This attractive little trail is off the main route to anywhere, but well worth the added effort to locate it. The trail is found on Nature Conservancy land for all to enjoy. You will appreciate a nice hike through a bog using a long boardwalk then climb to some outstanding views over Silver Lake.
From the 4-way intersection in Wilmington, continue onto Bonnieview Road. Continue to the end at Silver Lake Road (CR17) and take a left toward Silver Lake. Continue for around 7-miles to Union Falls Road on the left. Follow Union Falls Road for just over 1-mile to Old Hawkeye Road on the left. There may be a sign with an arrow pointing toward the road. Follow this dirt road for under 1-mile to the trailhead on the right.
By the numbers
- Distance: 2 miles round trip (boardwalk is 0.5 miles one way)
- Elevation: 1,670 atop the bluffs
At the trailhead start walking out on a flat through a boreal forest. You will quickly come to a boardwalk that brings you out into the bog. The boardwalk can be slippery when wet so be careful if it has recently rained. Through the bog there are numerous wetland species of wildflowers to see and photograph; different seasons bring different varieties. There are also numerous benches to aid in birding.
Once off the boardwalk and through the bog you will start a hike along a normal foot trail that climbs moderately for the most part. As it nears the bluff the terrain gets a bit steeper but not too difficult. From the 200 foot bluffs you will have excellent views out over Silver Lake.
This hike is an excellent snowshoe outing for the entire family. Not recommended for cross-country skiing. The parking may not be plowed.
Delightful combination of many environments, with 88 noted species. A trail guide describes plants and animals at 23 stops along the boardwalk. Habitats include: northern white cedar swamp and black spruce-tamarack bog, with a pine bluff and an upland forest of northern hardwoods and hemlock.
Featured birds: Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Tree Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak.