Brooklyn Wildlife Area Hike – The Ice Age Trail

a pinhole photograph of An old oak tree on the old ice age trail

I found this stately oak tree while on a hike in the Brooklyn Wildlife Area, an awesome segment of the Ice Age Trail. This photo also is a great example to show just how crazy wide angle a pinhole camera can be. It’s what I really love about pinhole. The below digital photograph shows how close the camera is to the tree. The second I hiked around this corner of the trail and saw the tree I knew this was going to be a pinhole!

a pinhole camera taking a photograph of a tree
To give an idea of just how crazy wide a pinhole camera can be this is the camera where I took the above photo.

I’ve seen the Brooklyn Wildlife Area on Google maps but had never heard anything about the place. When I saw the Ice Age Trail makes it’s way through the refuge I thought I’d have to go check it out someday. I’m glad I finally did.

The route to the right is the Ice Age Trail, the route to the left is the biking shuttle route. All four parking lots are marked with the blue pins. 

It’s a hidden gem of a hike, compete with some hilly stretches, open meadows, wooded areas and even a scenic overlook that you can see for miles. It’s about a 3.5 mile to hike from the south parking lot on Hughes Road to the north parking lot on County Road DD. For a longer 6.5 mile hike start at Hughs Road and go all the way to the far northern parking lot on Frenchtown Road.

I was able to do a point A to point B hike by myself using my bike to shuttle myself to the car. The first time I went I parked my car at the north County Road DD parking lot and rode on County Road DD for 2.8 miles to the southern parking lot on Hughes Road to start the hike. Locked my bike at the starting point and hiked back to the car. This worked great, I’m going to do this more often. I’ve always disliked doing out and back hikes. Half the hike is seeing stuff on the way back you just walked by! Just be careful on County Road DD. It’s a narrow fairly busy road. Next time I’ll get an earlier start so I beat morning traffic.

ice age trail sign
The Ice Age Trail is an awesome hike through Brooklyn Wildlife Area.

From the south the hike starts out in typical wooded area and comes to lots of hilly glacial moraine  in the middle of the hike. The trail follows a ridge running north and south and comes to an open hill with a great view for miles around. These changes of scenery keeping the hike entertaining.

If you wanted to do a shorter hike strait to the good stuff in the middle like the overlook, just park at the middle parking lot on County Road DD. From there the overlook and the middle hilly portions of the trail are a very short distance.

hiker on the ice age trail.
The view from the overlook halfway through the hike.

The trail does continue through to the farthest northern part of the Brooklyn Wildlife Refuge, but there is no parking lot there for your car and a narrow road. Not a good place to park. The Ice Age Trail even continues on outside of the refuge on another ridge running north.

Hiking the Ice Age Trail.
The very northern face of the trail near Frenchtown Road has some beautiful rock outcroppings.

My Wife and I hiked the entire Brooklyn Wildlife area hike plus the Ice Age Trail running north to Frenchtown Road parking lot on a later date. So I did the bike shuttle from the Frenchtown Road parking to the southernmost parking lot on Hughes Road. From there we walked the entire 6 miles north to the car. It made for a great day trip. The northern section follows some high hills with great views of the surrounding area. It’s worth walking the two portions together if you have the time to make it a longer day.

my bike that I used to get back to the trailhead of the Brooklyn Wildlife Area hike
A new technique or me in hiking since getting a roof rack for my car- using your bike to shuttle back to the other end of the trail instead of doing an out and back hike.

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