Hiking the Aldo Leopold trail by Mondeaux Flowage

A short (1.2 miles) very pretty hiking trail (rated moderately difficult) along the top of an esker between the Mondeaux River  on the north side and a wildlife filled large pond marshy area on the other.

This partly sunny, partly dark-gray cumulus cloudy 50 degrees fall day was great for a hike, the only difficulty was knowing how warm to dress as the sunny parts were too warm and the cloudy parts rather cool. The only sounds were whispering of the breeze, the crunch of leaves, murmuring of ducks and the occasional goose honk from the watery areas below.

Trail is clear with some slightly steep hills and views on both sides of water.
Looking onto the marsh from a lower part of the trail, I can hear ducks out there.
Substantial yellow birch, one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen.
This is the view from the far end of the lower loop. I missed photographing the huge flock of ducks rising with glaring sun on their wings from this area of water.

And then there were swans.
Dan kept Max occupied while I got in place to photograph the swans.
There were seven total Tundra swans, three of which were quite obliging.

Tundra swans are much more common than trumpeter swans, but still we don’t see them that often.

They came towards us for a while then floated and conversing together in soft train whistle hoots that Max decided might be threatening so he began softly growling after each hoot.

The return part of the hike offered no surprises although the beauty of the day remained.

Mondeaux Flowage itself is being drained down again this year, it is not very pretty right now with mud flats showing. However, looking skyward the sunset had nice tangerine and then pink cloud highlights and the all-you-can-eat fish and coleslaw dinner at the Mondeaux lodge did not disappoint.


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