The sun was low in the sky when we started this hike. If the leaves hadn’t already been mostly on the ground it would have been too dark in this section of the Chequamegon National Forest. As it was there were still beams of light hitting the forest floor and lighting the moss and ferns.
The Ice Age Trail is a national scenic trail entirely in Wisconsin, this part is in Taylor County. Taylor County has 60 miles of trail, largely in national forest land and county forest land. This segment is accessible off a gravel road called lake 19 (near Lake 19).
It is a quiet hike except for the crunch and swoosh of kicked leaves, the huff of dog’s breath and the distant and continuous calling of some barred owls. This section is lower than most of the others with lots of roots and rocks and roller coaster dips. For this reason hiking boots with ankle stabilization are good.
After 15 minutes or so the owls stopped calling, a really quiet woods for a while and then it became the chickadees turn to close out the day. There were also nuthatches flitting around fairly low, maybe collecting pine cone seeds or maybe something else.
Once the sun sets it does go to dark quickly. Time to get back to the car and drive home.