Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Lake Trail

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Sarah and I hiked the 4.5-mile Lake Trail in Yellowwood State Forest today. Fortunately we didn’t see any logging going on in Yellowwood. I brought my Nikon D50 on this hike instead of the point & shoot camera I’ve been bringing, and I think it made a world of difference.

We had never hiked this trail before, and I was really looking forward to it, since it goes around Yellowwood Lake, one of my favorite lakes in the area.  It starts out following the Jackson Creek Trail, which we had hiked before, but soon splits off. And follows the west side of the lake fairly closely. It has numerous ups and downs as it goes winding in the nooks and crannies of the shoreline, then going uphill, further inland, and back down to the lake again. It’s a great time of year to hike this trail because with the leaves off the trees, you have a great view of the lake this whole time.

Lake Trail
Lake Trail

Jackson Creek
Jackson Creek

Yellowwood Lake
The lake sprawls into the distance

Sarah by Yellowwood Lake
Sarah by Yellowwood Lake

Long shadows
Trees on a hill

We approached the end of the lake and hiked across the dam. We had picnicked here before when we hiked the High King Hill and Scarce o’Fat trails before.

Crossing the dam

Yellowwod Lake
Another view of the lake

We then had to cross the creek by the spillway, which was probably the most challenging part of the hike. It didn’t help that the trail, which had been well-marked to this point, was incorrectly marked here so we ended up trying to cross the creek in the wrong place. There was also a steep slope up to a sketchy stairway, and Sarah slipped on the wooden slat forming the stair, smashing her leg on a piece of rebar.

Crossing by the spillway
Creek Crossing

Tricky section
Dangerous stairs

The hike on the east side of the lake is much more difficult, and it goes pretty far from the lake, so the scenery isn’t as good. The trail twists and turns, seemingly going uphill at every possible turn. It also joined up with a horse trail for a while, which was OK, but not ideal. It was still fun and the woods are beautiful in their own right, but the first half of the trail was much more to our liking.


The trail joined up with an interpretive trail for a bit and some trees were labeled, which would be educational if I could ever remember anything like that.

Tree labels
Labeled trees

Tree sign
Tree sign

We noticed that for a while there were two blazes on the trees, but one of them was crossed out with red paint. It appeared someone made a mistake and put blazes for the interpretive trail on the wrong trail. This made me think of Doug and his painting blue blazes along the Superior Hiking Trail. Reading about his efforts there really make me appreciate those who paint blazes on our trails. But whoever made this mistake must have been pretty mad at themselves, both for making things more confusing to hikers and for having to go back, paint over the incorrect blazes, and paint the blazes on the right trail.

Botched trail blazes

All in all, it was a great hike. We discussed possibly doing this trail in the opposite direction next time to finish with our favorite section and lots of great lake views.

Yellowwood Lake
Yellowwood Lake

5 Responses to “Lake Trail”

  1. MRMacrum Says:

    Well Happy New Year! Seems you and Sarah had a busy day out in the sticks. Excellent. Nice to see someone still has bare ground in their neck of the woods.

  2. furiousBall Says:

    What a beautiful day to be out in the woods. Great shots of Sarah. Happy New Year!

  3. Ian Says:

    Stunning area. That is a great way to spend New Years Eve. All the best for 2008!

  4. Marty Says:

    I agree with Ian – a great way to spend New Years Eve and get outside to enjoy some nature.

  5. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Yellowwood Lake Trail hike Says:

    […] Lake Trail at Yellowwood State Forest. The trail makes a loop around Yellowwood Lake. We’ve hiked this trail once before and really enjoyed it. But, that time we were not impressed with the second half of the trail; this […]

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