Friday, July 17, 2009

Signs of Moose on Big Moose Hiking Trail

I ventured out to the Big Moose Lake hiking trail, located about 28 miles North of Ely on the Echo Trail. The 2.5 mile walk to the lake starts out very smooth and easy, but eventually gets a little more rugged. There are spots that can be rather rocky and a couple of stretches in the low areas were very wet and boggy. The trail winds through multiple Aspen and Jack pine stands of trees before emerging at the lake shore, which is in a sheltered bay. To the left of the landing was a campsite on a point that looks like it would be a nice place to camp. There were big tent pads right on the shoreline and decent fishing from shore. While we rested at the lake I witnessed a fisherman trolling the bay in his canoe. He caught a number of Small Mouth Bass.

One great thing about this area is that the terrain and vegetation are prime habitat for moose. While hiking I found signs of moose everywhere I looked. There were piles of scat (poop) and tracks. One of the neatest things was looking six feet up into the Aspen and Maples and seeing all the spots the moose had been browsing (nipping tree buds off and eating them during winter). Along the trail we also found evidence of wolves, pine martins, and owls (again from scat and tracks). Some of the local flora has started to bloom such as the Large Leaf Aster with their tiny white flowers and the bright red berries on the June Berry Bushes.

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