Moose Track Adventures
Hiking, fishing, canoeing and camping are just some of the options that make Moose Track Adventures an ideal outfitter for outdoor adventures. The company offers guided 10-day fishing and fly-fishing trips and canoeing packages. The resort is also an outfitter, so all items needed for extended stays, such as canoes, paddles, life jackets and sleeping bags, are available to visitors.
“We try to be open for people’s suggestions and how they want their experience to be. We try to customize them,” said owner Jim Blauch.
“All our guides are well-rounded in Native American history. We’re about learning as you’re experiencing it. For most people, the trip is about the wilderness experience: going exploring, checking out the beavers and otters, going fishing to catch a fish dinner. The more you come back the more opportunities you’re going to have.”
Numerous trails in Minnesota offer a variety of hiking experiences from which to pick. If you’d like to spend all day sightseeing, the 14-mile Anglewood Trail is probably worthwhile. It’s a more difficult hike, but it includes scenic outlooks, and moose can be seen in the area. A more leisurely hike can be had on the Secret/Blackstone Trail. Views include an overlook of Ennis Lake as well as some small waterfalls throughout the trail.
The most popular trip is a six-day guided excursion into the wilderness by canoe. Moose Track Adventures has numerous guides to take groups on personalized trips. Blauch has been a guide for more than 20 years.
Moose Track also has hiking trails and guides to take visitors to the Hegman Lake pictographs, which were created by Native Americans.
Getting away from a busy life with electronics is always great, but if you’re not ready to completely cut ties, resort amenities include satellite television in the lodge. Cabin amenities include having the water’s edge just 25 feet from your door, and some cabins even have wireless Internet access.
Wildlife Prairie Park
Hanna City, Illinois
Wildlife Prairie Park makes it easy for groups to explore nature, exercise and see native animal species of Illinois. Visitors can enjoy fishing in five different lakes, hike more than 14 miles of trails and try mountain biking on nine miles of single-track and four miles of dual-track trails. Animals include bison, elk, wolves and cougars.
One of the most interesting things about the park is the lodging it offers. You can spend the night in your choice of a train caboose, a metal grain bin or a prairie stable. All of the choices have modern accommodations inside; but it’s not every day you have the opportunity to sleep in what looks like a horse barn set alongside a lake. Cabins, cottages and tents are also available.
While in the park, you can visit an 1850s one-room schoolhouse and view an interpretative program. A pioneer farm is next to the schoolhouse, and farm animals can be seen in the same area.
Recently, the park gained nonprofit status. William Rutherford founded the park, and in 2000, he gave the deed to the governor of the state. However, because of funding, the state could not take care of it, and “the state gave it back to the local community. It’s now under the operation of Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park and is a 501(c)(3),” executive director Doug Dillow said.
A new butterfly enclosure opened in September and is now available to the public. The enclosure was designed and put together by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners.
“For groups we have walk-around programs, and we can customize presentations to parties and tours. We are pretty flexible,” Dillow said.
Next: Indiana marshes, forests and dunes
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