Hiking Club Trail #15
Date: March 17, 2018
Location: Owatonna, MN
Length: 2.4 Miles
Difficulty: Intermediate: Only because it was winter and there was a lot of ice and in spots knee deep snow.
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 42.3 of 197
I think I might be may have been overly cooped up this winter - because if it above 30 degrees all I want to do is be outside. We are just in the middle of the transition of the ice/crunchy snow covered ground season to the mud season (Spring has many transitions in this part of the midwest!) Neither of these sub-seasons are particularly easy to hike in (ice and mud are slick) and they aren't particularly pretty - everything is kind of brown but seeing all these parks in different stages is kinda fascinating to me.
So this park is kinda tucked right in the middle of farmland - for part of the HCT trail you are following a path on the edge of Rice Lake and across the lake you can see the silos of the neighboring farms. We were literally the only people at this park - ALL DAY! I can imagine what this park looks like in the summer when the lake is thawed and judging by how crazy my dog was with her nose to the ground - there must be an abundance of wildlife (I saw deer, turkeys and bald eagles on the drive to and from the park but nothing there).
The HCT starts by the boat launch, runs along the lake though the campgrounds, past the playground, into the woods, out into a field, then back into the woods. The parts of the trail had very little snow, quite a bit of ice and was transitioning into the mud phase. Once we got out into the field we were into knee deep snow and that is where the hike got much harder. So this hike was a pretty good workout.
Without snow I would assume this trail would be pretty easy.
After this one I think we both earned a trip to the A&W for burgers and Root Beer!