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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Walking at Ward Hills


Ward Hills Fire Tower foundation

Today was just too perfect. This afternoon, Maggie and I headed out to do a loop hike that I like. It involves a couple of sand roads, but that's ok. I like it because it takes in the site of the former Ward Hills Fire Tower. If you look carefully, you can see the foundations for two of the legs on the left side of the picture. The tower was taken down long ago. To walk this loop, I park on a sand road called Fox Trail, walk north to 3rd St (sounds fancy, but it's a sand road, too). Turn right and walk till I get to the Fire Tower Road, and turn left. The road climbs and ends where the tower would have been.

Ward Hills view

The trees have grown up, and there's not really a good view from up there any more. When the leaves come down you can see a line of low hills to the west. Those hills are tree-covered dunes, like the ones I show you when I walk at Nordhouse Dunes. But I can't identify any particular places in this picture.

Black Oak leaves

The color season is going to be over very soon. The leaves are quickly falling off the trees. Many, today, were already bare. But these leaves, on a black oak tree, are still bright.

red pines in sunFrom the tower hill, to make this loop, I bushwhack to the east for just a short ways. I know just which saddle between the hills to cross, and then I find myself at the North Country Trail. I turn south on it. The trail drops back down to the level of 3rd St. and crosses that. Then there are some gentle ups and downs.

One of my favorite places is a red pine plantation that is down in a hollow to the right of the trail. I think I've taken pictures here every single time I've hiked through here (OK, maybe not quite), but have never gotten the picture I really wanted with the sun through the pines. But this one is close. What do you think?

Just a little farther, and I reach an abandoned woods road, which takes me back out to Fox Trail, and my car. Total length? About 3.5 miles.

dog carrying stick

Oh, the answer to yesterday's question- How do you find an orange dog? You throw a stick, and then you can see her move! She looks quite vicious here. But I don't think you need to worry unless you are a stick.


rainfield61 said...

Yes, luckily I am not a stick.

I am a log.

Anne said...

It looks like you had amazing weather. We have an orange dog too and the way I can pick him out in the fall is he is the one who is moving. It makes him stand out in a crowd.

Secondary Roads said...

My Sunday walk was shorter than yours. I did visit a couple of tumble-down houses in the neighborhood.

That's a good way to find an orange dog.

Ann said...

Love the picture of the sun shining through the pines. I believe that we are on the downside of our peak color time here.
Now why didn't I think of that throwing a stick answer.

spinninglovelydays said...

Maggie does look rather fierce in that pic :)

Lin said...

I have that problem with Hobbes--I lose him in the leaves too! Maggie looks good, Sharky. :)

I LOVE the pine tree shot. I think the sun coming through would be great---IF you can get it. I wonder how long you'd have to wait to get it.

RNSANE said...

The sun in the pines is beautiful..but I think rain in the pines would be lovely, too. Even if you didn't throw a stick, I don't think Maggie would let you forget her for too long!! You could tie a bright red bow on her collar to make her stand out, I guess, but then she couldn't sneak up on you so easily!!