This past weekend we were blessed with another couple of days of gorgeous fall weather. On Saturday, Papa came up with the idea to drive a few miles and go to a spot called the Van Loon Wildlife Area. The wildlife area is a nature preserve that has the Black River and its backwaters running through it. It also contains the McGilvray-Seven Bridges Road. This used to be an actual road until traffic and bridge deterioration made it unsafe for all but pedestrian traffic.
Some of these bridges are over 100 years old! There are no longer seven bridges – the seventh bridge which spanned the Black River was dismantled in 1954.
Unfortunately, we weren’t even able to traverse all six bridges – they were doing some construction after the fourth and had it blocked off. That’s ok… someone’s feet got tired anyway.
(That is until we got home and then she was bouncing off the walls again!)
There is quite a bit of stagnant, scuzzy-looking water near the trail and I’m not sure I’d want to walk the trails during the summer when the mosquitoes are out in full force. But it still can be rather pretty.
Where the water flows it looks cleaner, but because of the local trees it is still dark-colored.
To walk out to the fourth bridge and back is approximately 1.6 miles round trip. Not bad for a Saturday stroll. After we left there we decided to head over to the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge (pronounced TREM-puh-lo). We didn’t think Little Chick wanted to walk anymore so we just drove around. Papa and I used to drive through there when we were dating to look at all the wildlife – especially the deer. Current management doesn’t like deer though and they were all hunted out. The main “wildlife” you see are ducks and grasses.
The place was just full of milkweed pods – some ripening and some scattered so we took the opportunity to teach our daughter about them. I’d forgotten how soft the fluffy part of their seeds are!
This was a pleasant fall day … I hope we have a few more weekends like it before the sn*w comes!