Saturday, November 19, 2016
New Wood Segment ~ Ice Age Trail
This post is a little out of order since we hiked it back in mid-September... and apparently I forgot to write it up! That's what happens when you're busy hiking, enjoying nature and bonding with your dog; the business end of what you're doing doesn't matter as much when you're having fun!
We had initially intended on hiking the Turtle Rock Segment on this day since it's my favorite time of year to do that one, but when we arrived at the parking area there were a lot of cars and trucks as well as a bunch of hunting-looking dogs. This wasn't going to work well with Charlie if there were a bunch of people with dogs on this normally secluded trail, so I decided to drive on to another segment further west that we hadn't done before - the New Wood Segment.
Lucky for us, this one was all on private land where no hunting was allowed, so we had it to ourselves this day.
The trail was a bit challenging with a strong dog strapped to me and pulling forward at warp speed, so it took quite a bit of effort to slow her down and make sure I didn't trip or twist my ankle.
The landscape had a lot of little ups and downs, water crossings (since it followed along a little river), and plenty of rock pilings hidden with ground cover that made me take care in my foot holds.
We heard a lot of wildlife in the surrounding brush just off the trail... likely deer or small mammals. Charlie was on alert and wanted to be free to chase these animals, which added to the already mounting challenges of the landscape.
When we finally reached a scenic spot by the river with a leopold bench, I let Charlie off-leash to go swimming and sat down on the bench for a break. She brought me sticks which I threw down the slope into the river, over and over again, hoping to tire her out a little with a long game of fetch before setting off for some more hiking.
Charlie had a blast alternating games of fetch, swimming and hiking on this trail and it was refreshing to see new scenery on a segment we hadn't been to before.
Breaking out of routine and exploring a new area was a good choice for us this day and we both came home feeling renewed.