Monday, January 25, 2016

Great Hikers and a Kitty

47 hikers came out to the Underdown snowshoe trails on Saturday including seven fast ladies who made it around the Mist Lake loop with me.  I had to work to keep from slowing them down.  For the first time we were able to boot hike to Dog Lake on our Ice Age hike day with no will effects on the trail.

The trail was as fast and grippy as a sidewalk on the fat bike tonight.  I attempted to follow the tracks of an earlier rider around Mist Lake, but it was still too soft even after I let a lot of air out.  Bike tracks ended just over the first hill, and I was debating whether I should push it into the dark hemlocks up the next when out of the stillness I heard the scream of a juvenile sasquatch that people tell me is a bobcat screech.  I know they can't hurt me, but that incongruous yowl can give you the feeling that something is watching.  I headed back to Dog Lake remembering the only other time I've heard that sound, alone after dark on Turtle Lake Road after hours of silence.  I know that exact spot just like the exact location of the four times I've seen wolves in the wild are imprinted in my head.  Bears and owls I can forget, but some critters stay with you.
The bobcat I heard was something like this, but a bit less raspy, more a cross between a coyote and a crane.  Sorry for the guy cursing, but that sound can freak you out, especially in the dark a few miles from the car.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


  • Underdown ski trails have tracks set now.
  • Snowshoe trails are solid.  There are many tracks to Dog Lake and I'll get signs and tracks out to Mist Lake on Saturday.
  • Pat and I rode to Dog Lake again tonight.  It's not a plush ride like Mud Lake, but I was able to climb Heartbreak Ridge clean.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I rode the fat bike to Dog Lake last night and it was nice.

  • A little bumpy from animal tracks, but plenty grippy
  • Not fast, but a rideable challenge

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Snow Report, so to speak

Underdown has a couple inches of pretty new snow.

  • Ski trails have enough snow for bushwack skiing, but not enough for setting a track.
  • Snowshoe trails are very good to Dog Lake with fresh tracks and all signs.  Lakes are solid and bogs are lumpy.  The Mist Lake look will have tracks and signs soon.
  • Fat biking to Dog Lake would be a sketchy, but not impossible ride.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Northwoods Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance Snowshoe Hike

January 23, 2016
10:00 A.M.

The Northwoods Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance will host  a
guided snowshoe hike in the Underdown area of the Lincoln County Forest on Saturday,  January 23, 2015 starting at 10:00 A.M.   Meet at the  Underdown Parking Lot parking lot on Copper Lake Road.

Come and enjoy the wonderful landscape created by the Great Wisconsin Glacier about ten
thousand years ago.  A UW geology and geophysics professor described the Underdown as a
“world class hummocky feature” of glacial topography.  In simpler terms, the area has swamps,
lakes, bogs and hills abundantly.

The snowshoe trail layout and design has been done by chapter member, Chris Schotz. The trail
is well marked and packed.  Hikers can chose between distances of one to four hours depending
on your ability, experience and endurance.  The trail is  moderately difficulty. Bring your
snowshoes, drink and weather appropriate clothing.

Hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies and a blazing fire will await you after the hike.  There is no charge for this event ,though donations will be accepted.

For more information, contact Ruby Jaecks at 715-551-1118 cell phone

Directions:  51 to K north of Merrill.  K right to H.  H right to Copper Lake Road.
Copper Lake Road to Underdown Parking Lot

Directions from Rhinelander:  Take Highway 17 South to Hiway J at Bloomville . Go right on J to Copper Lake Road. Turn left on Copper Lake Road to Underdown Parking Lot.
Follow the Ice Age Trail  signs

Friday, January 1, 2016