Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday at Mondeaux (Ice Age Trail)

So I took off work on Monday for a long weekend full of day-trips exploring new areas and Monday was slated for hiking the Mondeaux Esker Segment of the Ice Age Trail!

I am SO excited to tell you guys about this adventure, because it was So.Much.Fun! I loved every minute of it including the scenic drive to get there.

It was 70 degrees and sunny with a strong breeze... one of those perfect fall days! This part of the Ice Age Trail winds up one side of the Mondeaux Flowage through the Chequamegon National Forest and back down the other side and you cross through four different campgrounds all nestled along the shoreline.

The part of the trail that we hiked followed along the top of the Mondeaux Esker which allowed beautiful steep views down to the water on one side and obvious glacial topography along the other side, all within a swaying forest of all different types of trees.

The sun filtered through the yellowing leaves of the canopy above making the forest glow. A warm breeze swirled around us and shadows of the swaying branches danced on the sun-dappled forest floor.

Charlie and I moved as a team up and down the difficult terrain, both of us with beaming smiles as the energy of the woods infiltrated our spirits and our deep breaths brought rich oxygen all the way to the bottom of our lungs. It was exhilarating! I haven't been so excited to explore a trail in a long time. It was absolutely gorgeous.

We took short breaks along the shore to let Charlie go swimming and fetch sticks out in the water while I gazed at a circling bald eagle above and watched falling leaves drift to the water's surface and float away like little autumn boats.

Campsite in Eastwood Campground.

All of the campgrounds were rustic but in a very comfortable way. My idea of camping is getting away from noise and crowds and feeling like I'm a part of the wilderness. These campsites let you feel like that. They have tons of vegetation surrounding them and between the sites for good privacy.

The bathroom "facilities" are simple pit toilets (but very clean!) and there are narrow trails leading to a "well" for water. Some of the campsites have waterfront access and all of them have great views of either the water or the forest. The Ice Age Trail even goes past some of the campsites so you could literally camp "on the trail" here.

Ice Age Trail next to campsite 10 in the Eastwood Campground.

Firewood is available for purchase and one of the campgrounds has a concession stand that sells ice and has a weekly buffet dinner as well as other homemade hot food! The camp hosts highly recommended the food. There were also boat rentals - canoes, rowboats, paddleboats and pontoons!

I can't wait to go back for a long weekend of camping and to explore the rest of the Ice Age Trail that we didn't have time to do today. If you get a chance to take another trip this fall, this is a MUST SEE!