Hiking: good conditions. During wet weather, avoid the south portion of the West Side trails (last fall those trails were bulldozed and used to haul logs from a timber sale).
Grasses: knee high, waist high, and chest high. Be sure to look at the map in the mowing report (below).
Biking: most trails are fairly firm - although the East Side trails are always damp and soft if you venture to the Far East. When biking this summer, please avoid the south half of the West Side of the trail system - we have plans to spread grass seed on the many bare trails involved in last summer's logging operation.
Insects: keep the bug juice handy, and bring a hat to discourage the deer flies.
Red pine timber sale (north of the warming house) will be logged later this summer.
Look at the 'Mowing Report' and the map of mowed trails to find the trails the loggers will be using.
April 25: wet flurries
The Blue Hills Trail Association Inc pursued an aggressive agenda for trail work this summer. Now in mid August, we feel we've reached most of our goals. Many thanks to the Rusk County Forestry Department, the Wisconsin DNR, and the Rusk County Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) for their help.
When enjoying these trails while hiking/hunting/skiing this fall and winter, take a moment to consider the work that goes into taming mother nature. The past couple days I gained a new appreciation of the difficult task of mowing our trail system. Club member Steve Porn operated the skidsteer-mower donated by the WRA, and I cleared debris ahead of him while scouting for hidden rocks. A few hours after starting the mowing, Steve's skidsteer slipped off a steep embankment and was stuck in a perilous spot. After Steve cautiously exited the machine, we phoned for help and were rescued by one of our highly skilled local DNR dozer operators. Three hours after the skidsteer left the trail, we were back in action.
Mowing continued into the next day. Thanks to the drying conditions this summer, we felt fortunate to reach our goal of negotiating and mowing about ten typically soft muddy wet sections on the most distant trails of the Eastside. As we were completing the final hour of mowing operations, we found one of the many hidden rocks the Blue Hills has to offer. The head of the bolt securing the mower blade was sheared off, the blade went flying like a piece of shrapnel -- and fortunately humans and equipment survived without significant injury. Hard work, but enjoyable time in the Hills.
As stated earlier, I have a much greater appreciation for those that have mowed these trails the past 30 years. And I'm excited about the other trail work that was accomplished this summer. A lot of dozing of eroded areas was performed in July, then seeded within the past couple weeks. Grass has sprouted, those newly greened trail sections look inviting, and should provide good bird hunting habitat in addition to improvements that will enhance our winter cross country skiing.Thanks to the following for help with summer trail maintenance/improvement:
Stay in-the-know about grooming updates, special events, news, announcements, volunteer days, and more. Rest-assured, we never sell or share your information.