Blog: Explore Local - Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary
Michelle Martin, Washburn County Staff Author
If you’ve lived in Washburn County for any length of time, you’ve probably at least heard of Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary. For those of you who haven’t spent much time at Hunt Hill, it’s about time for you to head out and do some exploring!
While you won’t catch their normal educational programs out there right now, you will want to tune into their “Hunt Hill at Home” on Facebook. Every weekday at 1 p.m., their program director, Sage, presents on different environmental education topics. She’s already covered some great ones like animal tracks, planting seeds, and she even took the viewers for a hike on the bog trail the other day!
A trip out to Hunt Hill, whether it’s with your family or for some good old fashioned alone time, is the perfect way to spend a warm spring day. With over 13 miles of hiking trails that are free to the public, there are plenty of loops to explore. If you don’t have a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book, be sure to place a curb-side order with Long Lake Bait & Tackle or Northwind Book & Fiber and Spooner Outlet so you have what you need to spot some feathered friends while out on your hike.
While out on your hike, you’ll come across some pretty cool spots. If you head out on the “Bear Trail”, you’ll explore the edge of Big Devil’s Lake where you’ll pass an old bear’s den! Another popular trail is the “Bog Trail” where you’ll see the insectivorous pitcher plant. A trek across the meadow in the springtime can be enough to lift anyone’s spirit with all of the wildflowers starting to bloom!
Take a wander around the property while you’re there to check out all that they offer. Behind the office is a really cool nature playscape for the kids, there’s a great library (a stunning spot for a small wedding!), and the new building offers a great space for programs and activities. Be sure to stop in at the screen porch of the office to check if there are any Kids’ Activity Bags available and to pick up a brochure about their normal programming so you can come back after their events start back up again.
Looking for a way to support local businesses while out on your adventure at Hunt Hill? Here are some ideas:
- Pick up bug spray, snacks, drinks, or even Long Lake apparel at Long Lake Bait & Tackle (currently open for curb-side pickup)
- Place a pick-up order at a local restaurant: The Roost, Pioneer on Long Lake, Reel Em’ Inn, Prop’s and Butternut Hills are all nearby.
- Buy a new pair of hiking boots for your adventure at Spooner Mercantile where you’ll find Keen hikers, Merrell hikers and waterproof shoes, along with some new hiking clothes too!
- Bring your plastic bags to recycle at Hunt Hill! They’re working to collect plastic to get benches made of recycled materials, so the more plastic you bring the closer they get to their goal.
- If you’re headed out for a hike, call over to Butternut Hills Golf Course, located just a few miles down the road, to see if there are any available tee times and bring your clubs for the perfect outdoor adventure.
Be sure to keep checking back on our WashCo Compass blog for more great ideas for adventures in Washburn County.
About the Author: Michelle Martin was born and raised in Washburn County and grew up exploring the area with her family. This avid snowmobiler, kayaker, and outdoor adventurer raises her two kiddos with her husband on a corner of his family’s farm.