Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Prairie Dells

Most of you know by now that I like to take the scenic route and often allow "extra time" to explore additional sites that I find along the way to our planned hiking locations. Last weekend was no different. I'm constantly amazed at these little places I find!

Trail from the parking lot to the Scenic Viewing Area.

On our way North on Hwy 17 I saw the telltale brown signs indicating a county park ahead, and this park had the added bonus of  having a "scenic viewing area." It was the perfect spot to stop and let Charlie out to take a break from our road trip, although when we reached the scenic overlook, I realized it would be hard to explore with a dog attached to me, so I walked her back to the car while I returned for some photos.

Scenic Viewing Area

A short walk from the parking area leads to a nice viewing platform with additional trails down to the river and further up is another less-maintained viewing area.

There is some great information and descriptions of the Prairie River HERE on the City of Merrill website. Apparently this is a well-known trout stream, in addition to being a Scenic Area.

Looking upstream

Being that this spot is only a 20 minute drive from my home, it's obviously going to be on my itinerary for future explorations... especially in the coming month since I saw some sumac on the hillside and those will be on fire with autumn color soon!

Looking downstream

The dells are beautiful and the sound of the water is intoxicating. I wanted to sit on these ancient, warm rocks all afternoon, letting my body relax and my mind unwind.

I will be back. With a picnic too.