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LENGTH 8 miles (6.2 mile Hiking Club)
DIFFICULTY Easy wide trails.
DATE  Sept 10, 2017
MAIN FEATURES  Wildflowers, Pelicans, 16 miles of trail and sleeping on an island.

This summer started out full of hiking in preparation for our trip to Glacier National Park and ended with weeks of biking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding.  It’s been 7 weeks since I’ve been on the trail, and need to do some catching up.  This is hike 36 of the  52 hike challenge!

Started the official last weekend of summer with a drive down I-35 to Albert Lea after work.  Arrived at Myre Big Island State Park just as it got dark for a quick overnight and a new shelter to test out.  As a habitual over-packer, it was nice to pack light and only bring what we needed for one night, and hit a longer hike in the morning.


Thank you campsite #6!

The Hiking Club Trail starts out on Big Island, right off of the campground.  It loops around the island, hits the road for a while and then back onto the prairie and through the oak savanna.

Right off the bat, we saw that signs for the dreaded Wild Parsnip!  BEWARE!

The hike was mostly flat, with a few rolling hills, which was ok with us since it is one of the longer Hiking Club Trail hikes and we hadn’t been on the dirt in a while.

White Pelicans practicing migration.  Huge white birds with a 6 foot wingspan that are becoming more common in the Albert Lea area.

IMG_5257.JPGAlong with the Pelicans, we enjoyed all of the other birds, Orioles, Cormorants and lots of other song birds filled the trees and brush.  Unfortunately, we had hoped for better lake views since we were, after all on an island.  We broke off the trail for a little bit to get a good look at the lake.

We also appreciated that this trail is VERY well marked (since we left our map in the car)

But, the BEST part of our hike was finishing and earning our 75 mile and 100 mile patches!  I almost forgot that you get a free night camping when you hit 100 miles.  Wooo!  Only 98 miles to go until we get them all.


img_5221.jpgIMG_5220The hammock went up in about 5 minutes, faster than the Big Agnes UL1 Flycreek tent.  I used my eno straps and carabiners since I couldn’t read the directions on the bag very well in the dark.  There are lighter weight set up options that I’ll have to check into…I mean, who doesn’t want to know what a whoopee sling is?


-quick set up

-Comfy asymmetrical positioning, slept great

-Fairly light weight

-Stayed dry in the rain.


-its about twice as heavy as I expected it to be.  A lot heavier than the cheap set up I bought for Sea Base and heavier than my solo tent.

-Learning curve, getting in and out of the bottom entry version.  The new versions are side entry


All in all, I’ll try it a few more times before I decide what I’m sleeping in on next year’s SHT Thru hike. It’s a good hammock and everyone seems to rave about it!

Hope you had a fabulous summer and are getting stoked for Fall hiking and camping!

Happy Trails!



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