Hike #5: Ice Age Trail Cedar Lakes Loop

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Happy Easter!

Because I’m a dolt, and forgot that things close on Easter Sunday, I decided to do an Easter hike with Bear.  Bekki is still off visiting family, so it’s another adventure with Bear and Buffy!

Getting back to the roots of this blog, I picked a hike out of the WI hiking book that encouraged Bekki and me to start this adventure in the first place.  The hike –  Ice Age Trail: Cedar Lakes Loop.  It utilizes Cedar Lakes trails as well as the Ice Age trail and is located just outside of Slinger, WI.  Total mileage was 3.5 miles for a lollipop-shaped loop.

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The terrain was crazy!  There were hills, forest, open land, swampy knolls, mowed down cornfields and as the book puts it, “rustic trails.”  It rained last night and early this morning.  So even though it was nice and sunny, and a warm 70 F, it was still really wet land.

Bear started out the hike with his white, shiny coat, and ended with the bottom half of him brown.  He looked like he had been dipped into dye, like an Easter egg.

Overall the hike wasn’t bad, a little muddy for Bear’s taste.  He kept trying to avoid the mud and puddles, which only made him more muddy and wet.  Poor guy, by the end of the hike he was physically and mentally exhausted and I could tell he was ready to go home.

The hike, overall, I would classify as rolling.  It had some inclines and declines, but nothing too dramatic.  It was fun to watch Bear figure out the terrain as it kept changing.  We worked on our “check in” command.  If he wants to wander ahead or behind, he needs to check in with me every 10 seconds or so.  He doesn’t have to come back, but he does need to see what I am doing and where I am at and follow lead.  He did a fantastic job!  He performs much better off-leash than on.  But towards the end I had to put him back on the leash because more hikers were coming through and I didn’t want his muddy paws jumping up on them.

 

He was not a fan of the photos I made him take with me.  His facial sass makes me laugh, he really is a dramatic puppy.

The highlights of this hike for me: Bear made a friend with a turtle.  He kept trying to go back and play with it, which made it recede into his shell.  and there was corn and husks scattered randomly throughout the hike because of birds and other wildlife.  Sometimes it appeared as though a child had spilled some corn and ran away without picking it up!

There were no nearby breweries in Slinger, so I traveled north to West Bend, WI to see if I could find some local brew.  I found, Riverside Brewery & Restaurant.  Unfortunately, it was closed for the holiday.  I had to supplement craft beer for any beer and went to a highly rated local favorite: Dublin’s – West Bend.  I’m sure you could tell from the name, it’s an Irish pub.

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The bar was decent, and it looked like they had food.  But i didn’t invest too much time here.  I grabbed a beer while bear was getting bathed at a nearby pet groomers.

Hopefully Bekki will be back next week in our adventures! Here’s to the next one!

 

THE HIKE

Pros:

  • Variety of terrain to enjoy
  • Rolling hills, so it isn’t just flat
  • Other trail hookups to create different loops, or out-and-back hikes
  • Easy to find

 

Cons:

  • Limited parking – maybe fits 5 cars
  • When it rains it becomes impossibly muddy – sections were completely turned into swamps

Comments: The hike wasn’t too bad.  I wished it hadn’t rained before we went, but now I know that these trails are only good when it’s dry outside.  Both Bear and I were caked in mud by the time we made it out.  Overall, not too bad.

Rating: 3/5

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