Hiker on a flooded, muddy hiking trail in the woods near Hartley Nature Center.
Today was an up-and-down day, as we made our way out from Hartley Nature Center toward Normanna Road. The up-and-down part didn’t come from the terrain, but how we felt about the trail. From the nature center, the path began along some city streets, then dipped into the woods. This was pleasant, and there was one very nice overlook.

But then the trail piggybacked on the North Shore Trail, a multiuse path. This wasn’t fun. The trail is wide and relatively flat, but the grass was shaggy and there were TONS of spots with water and mud. Sometimes you could hop around it, but most of the time you could not. So our shoes got filled with water and mud. And every time they dried out, we’d reach spots where they got soaked again. 🙁

I like dry feet!

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Leaving Hartley Nature Center Behind

Yet there were some fun parts to the day. We saw a pair of Mallards swimming around in a puddle and a funny fish sign by a Hiker standing on a rocky outcrop looking down on a forest.creek. We saw more wildflowers. Sometimes there were awesome reflections in the puddles.

And there were no bugs. At least until the last 15 minutes or so. That’s when some mosquitoes arrived. We’ve been waiting for them to come out in full force and be horrendous, but so far we’ve been lucky. Knock on wood.

Oh, one funny thing. As we neared our parking spot, we saw some kind of animal bone, like a deer pelvis, hanging from a sign. People love to hang animal bones from signs! I see this all the time when hiking.

Next Up

Tomorrow we leave our nice motel (Best Western Plus Spirit Mountain) and will be hiking five days and camping four nights. Rain is forecast for three of the four days. We’re not experienced campers, so wish us luck!


MN NCT miles today: 16.9 (27.2 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 68.5 (110.2 km)
Total SHT miles to date: 68.5 (110.2 km)
NCT miles to date: 355.1 (571.5 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 4,244.9 (7,150.2 km)

Use this link to book a night at the Best Western Plus Spirit Mountain!


©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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