2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – August 2001

Hiking With Wisconsin's Wolves

Feeling people-shy? Follow Wisconsin's wolves to this lonely section of the Ice Age Trail.

by: Eric Hansen

PAGE 1 2

When it comes to getting the inside scoop on the quietest spots in Wisconsin's Northwoods, there's just one source I trust: the state's widely roaming timber wolves. The wolves send a clear signal when a place—like the headwaters of the Yellow River—meets their high standards. They raise their pups there.

After just such an endorsement, I spent 4 days hiking the Ice Age Trail in the Yellow River area. Along the way, I found a glacier-scoured mosaic of hemlock groves, verdant wetlands, clear-running rivers, and so much wildlife you'll be dazzled, even if you don't see a wolf. Bald eagles circled over the streams while river otters left tracks on the banks. The primeval bark of sandhill cranes echoed across the marshes and a romping fisher crossed my path. I even spotted a goblin fern, a rare and otherworldly 4-inch-high gremlin that sprouts on the sheltered forest floor.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail corkscrews across Wisconsin from east to west, offering a 600-mile geology tour through the erratics, eskers, kettles, lakes, and drumlins left by receding glaciers. (Pick up a free Ice Age Trail brochure at the Medford Ranger District to bone up on your glacial vocabulary.)

My favorite weekend route, the Jerry Lake segment, starts at the North Fork of the Yellow River and winds southwest through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Thirteen shady, solitary miles later, the trail meets Jerry Lake, where you can leave a car if you don't want to double back.

Add 5 miles to your trek by taking the Chippewa Lobe Loop. The side trail passes near a remote lake frequented by wood ducks and great blue herons. Pitch a tent here and muse about the twin beaver dams at the lake's outlet, an engineering feat that probably took generations to craft. Just be sure to bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper. Somehow, I had forgotten how loudly a beaver slaps its flat tail on the water. I wonder if the wolves really have found peace and quiet here.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

I am in so much trouble
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
The Political Arena
At what age did you come back....
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions