Hike 4: Chequamegon Chapter Hike Series

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Jul 13
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

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Lake Owen Picnic Grounds


This hike is the fourth in a series of nine that will traverse the section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) maintained by the NCTA Chequamegon Chapter. The Trail here was built by U.S. Forest Service personnel and Job Corp employees in 1967 and 1968. It is the original “North Country Trail.” These weekly hikes, on Wednesdays, from June 15 and through August 17. (There was no hike scheduled for July 6.)

We’ll meet at the Lake Owen Picnic Ground parking lot, which has a daily fee of $5 payable at the kiosk in the parking lot. The hikers will leave a majority of the cars there and shuttle 3.4 miles to the Porcupine Lake trailhead on Porcupine Lake Road/Forest Road 413 (1.3 miles east of North Lake Owen Drive).

The hike will proceed on the access trail to Porcupine Lake southeast less than a quarter-mile to the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST). From that junction, the hike will go westbound on the NCNST past 18 Mile Springs Pond and enter the Lake Owen Hardwoods State Natural Area. We’ll continue to the shores of Lake Owen through a large section of virgin pines, past four kiosks about the large American Indian village that existed along the shore. We’ll pass Melland Pond and end up at the parking lot at the Lake Owen Picnic Grounds. The hike will include stops every hour – hike leader Ed Ronkowski, a long time resident of the area, will narrate the history of the area. We will stop for lunch at noon.

Total distance of the hike is 8.3 miles and we’ll finish mid-afternoon. The Trail is easy to follow here and winds through gently rolling wooded terrain that provides shade. The only bathroom is a vault toilet at the Lake Owen Picnic Grounds parking lot. The only clean drinking water is from a hand pump at the Lake Owen Picnic grounds. Remember to bring water, your lunch, mosquito repellant, camera, and a raincoat, if rain is in the forecast. The average low temperature for this date is 64° F and the average high is 84° F. Ticks are present, but the vast majority can be avoided by spraying your pants and socks with Permethrin the night before.

There is limited attendance. Please register for this hike by sending “Hike 4,” your name, and email address to Text hike leader Ed Ronkowski with questions at 708-227-5372.

From U.S. 63 at Drummond, Wisc., look for the sign reading “National Forest Campgrounds.” At the sign, drive 3.5 miles southeast on Forest Road 213, which is also signed “N. Lk Owen Dr.” Go past the turn to the boat landing, by going straight, until you see the sign on your right, “Lake Owen Picnic Grounds.” Turn right, go down the hill less than block to a large paved parking lot, where all hikers will meet (GPS coordinates 46.306600, -91.217048).

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