Packin down the Grouse Trail

Grouse Trail at Crane Lake

Grouse Trail at Crane Lake

After this last snow, the backcountry trails around Crane Lake are ready for skiing and snowshoeing.

cross-country skiing

cross-country skiing

The Crane Lake Voyageur Trail was created by the DNR and the Ruffed Grouse society. It’s a non-motorized trail that’s intent is to maintain prime habitat for the Ruffed Grouse. The DNR has many of these type of “hunter” trails scattered throughout Minnesota. They don’t advertise their trails of this type so if you find a good one, it’s your secret. In the Fall the DNR will come through and brush out and mow the trail. They have created open areas back in the forest in places where young aspen are growing. These open areas are great habitat for Woodcock. There’s a big swamp area to the west of the trails and Snipe inhabit that area. I bet in the Spring of the year, after dark, this place is lively with displaying Woodcock and Snipe.

breakin a trail

breakin a trail

In the winter, the trails can be used for skiing and snowshoeing. The trails are not groomed, but with the help of the locals in Crane Lake, we can make these trails great! The trailhead parking is just down the Nelson Road a ways. Further on down the Nelson Road is the parking lot for the Herriman Trail, another backcountry non-motorized trail.
a pretty steep hill

a pretty steep hill

The day we were out there, the snow was fluffy and there was a lot of it! At one point on the trail there’s a pretty good hill. Whoa, it’s steeper than I thought!
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3 Responses to Packin down the Grouse Trail

  1. Kim says:

    Hi, I just want to let you and your reader know the DNR now has a site which shows the locations of the Hunter walking trail you are talking about. The url is http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/hwt/index.html

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