We love the Decorah and the surrounding areas and always work in a couple weekend a year to bike, hike and camp in this driftless region.
This post is written by Lisa Brainard on April 2, 2021 and was originally posted to the Decorah Journal and is WELL WORTH the full read!
Driftless Destinations and Beyond Get out and hike now...while avoiding the mud
Spring seems to be here. Let’s turn our faces up to that beautiful sun still shining at 7:30 p.m. (and the lengthening days of sunshine to come), jump around with joy and raise our voices in heartfelt appreciation. We made it through another winter, or as I call it – with a nod to Medieval culture – the “Time of Darkness.” We’ve made it out the far side and deserve to celebrate.
Wait… What’s that? … Ok, that’s true. Umm, I hate to be a buzzkill, but a friend just pointed out a downside to our current season. How could I have forgotten? I know it well, and I’m sure you do, too. We’re in the unnamed, but often (unfortunately) occurring fifth season – the dreaded MUD SEASON (yes, editors, it deserves all caps).
With melting snow, late snowstorms and even more melting snow, plus spring rains – look out.
Trout Run Trail, Decorah. This is a natural. Get out on a portion of this loop that you like and start hiking. Take the hill by The Cut on Highway 52 if you like a good workout, as well as appreciating the geology. Or head over to the Decorah Fish Hatchery to hear the babbling sounds of Trout Run, as well as the piercing cries and looks of Decorah’s bald eagles and eaglets. Back in the old days when I lived in Decorah, I loved to walk or drive – yes, the rock slab shelf of the old Dug Road preceded the bike trail – along the Upper Iowa River below Phelps Park. https://www.winneshiekwild.com/park-trail/trout-run-trail.
Trail systems, Preston, Minn. Now I speak for my current home area. The Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail follows the Camp Creek trout stream as it heads south from Preston. I’ve always found trout stream environs to be lovely, fishing or not. Or, get a good workout on the long hill from the valley near Harmony.