As we continue our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System and the National Trails System, we’re spotlighting the St. Croix Wild and Scenic River. One of the original eight rivers protected in 1968 under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the St. Croix is a lush green ribbon that winds along the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, offering outdoor enthusiasts a chance to enjoy nature within easy reach of a major metropolitan area. You can #FindYourWay in a canoe and camp amid the northwoods; boat and fish surrounded by wooded bluffs, state parks and historic towns; or enjoy a swim, take in bountiful scenic views and watch for wildlife that make the banks their home. Nearby, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail traces the southern edge of the Wisconsin Glaciation, which ended 10,000 years ago. Several sections of the Ice Age Trail are rail-trails – disused railway tracks that have been converted to recreational trails. Rail-trails are part of the National Trails System, and today there are nearly 24,000 miles of rail-trails across the United States. Photos courtesy of Craig Blacklock.
Fog clings to the wetlands as the sun rises above Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The refuge includes more than 15,000 acres of marsh habitat including dense stands of cattail, bulrushes, burreed, sedges and smartweeds – all great food for ducks and other migrating birds. It’s an amazing place for bird-watching as well as photography, fishing, hunting and exploring the effigy mounds left behind by Native Americans over 1,000 years ago. Photo by Rachel Samerdyke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s protected bays, pristine beaches and natural beauty provide outstanding water recreation. Public docks are found on 12 of the islands in the Wisconsin national lakeshore, and visitors can explore this area of Lake Superior by boat, kayak or canoe. Use safe boating practices and you’ll enjoy fun times and stunning scenery. Photo by Jasmine Wilhelm (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Here’s a moment of zen for you. A view from a sea cave reveals a golden sunrise over the vast waters of Lake Superior at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. The picturesque shoreline of brown stone and green forest radiates a feeling of peace. Breathe deep, greet the morning and then spend the day exploring this special park. Photo by Michael Dewitt (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Volunteer Marie Pierce took this cute video of baby foxes playing at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, which includes a mosaic habitat of sedge meadow, savanna, prairie and pine-oak forest nestled in central Wisconsin. It’s a place where wildlife thrive and where visitors can reconnect with nature. Video by Marie Pierce, USFWS.