west. My gamble paid off, as I was able to successfully complete the second loop.

The return hike back to the car was uneventful. Upon taking a closer look in the water that lined the bog bridges that I traveled across, I noticed some green vegetation sticking up out of the water. It was marsh marigold.
spring growth
It won't be too long before we see some flowers blooming in the Borderlands!

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