This Super Secret Natural Area Turns into a Winter Wonderland
It’s been quite the unusual winter this year in Wisconsin. Usually, at this point, we have a few feet of snow on the ground but right now, the front yard has just a dusting. So the other day, when southern Wisconsin was calling for a snowstorm with up to a foot of snow, I made plans to head south to find it. I woke up at 4:30
Normally when I go on adventures, there’s not a whole lot of planning beforehand. A lot of the photos that you see
So on Saturday when we did this, we noticed an area of green space along the Wisconsin River called Gotham Jack Pine Barrens State Natural Area.
We had a little trouble finding it at first but eventually discovered these directions on the Wisconsin DNR website:
“From the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and County Highway JJ in Gotham, go east on 14 0.2 miles, then south on Timber Lane past the sawmill to the bike trail and a gate. Park and walk due south along an overgrown access easement to the northwest corner of the western
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, easement means, “A right to cross or otherwise use someone else’s land for a specified purpose.” Take a look at the map below. I’ve placed a pin right next to the easement access point. You can see a narrow strip of green space that runs north to south. That’s the easement that you must follow. We simply kept Google Maps out to make sure we weren’t straying off the path and headed out into the woods.
Also, allow me to stress the fact that the easement is very overgrown. We had trouble finding it initially and just kind of forged our way through the trees. There were plenty of private property signs along the way to help keep us in the designated state natural area.
The fresh snowfall made for such a beautiful hike! The whole forest turned into a winter wonderland! I just love when the snow clings to the trees like this. Every now and then, a branch would give way, sending a flurry of snowflakes down on us.
Eventually, we made it to the river where big, slushy ice chunks floated on top. It was a lot more open here with fewer trees and rolling landscape. I bet this would be a great place to come sunbathe in the summer!
The North Shore is a spectacular place to visit and explore. From quaint towns to outdoor adventures, this area of Minnesota has a little something for everyone. Here are my top places to visit along Minnesota’s North Shore!
Grand Marais is a must-see town on Minnesota’s North Shore. It has a population of just 1,400 people, it’s built on the shores of Lake Superior, and has a thriving artist community. I can’t wait to visit here again soon!
Take a close look at your phones camera lens before snapping your photo. Chances are, it's got a few smudges on it from being in your pocket, your purse, or your hand. When cleaning your lens, it's best to use a soft cloth, such as these inexpensive microfiber cloths...