Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kohl Park Trail

It's still pretty wet most places, but when the temperature nears 60 and the sun is shining, I'm willing to put on some hiking boots and get a little muddy to enjoy the outdoors.  I had never been to Kohl Park, in the north end of the county in Brown Deer.  The trail was designated as a National Recreation Trail, similar to Seven Bridges Trail that I wrote about recently.  Finished in 2006, the trail through the park off County Line Road passes by areas of grassland, an old Christmas Tree farm, a farm silo, and several stands of hardwoods.  There is a pond behind a neighborhood which has become an extension of the trail, and a wetland towards the beginning.

It's best to park on Fairy Chasm Rd., and look for the access point.  You'll see the Kohl Park sign at the trail head.  There is also an entrance off of County Line Road, although no good parking, and some deep ditches.  There are no facilities here, so bring your own water and find a restroom elsewhere if you need it.  There are several benches along the route to rest.

swamp near the agricultural land
Bufflehead duck swimming in the pond
It has a "forked aster trail", according the to Best Hikes Book, so when you go in several hundred yards, you have to choose right or left.  I recommend you do both.  It's doable easily in an hour.  I went right first which takes you along a wetland and an agricultural field, through what might be an old orchard and if you follow the trail up the hill, you'll walk behind a neighborhood where you have a pretty good view of the area.  The grassland along this berm has birdhouses and apparently a lot of things that birds like because I saw hundreds of birds today- finches, sparrows, robins, cardinals, ducks (even a bufflehead which is only migratory), red winged black birds, and even heard a woodpecker.  All this without a set of binoculars. The trail is fairly easy to recognize, but it can be easy to get sidetracked on one of the many deer paths.
When you come to a flag and picnic table, you've reached the end of that first trail.  You can backtrack and continue to do the loop which goes past an old silo and through the pines.  There weren't as many birds here, but the scent of pines was refreshing.  There's a bench in the pine area so you can sit and breathe deeply.

If you want other hiking options, don't forget the hiking trails link at Milwaukee County Parks.

Enjoy the photos and maybe you'll take a hike here soon!

Rolling farmland and the chatter of birds

Old silo being overgrown

Some places are still very muddy

Large rock near circle trail- what kid can resist climbing on this?

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