Monday, June 15, 2015

Discover the Trezona Trail

Ely’s Trezona trail has a lot to offer.  For some of us it is our regular exercise path during all four seasons.  You’ll see wildlife like whitetail deer and snowshoe hares and plenty of birds.  To walk, ski, run or bike the complete trail is a four mile love affair with nature.  Walking and talking at leisure takes about an hour and a half around, but at a faster pace, focused on the exercise, you’re much closer to 60 - 70 minutes of quick stepping.

On Saturday we walked together as a family and took time to admire the many colorful flowers and greenery along the path.  If you want a lesson in the forest around us, you can’t find a better choice right in town as the trail winds its way through red and white pines, spruce, paper birch, ash and cedar trees.  There are pin cherries, june berries, raspberries, honeysuckle, vetch and many other smaller ground cover type bushes and plants.

The terrain which encircles Ely’s Miners Lake (a former iron ore pit) elevates to granite outcroppings and dips down to the edge of the mine pit and into the cedar swamps lush with moss and wetland flora.  It has beautiful sections in the shade of the forest and bright sunlit sections that wind their way out of the woods and along the edge.  You’ll find yourself walking by Miners Dry, the building where our Miners used to wash and dry their clothes at on Saturdays.  These days the Miners Dry and Shaft House is home to the Ely Arts & Heritage Center.

It is a great walk and one you can have your car waiting for at the end in an easy to access parking lot just 3 blocks from Piragis Northwoods Company.  There are benches along to route if you feel you need to take a rest and at the parking lot there is a portable outhouse :)  Bring along a water bottle and an energy bar and your dog if you promise to keep them on a leash and clean up after them.

We started our walk by spotting some Forget-me-nots and discovering some beautiful and hearty wild roses just down the path.  In the first mile we saw many more flowers including Columbines and Dwarf Dogwood (Bunchberry).  Around the bend, bright and tall in the green grasses, we spotted Orange and Yellow Hawkweeds and in the shade by some additional Dwarf Dogwoods some small fragile Canada Mayflowers held court with their airy blooms.  Along the way we spotted a tree that we think looks like it has a face of its own and what Northwoods hike would be complete without the large fronds of Interrupted Ferns.


Wild Roses

Columbines and Dwarf Dogwood

Can you see the old man's face in this tree?

A pale pink wild rose

Orange and Yellow Hawkweed

Yellow Hawkweed

Canada Mayflower (top) and Dwarf Dogwood (bottom)

Large Interrupted Ferns

Secret Creek ;)

As the path curves around the end of the lake and back towards town, keep your ears open for running water (i.e. a babbling brook).  Off to your right hand side there is a hidden path that leads to a small creek just a few steps off the trail.  It is a cool place but don't stay too long because the mosquitoes will find you quick :)

        There’s plenty to look at if you like walks on well established paths with good company.  There are also other paths and hiking trails around the Ely area, just ask us.  Thanks to Nancy Piragis and Jen Stouffer for helping me identify all the pictures that I snapped along the way.

See you around the bend!  Tim Stouffer

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