Activity note: We will get to know each other at a wine social, dinner, and orientation evening.
Afternoon: Arrival - Check in at the Education Hall from 3-4:30 PM. Participants will get a name tag and room key along with additional information.
Dinner: Social & Dinner - We will meet each other while enjoying local wine and snacks. This is normally an excellent time to do participant introductions. Dinner to follow at 5:30 PM.
Evening: Orientation - Participants will get an orientation of the facilities and an overview of the schedule.
Activity note: We will develop and hone our paddling skills during a morning out on the water. In the afternoon, we will explore a unique quaking bog!
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:30 AM.
Morning: Canoe Instruction - Participants will learn the basics of canoeing. Parts of the canoe and paddle will be examined along with learning basic strokes such as: the forward & backward stroke, draw, pry, C-stroke, and J-stroke. We will canoe a local lake to develop or hone our paddling skills. While on the lake we'll practice paddling straight, play some games, and then go through a slalom course to work on turning. Most times we even have time to paddle around the lake and look at loons, various shoreline issues (esp. aquatic invasive species), and numerous other plants and animals. Make sure to bring your closed toed shoes for this activity!
Lunch: Lunch at 12:00 PM Noon.
Afternoon: Bog Ecology & Investigation - Vilas County is home to over 1300 glacially created lakes. When conditions are right, certain plants begin to grow out into the lake. These plants form a dense root network that allow us to walk on them. The waterbed-like feel of a northern quaking bog is a memorable experience for many participants. While out there, we will examine the many unique plants that call this area home. The carnivorous pitcher plant, sphagnum moss, leatherleaf, labrador tea, black spruce and tamarack are some of the plants and trees we'll expect to see.
Dinner: Dinner at 5:00 PM.
Evening: Canoe Baker Lake & Tamarack Flowage - We will be canoeing while the sun goes down, wind subsides, and temperature declines. Evening paddles on Baker Lake and Tamarack Flowage are rich in plant and animal life. Bald eagles, loons, beavers and others are breeding residents. Great blue herons, numerous ducks, and even barred owls are possible in this unique area of two lakes connected by a small river channel. This lake is truly a Northwoods gem. Be sure to bring your closed toed shoes for this activity!
Activity note: We will have the privilege of exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan all day. In the morning, we will visit Sylvania Wilderness area in the Ottawa National Forest. Canoeing is a great way to explore this historic area! After a picnic lunch and stop at the Visitor's Center, we will travel on to Bond Falls, which is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the midwest.
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:00AM.
Morning: Canoe Sylvania Wilderness - Sylvania Wilderness is a beautiful place to canoe. Located just over the WI border, this Upper Peninsula of MI gem contains 34 named lakes within the 20,000-acre boundary. We'll paddle the pristine waters in multiple groups, a wilderness regulation designed to reduce vocal and visual impact. This area contains large expanses of water with multiple islands, providing great nesting places for loons. Bald eagles are also a common site in this area. In past years, I've also seen river otters enjoying the water. Please wear your closed toed shoes
Lunch: Sack Lunch at 12:30 PM. We will eat lunch at Clark Lake, one of the most scenic and historic spots in the wilderness. Back in the early 1900s, a few people formed a private hunting and fishing club, purchasing over 14,000 acres. There were a couple houses constructed along the southeast corner of Clark Lake. We can thank these people for buying the land. This private ownership and their subsequent usage has preseved one of the few untouched parcels of land in this area. This left an old growth hemlock/hardwood forest containing trees in excess of 400 years old. The government purchased the land in the 1960s and has since removed the houses. Swimming may also be an option at lunch; participants are urged to follow TFT's swimming policy
Afternoon: Visit Bond Falls Waterfall - This is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Bond Falls is not only home to a beautiful waterfall, but some water is also diverted northwest to the city of Victoria, providing significant hydropower.
Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 PM.
Evening: Public Program - Each summer, Trees For Tomorrow hosts a wide array of public programs on Tuesday evenings. Participants can go to this program or have the evening off. Past programs have included: loons, Wisconsin's elk, bears, loons, phenology, birds of prey, tree identification, fishing, and many others!
Activity note: We'll rest our arms today and tour the Nicolet national forest on foot at 1-mi. Franklin lake Nature trail. An afternoon off allows for personal exploration of the area. During the evening, we will canoe Lower Ninemile Lake and hopefully see native birds such as loons, eagles, and herons.
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:00 AM.
Morning: Hike Franklin Lake Nature Trail - Mid-week is a good time to give our canoeing muscles a little bit of a rest. We will visit a beautiful nature trail in the Nicolet National Forest. This 1.5-mile interpretative trail has much to offer in the way of plant and animal life. In fact, nearly every habitat type in the Northwoods is found there!
Lunch: Lunch at 12:00PM Noon.
Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the local area!
Dinner: Dinner at 5:15 PM.
Evening: Canoe Lower Ninemile Lake - Much of this lake is surrounded by National Forest land. Trumpeter swans, loons, bald eagles, and sandhill cranes are often found here. This lake is best paddled in the evening, as it is quite large and wind can be an issue during the day. Sunset paddles are also a favorite for many people. Don't forget your canoeing shoes!
Activity note: Now that we have practiced our skills, we will add the challenge of canoeing on a river. We will paddle and approximately 6-mi. stretch of the beautiful Manitowish River. Afterward, we will stop for ice cream! Later, feel welcome to explore the area and its restaurants during an evening on your own!
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:00 AM.
Morning: Canoe the Manitowish River - Paddling the clear water of the Manitowish River is a good opportunity to practice your turning skills. With a small gradient along the river, the 6-mile stretch we will paddle meanders back and forth more times than you care to count. However, around each bend is a new chance to see something different... common yellowthroats, alder flycatchers, green frogs, green herons, belted kingfishers, wood & painted turtles, muskrats, various waterfowl, and many other animals can be found on this beautiful river. The DNR has recently discussed altering water flows on an upstream dam in hopes of reestablishing a native population of sturgeon that has only been sustained with repeated stocking. Bring your closed-toed shoes for this trip.
Lunch: Picnic Lunch at 11:00 AM.
Afternoon: Complete our canoe trip on the Manitowish River - The second half of our paddle changes from a more forested shoreline to a more open sedge meadow habitat type. The river also narrows down a little more and has even more turns. Sedge wrens normally escort you downriver along with some naturalist interpretation. Local author John Bates wrote a book that has very interesting historical and biological aspects of the river. We normally share some of his stories as we venture to the take out spot.
Dinner: Dinner on your own at one of the many fine restaurants in the area
Evening: Free evening relaxing doing whatever you'd like :)
Activity note: We will continue to practice our river canoeing skills with a journey on the Wisconsin River. Later, we'll explore how scientists study water quality at the headwaters of the river, and do a little bit of water testing of our own! During closing, we'll look back at the week's adventures and meet TFT's education hawk, Apollo
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:00 AM.
Morning: Canoe the Wisconsin River - Considered to be one of the hardest working rivers in the nation, we will explore a portion of the upper part of the river before it is influenced by industry/dams. It is always a treat to see the abundant plant and wildlife on this trip. Remember your closed toed shoes for this one!
Lunch: Sack Lunch at 12:30PM.
Afternoon: Water Quality Study - After canoeing a stretch of the river, we will visit where it all begins. Lac Vieux Desert is the beginning of 432 miles of the Wisconsin River. We will also do a biotic index survey, meaning we will collect aquatic bugs that are indicators of water quality/health. These creatures have a variety of adaptations that are not often discussed, but are critical in their survival. This stream survey will hopefully allow you to see the water as you never have before.
Dinner: Dinner and Wine at 5:30 PM.
Evening: Closing - The TFT Road Scholar Coordinator will present a slideshow containing pictures from the participants' experiences during the week. Participants will also get a CD and be able to download the pictures shown during the slideshow. Passports will also be stamped. Road Scholar participants will have the opportunity to meet one of the TFT education raptors (bird). We will talk about their story (why they are not releasable), adaptations that allow them to be efficient predators, life history, and ways we can help them.
Activity note: Enjoy a morning breakfast before departing for home. Thank you for visiting!
Breakfast: Breakfast at 7:00 AM.
Morning: Departure by 9:00 AM. Please leave your room key and name tag in your room. Safe Travels!