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Falls Creek SNA, MN
mini location map2014-09-25
12 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
photographer avatar
 
Falls Creek SNA, MN 
Falls Creek SNA, MN
 
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2014
AZLumberjack
Hiking3.25 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking3.25 Miles   3 Hrs      1.08 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
-*-*-* :FG: In Search of Autumn Color :FG:-*-*-*

A short hike to this area in the spring whetted my desires to return to this area once the colors of Autumn began to change. This morning was predicted to be warmish (low 60's) with early fog and later the clouds would break into a sunny day in the 70's. My goal today was to investigate the Falls Creek SNA (Science & Natural Area) for early autumn color and continue on down to an old railroad bridge crossing the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin
http://www.johnweeks.com/bridges/pages/rs04.html

In my minds eye, I could visualize a rusted, remote railroad bridge structure sticking above a fog bank surrounded by scenic forest just beginning to change color 8) So I got an early start leaving home well before sunrise anticipating a slow fog shrouded drive to the trailhead. But as I hit the road.....no fog :doh: so the drive was quicker than I expected and I arrived at the trailhead while it was still dark.

Since I had time to kill, I loaded HAZ Tracks on my Galaxy S4 and got the rest of my gear ready to go. HAZ Tracks loaded but without WiFi and no cellular service, I didn't have any maps showing so I went to the Garmin. The trail was black through the thick woods so I had to rely on my flashlight to keep from tripping over the rocks and fallen trees. The area had received a light rain the day before so everything was wet and soon, so was I :?

I hadn't gone far before I was attacked by mosquitoes :x The reason I had cut my previous hike short was due to these hungry bloodsuckers and here they were again, not as many, but still attacking any exposed areas. I continued hiking through the dark woods, crossing a flowing creek numerous times being careful to not slip on the moss covered rocks and downed trees. The humidity was stifling and my long pants and long sleeve shirt only made it worse, but soon I broke out of the woods and onto the railroad tracks.

The overcast was getting lighter as somewhere to the East, the sun was rising so I no longer needed the flashlight and I could cautiously remove my damp shirt. Ahead of me loomed the rusted structure of the railroad bridge but darn it, no fog. I slowly and cautiously walked out on the bridge stepping on the oil soaked wooden ties, with the dark St. Croix flowing about 30 feet below me. The river was calm but exceptionally high for this time of year which makes the normally clear waters appear muddy.

The only sounds at this pre-dawn time were a few small birds and a pesky beaver nosily slapping the water with its broad tail :o scared the be-jeepers out of me the first time. Walking the ties, between the rails, I got to the Wisconsin side but the views weren't any better so I crossed the 600+ feet back.

The subdued daylight was improving so I left the tracks, entering the woods again and continued exploring this remote area. I followed an old road for a distance until I came upon a NO TRESPASSING sign, I was hoping for a better way to get from the highway to the bridge, but this was obviously not the route, so I returned to the woods.

There were some colorful spots along the way, but not in their best colors...yet. With the flowing creek and the large number of soft Maple in the woods, this would be very scenic and colorful....but not today...gotta keep this one in mind for another day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Although spotty, some color can be found. Still a bit early.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
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AZLumberjack's
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