Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season begins today, Saturday, Nov. 23. For hikers, this is a good time to know where hunting is and is not allowed within Devil’s Lake State Park and a good time to stay on designated trails. Many hikers this time of year choose to stay in the main day use area right along the bluffs including the East & West Bluff Trails. Click here for the Open Hunting Area Map Continue reading
While summer may be over, in many ways this is the busiest time of the year for nature lovers here in the Baraboo Hills Region! The leaves are beginning to change, the harvest is coming in, the migration is on.. It’s all go! What’s more, fall offers some of the best family events and activities in our area from exploring art to exploring farm markets. Here’s just some of the things to look forward to and to mark on your calendars in the coming weeks. Continue reading
FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP—The 2.5 mile trail network around the Leopold Center has been open to the public just a little over a year now. In May of 2012, the Aldo Leopold Foundation acquired an additional 300 acres of land surrounding the Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm with the help of both state and federal funding and contributions by private donors. Hikers on the trail network that traverses the new property cross through many diverse habitats including oak savanna, wetlands and a high quality dry prairie remnant overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley. Continue reading
A lot of us plan to get out hiking over the upcoming Memorial Weekend. In fact, beginning this weekend, the trails at Devil’s Lake State Park will be petty busy straight through October. Well, here are some thoughts and tips for those of you planning to explore the trails at Devil’s Lake this weekend… Continue reading
Time for a bit of straight talk about garlic mustard. By now (I hope) we all know garlic mustard is an invasive plant which is taking over high quality woodlands, upland and floodplain forests and of course running riot in land disturbed by humans. We know garlic mustard crowds out native plants and alters habitats which affect our wildlife. In some areas, the spread of garlic mustard is a flat-out, ecological disaster. It’s disturbing to think that most people probably don’t even know what it is and do nothing as it spreads through their lawns and into the “woods out back”. Well, WE know better, right??? Thing is, if you are trying to help, If you’re out hiking the trails at your local state park, pulling garlic mustard and tossing the plants on the trail…Well, you’re not helping! That might be a bit of a shock.. It was to me not so long ago.
What we all need to understand is that garlic mustard is evil. No, really evil. Once the plant even comes close to flowering, it’s got you. If the plant has entered the budding stage it will finish creating and ripening seeds using the energy from the leaves and stalk, even after its been pulled! Folks who think they are helping by pulling garlic mustard and leaving it on the trail are more likely just helping it spread! So if that’s you, stop. If you want to help win the war, take a bag with you and toss the garlic mustard you pull into a garbage bag. From there it can’t be composted either. It must be buried deeply enough not to germinate or more realistically, burned. Now, you might not be able to dispose of it that way. I understand. If that’s the case, sadly, you should probably just leave it be when you’re out on hiking. If you really want to help out, join one of the many garlic mustard pulling events held by park staff, friends group or other organizations. Normally only a few people show up for these events and they could really use your help.
Bottom line, if you’re pulling garlic mustard and leaving it on the trail just stop, especially this time of year. it’s not helping.
It was a good thought, though.