Hike Or Bike Wisconsin's Glacial Drumlin Trail!
Here's a link that offers lodging and more information about the trail...
The Glacial Drumlin Trail is one of Wisconsin's environmental victories.
My family and I spent the last seven years living in the urban confines of Chicago, Illinois. After having been raised in Wisconsin, I missed the long walks out into the relative wild. Last year we moved back to my home state and rented an old Victorian right next to the Glacial Drumlin Trail. For me, it has been like having a back yard that stretches out into forever.
The trail is mostly an old railway whose tracks have been removed. So in many ways, when you hike the trail you are in the back forty of many farmers fields. There is also a lot of state owned land that besets the trail with woods and prairie along with more of the same that are privately owned hunting lands.
Over the past year my family and I have spied all kinds of wildlife including: Sand-hill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, Red Belly Snakes, Snapping Turtles, Red Fox, Coyote, Ground Squirrels, Woodchucks, Beaver, Muskrat, Opossum, Spring Peeper Frogs, Leopard Frogs, American Toads, Rabbits, Red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Red Winged Blackbirds and the ubiquitous Raccoons. There have also been Mountain Lion sightings in the past few years, although I've never come across one. It has been a real joy to watch the varying wildlife come and go over the seasons, as the leaves fall off the trees and the snow comes and turns everything white. Now in the spring we've been watching all the brown turn to green and we're hearing all the birds chime in again.
In the winter you will see a lot of snowmobiles. But now that spring is here the trail attracts a lot of bicyclists. My family and I mainly hike, we're rollerbladers, but the Glacial Drumlin Trail isn't paved, it's mainly gravel or clay so keep that in mind if you're planning a trip. The trail extends from Madison to Milwaukee but mainly it's most woodsy trails go from Cottage Grove to Waukesha for fifty two miles. If you are planning a bike trip, you will need a trail pass ($20 annual, $4 daily) or there is some likelihood a Ranger will enforce a $5 fee for your biking excursion.
There is a certain piece of mind that comes with visiting the Glacial Drumlin Trail. Drumlins are glacial formations that are long (sometimes ovoid) hills that were created when debris of rocks, sand and gravel collected by the glacier were deposited in large heaping mounds. Perhaps that is one reason Cahokia Amerindian ancestors built many mounds around this area as well. The trail extends a mile and a half south of Aztalan, the remains of the Northernmost Cahokia settlement. Although it's a mile and a half north, on bike its a doable and worthwhile diversion.
Maybe someday the Wisconsin Glacier will return and renew all these wetlands under a half mile thick sheet of viscous ice and stone. But in the meantime if you would like to see what the last glacier left behind, plan a visit to the Glacial Drumlin Trail in southern Wisconsin! This is one of those places that I almost hate to promote because it's something of a local secret, but I think people need more contact with the best of nature, and that is what you will find along the trail.
- Ben Zoltak on HubPages
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