Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lake Bronson State Park: July 18th, 2015

Lake Bronson State Park is located in the far northwest corner of Minnesota.  Lake Bronson and Old Mill are the only two parks that are in the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland Biome of the state.  All of the other parks are in the Coniferous Forest, Deciduous Forest, and Prairie Grassland biomes.  I suppose if I had to pick a favorite biome, I would first choose the Coniferous Forest and then the Prairie Grasslands.  Not that I don't love my Deciduous Forests and my Tallgrass Aspen Parklands, of course!

Here we have some aspens and tall grass.  Imagine that!

Lake Bronson covers almost 3,000 acres.  It has the lake and plenty of aspen parkland for exploring on foot.  There are literally hundreds of campsites in the main campgrounds, several backpack sites, and a few seasonal canoe sites.  There is a WPA-built observation tower (which was off-limits due to construction, boo), some historical sites, mountain biking, trail biking, and excellent fishing.  This park has a bit of everything.  I would definitely consider it worth a weekend trip.

But first, the Hiking Club Trail!

Hiking on the prairie

Excellent flora and fauna on this trail!  We saw a large garter snake, a ton of frogs and toads (many more than we saw even at Upper Sioux Agency), chipmunks, a wide variety of birds, and deer.

We also saw plenty of wildflowers that were unfamiliar to us. Luckily, there were signs along the Interpretive trail (part of the Hiking Club Trail) that helped us with identification.

I didn't realize that this picture of the wildflower sign features an entire field of...no wildflowers

The park has two Bible Camps within its boundaries, and the Hiking Club trail goes right by them.  The trail also went by a bunch of private cabins.  Lucky people that get to have a cabin right in a State Park, and kids that get to go to camp there!

Lake Bronson is a reedy lake, but so blue

Lake Bronson is actually a reservoir.  You can visit the dam on one of the other hiking trails. The dammed river is the confusingly named "Two Rivers River", and it is EVERYWHERE in this part of the state.  I swear, Joe and I crossed over Two Rivers about 50 times that weekend.  I suppose it helps that there (maybe?) are two of them.

Two Rivers, home to flora, fauna, and perhaps Rand al'Thor?

I was a bit worried that the two parks in the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland biome wouldn't be that interesting, or that they wouldn't showcase the environment.  I didn't need to worry.  Lake Bronson was a great park with an excellent balance of meadow and woods, lake and land opportunities, wildflowers unique to this part of Minnesota, and a friendly fawn.

Thanks for visiting Lake Bronson!

Total miles hiked today (this park): 3.4 miles
Total miles hiked in 2015: 22.7
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Elly - 0; Thunderdog - 0
Total ticks in 2015: 9

Countdown to All Miles: 21 to go

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