Hike 19 - Wolsfeld Woods Scientific Center

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a hike we attempted in May, but the trail was flooded so we came back in June. I was ok with that since Riley and I went on our own the first time and really wanted to bring Jesse back. Wolsfeld Woods one of those places I would have never found if not for this challenge. The trail head sits off a church parking lot about 20 minutes from home. The woods is named after the family that used to own it - while much of the land was used for farming, this section was kept as a maple syruping operation that continued from the 1880s into the 1940s. It’s now one of Minnesota’s scientific and nature centers.

Initially, Riley and I enjoyed the trail. It’s well shaded, and it would be the perfect fairy forest. Part of the trail is well maintained and other parts are in terrible shape. While we were able to find a way to get in 2 miles worth of walking, we weren’t able to complete the loop due to water. We decided to come back later in the summer with Jesse when it had dried out.

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Hike #: 18

Trail: Wolsfeld Woods Scientific Center

Location: Long Lake, MN

Trail surface: Dirt, rocks, leaves, mud

Date: 5/25/19 and 6/29/19

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When it wasn’t raining this summer, it was hot. I don’t do well hiking in the heat, but I thought this would be the perfect trail to explore in late June since it was so shaded. I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Between the water and the shade and the heat, this was mosquito central. I don’t think I’ve been swarmed by so many mosquitoes at one time. We were heavily covered in bug spray and put on multiple applications as we walked. Jesse finally just held the bug spray instead of putting it back into the back each time we were done with it. After the hike, we jumped in the car and cranked the AC on the way home - effectively sealing us into an area where I grew woozy with the smell of too much bug spray.

The upside is that we made our way around the loop and all agreed that this would likely be a wonderful trail in the fall (if they fixed/built bridges and cleaned up the trail some), but we were all a little scarred by the bug situation so we aren’t in any hurry to return. It’s a shame too as we all agreed that the trail has soooo much potential, but rating is based on our experience there.

Jo: ★

Jesse: 

Riley:

That’s right, there are no stars next to Jesse and Riley’s names, although after the May hike with just Riley and I, she was willing to give it a 2 at that time. This was definitely a trail of potential, but reality was that we were absolutely miserable. I would like to give it credit for all the trees and that it was very solitary (on each hike we briefly saw one other set of people). One day, we’ll go back in the fall if our memories of the bug attacks ever fade.