Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Celebrate the summer solstice and Father's Day with a float down the Chippewa River. © Courtesy of Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Celebrate the summer solstice and Father's Day with a float down the Chippewa River.
© Courtesy of Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

June 2009

Wisconsin Traveler

Natasha Kassulke

On track and on a roll

Traveler is hot on the trail to a good time as National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society on June 6, offers a taste of the trails – wooded or watery – awaiting us year-round. This year's theme is "Take in the Outdoors."

And there are trails so everyone can enjoy the outdoors. Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails also offer more than 650 miles of trails that are accessible to wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments. Visit Accessible Trails.

Looking for a faster pace? Celebrate National Trails Day by showing off your fleet-of-foot form on June 6. Join the Blue Mound Trail Run, a challenging 15-K or 6-K run on Blue Mound State Park ski and bike trails. Call (608) 437-5711 or visit Wisconsin Trail Runs. If you are feeling extra strong, return to Blue Mound State Park for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds Bicycle Challenge Ride on June 20. Weave in and out of valleys untouched by glacial activity. Two challenging options of 100 and 200 kilometers await bicyclers. Call (608) 437-HURT (4878).

If you like a bit of well-lit surf with your turf, perhaps maritime trails are more to your liking. Take a self-guided Door County Mainland Lighthouse Walk 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 13-14. Sites include: U.S. Coast Guard Canal Station and North Pierhead, Sturgeon Bay; Sherwood Point, Sturgeon Bay; Cana Island, Baileys Harbor; On track and on a roll Range Lights, Baileys Harbor; and Eagle Bluff, Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek. Tickets (good for both days) are $15 or $5 for children ages 5 to 17. Visit Door County Maritime Museum for details.

Bike or hike and fall in love with lupines on June 13 as they bloom along trails in Mercer. Lupine Junefest runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features music, kids' games, chalk art contest, nature displays, photography contest, a kids' scavenger hike, art/craft show and antique car/motorcycle/truck show. Visit Mercer Chamber of Commerce or call (715) 476-2389.

The 12 Hours at John Muir Challenge takes place in La Grange near Whitewater on June 13. The event is part of the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series sponsored by the Wisconsin Off-Road Bicycling Association and features bike relay and solo events. Funds raised are used to develop new trails and maintain trails already in use. Visit Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series or call (414) 339-4781.

Walk a trail of trash and treasure during Wisconsinís Longest Garage Sale in Price County June 18-20 along Highway 13 from Ogema in southern Price County to Park Falls in the north and beyond. Visit Price County or call (715) 767-5445.

Or indulge your infatuation with inflatables with more than 5,000 other tubing travelers bobbing down the Chippewa River during the Frenchtown Annual Float and Regatta on June 21 in Chippewa Falls. Tubes are available for rent. For more information e-mail loopy@723loop.com or call (715) 723-5667.

Then its time to trade in your Wi-Fi and computer for a wood handle Pulaski and a chainsaw. Attend Ice Age Trail University June 24-28 at the UW-Baraboo campus to take a lesson from the School of Hard Knots! Learn about the Ice Age Trail mobile skills crew and opportunities to spend quality time outdoors while honing trail building skills. Camping is offered onsite. Visit Ice Age Trail Alliance or register at Ice Age Trail Mobile Skills Crew.

Pick your mode of trail travel during Florence County Trail Days on June 27. Guided tours are offered on ATVs, auto waterfall tours, hikes, paddles, horseback riding and bike trails. Visit Florence County or call (888) 889-0049.

Wrap up your summer trails tour with a candlelight hike at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan on July 18 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Hike along the beach and wander the sand dunes along a tiki torch-lit trail. Call (920) 451-4080.

Natasha Kassulke is associate editor of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.