Posts Tagged ‘Reid Lake Foot Travel Area’

“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”  Jim Henson (1936-1990); American Puppeteer

When I woke up this morning, I knew I wanted to do something outside.   When I watched the weather and they said the winds were supposed to kick up today, I figured a bike ride would not be very fun.  So my next immediate thought was a hike.  I have been wondering if the pair of loons we seen on Reid Lake last year had come back, so we decided to go hike the Reid Lake area to check.  I packed a couple to PB&Js, some chips and chocolate and off we went.  By the time we got to the trailhead, the wind was howling, it had turned cloudy and quite cool, only in the mid 40’s.  Considering we were in the 80’s a week and a half ago, we are back to more normal temperatures now, but boy, the warm weather was nice while it lasted!

We immediately noticed the amount of down-fall.  We thought back over the winter, and realized that we may not have had much snow, but we did have a lot of wind.  And looking around, that was pretty evident.  The first junction of the Homestead Loop is right at Reid Lake, and unfortunately, no sign of the loons, but we did scare up a grouse, or should I say, it scared me!   We did a quick Tai Chi practice, to honor Mother Nature, and continued on down the trail.  About half way around the lake, we seen and heard a pair of Sandhill Cranes fly over, we figured they were going to one of the other bodies of water in the area.

We then worked our way around Fanny’s Marsh Loop and was surprised at the amount of water that was in it.  We also noticed a very large flock of Bufflehead ducks on it and almost right in the middle was a very large beaver lodge.  Whether it was still an active lodge, we couldn’t tell, but it was an impressive one.  We stopped and ate our lunch on a large fallen tree and always had to keep one eye looking up.  The wind was still quite strong and the trees were swaying and crashing into each other up high and every now and then, we seen and heard branches coming down.

We then started around the Mossy Bog Loop and that loop was definitely true to it’s name.  We found ourselves avoiding some wet areas, but not too bad for early Spring.  Until…all of a sudden our trail disappeared into the bog!  Thankfully, we were able to pick our way around the bog and eventually got back onto the main trail.  On the other side, we immediately discovered the reason for the high water, a beaver dam.  We could tell that this dam was old, but the engineering and architecture was such that it looked like it was going to be there for quite some time to come.    Just a little way up the trail, we came to a rather long foot bridge across yet another beaver pond.  This one also had a large lodge in the center of it, and again, we couldn’t tell if it was still active, but the lodge and the dam looked like they were there for the long haul.  It’s amazing what beavers can do!!

 We also spotted a lot of the False Morel Mushrooms, but couldn’t find any of the edible Morels.  Not sure if the latest cold weather put a damper on their popping up.  What we did miss today were the scurrying, furry little Chipmunks or Ground Squirrels.  We usually see at least a few dozen when we are in these woods, but today, the ground was quiet.  All of the wildlife we observed was of the winged families.

Our wildlife sighting list goes like this:  8 Wild Turkeys, 2 Hawks, 1 Grouse, a flock of Bufflehead Ducks, 4 Mallards, 2 Sandhill Cranes, and 1 Green-backed Heron.  Overall, a great 5.5 mile hike on an early Spring day.

Happy Hiking,



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It’s amazing what purchasing a couple of issues of Backpacker magazine can do for a hiker.  It makes you want to get out there and hit the trails!  So…after purchasing the September and October issues, I immediately wanted to get out into the woods.  We’d hiked the Reid Lake area a year ago on my birthday (my celebration of Earth Day), and at that time, we were not yet cachers.  We’ve seen that there was a cache out there and since the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, we decided to combine the two activities.  I packed up some trail food and water, filled our backpacks, and off we went.

While looking at the information sheet for the Reid Lake cache, we seen that a new cache had been placed at the ‘old park and ride’ near the intersection of M65 and M72.  The cache had only been found by two other cachers and we noticed that the last people to visit it had dropped off a pathtag.  We were very excited about that since we enjoy collecting pathtags.  Currently, our collection consists of six different tags and we are always excited about the prospect of getting a new one.  We found the old park and ride easily and immediately started following the arrow on our gps.  We arrived at the coordinates with little difficulty, but couldn’t locate the cache.  We began to expand our search, thinking that maybe with the dense tree cover, the coordinates may be off.  We searched in earnest for a good 10-15 minutes, but were still coming up empty handed.  I began to tell myself that I didn’t just drive 45 minutes not to find this cache.  So I stopped and began looking around and tried to figure out what didn’t look “natural”.  Finally, I spotted something that didn’t look like mother nature put it there and sure enough, it was the cache.  I can’t mention any more about it, so as not to spoil the find for someone else, but suffice it to say, we listed it as one of our favorites when I logged in our find.  We opened the container and wouldn’t you know, no pathtag could be seen, but then…I opened the smaller container that had the log in it, and yeeha!!! the pathtag was in there!  So now, our collection is up to seven and we are very proud of them (most of them did not come easily, so they are very appreciated).

We then drove on to the Reid Lake parking area just a few miles down the road and were eager to get on the trails.  The last time we were on these trails everything looked quite a bit different.  It was April 22, 2010, none of the trees had leaves on them and some of the trails were closed due to high water from the snow melt.  We didn’t have any of that to worry about today, but it still amazed me how different the woods are when the trees are fully leafed out.   We arrived at the lake and immediately looked for the pair of loons that we had seen and heard on our previous visit, but this time, they were not there.  We continued on down the trail that circumnavigates the lake and remembered that we took pictures from an old pier that used to be on the north shore.  When we arrived at where we thought it would be, the pier was gone.  All we could see were the old pilings that were just below the water’s surface.  We couldn’t tell if it had been removed by man or my mother nature.  We again snapped a few pictures and moved on.

As we progressed around the lake our gps started to confuse us.  We thought we knew which trail the cache was on, but needless to say, we were incorrect.  After a few “turn arounds” we finally figured out which trail it was on and soon found ourselves at the stated coordinates, but again, we couldn’t seem to locate the cache.  We expanded our search, and again, I told myself that I didn’t drive and hike this far not to find this cache, so I stopped and looked around to see what didn’t “look right” and then I spotted it.  Again, I can’t elaborate because I don’t want to be a “spoiler”, but I can say that we also added this cache to our favorites list.   We logged our visit and returned to the trail and found a suitable log to sit on and eat our lunch.  After a nice break, we then continued on around the lake.  While hiking back to the parking area, we were startled by a young buck crossing the trail in front of us.  Just as quickly as we seen him, he was gone.   There are a lot of trails here and I know I will be back to do more of them, this is a beautiful place, and one of my favorites.

Our wildlife count today:  1 young buck, 1 bald eagle, 1 garter snake, numerous squirrels and chipmunks.  Another beautiful day in the woods!

Happy Caching!



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