i’m posting this hike announcement now because it is a hike i have done annually since 2002 (except for 2020), and i can commit to a firm date (except for possible bad weather). this is also a location with ample parking, so if a gazillion people sign up for it in the five months till it happens, it is not a problem.
we will meet near the washrooms at Chellberg Farm at 11 CT, 12 ET
this event will be sponsored jointly with Rick’s Hiking and Fun Group https://www.meetup.com/Ricks-Hiking-Fun-Group/ .
dear hiking friends–
today’s hike features a cross section of the history of the region during the 19th and early 20th centuries. we have taken this hike every year since 2002, except for 2020.
please check the weather before departure and have appropriate clothing and equipment [https://weather.com/weather/today/l/46301:4:US](https://weather.com/weather/today/l/46301:4:US) . bring along a lunch which we will eat on the trail, plus enough water (one quart minimum).
remember, this is a fee area–you must DISPLAY A PERMIT to park here–so before you come to the lot, make sure you study the rather Byzantine and non-user-friendly fee structure at the National Park website
i’m not sure how much they enforce this off season, or what the fines are, but be informed and beware.
i will pass a hat for a small donation to cover expenses: mostly, this is the cost of using the meetup website, but sometimes I need some dinero to pay for occasional gifts to neighbors who let us use their parking, prizes for contests. as long as i can cover this with people putting $2-3 in a can, i prefer not doing anything more binding or complicated.
this is a complex route, with lots of unexpected twists and turns–if you get ahead of me, make sure to stop whenever you come to a junction with another trail or road, or in any place where the trail is ambiguous or confusing. also, make sure you know where your car is parked.
i also encourage you all to take and post pictures to the site. if you don’t know how to post to the site, text pictures to me, and i will post them.
i decided to tweak our route so that we hit more of the points of historic interest first, and move the long walk across the prairie, over the river, and through the woods to later in the hike.
we will gather near the restrooms off the parking lot, and wait till 11:20 CT for all to arrive. then we will turn right at the valley’s edge and walk a short distance till we come to the Chellberg Farm.
this is a preserved farmstead which was owned by Swedish immigrants to the region, and run in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. depending on the NPS budget, there may be animals in the farmyard and the barn.
after that, we will ascend some bridges and stairs up a streambed and across a road to the Bailly Family Cemetery. it is quite elaborate for a pioneer graveyard, with a stonework mound and a tall wooden cross, and carved gravestones with passages from the Bible and the Apocrypha.
we will tarry there awhile, then cross Oak Hill rd, and begin the west leg of the Bailly-Chellberg trail. after a short distance, we will come to a junction where you can make a choice.
if you go left, we will soon come to the Bailly Homestead, with preserved buildings covering about a century of construction from the family of fur trapper-trader Joseph Bailly and his descendants. we will look around for a while, then arrive back at the parking lot in 0.3 miles, for a total day’s hike of 1.8 miles.
if you go right, we will walk about 3/4 of a mile through the woods, then over a boardwalk, and cross the Little Calumet river on a bridge, then ascend a hill, and cross the Mnoke’ Prairie, then back over the Little Cal, and arrive at the Bailly Homestead, and back to the parking lot for a total day’s hike of 4.0 miles.
hope to see you there,
from US 12, turn south on Mineral Springs rd; enter the parking lot marked “Chellberg Farm”; try to arrive by 12:00 ET; we will wait till 12:20, then depart on foot.
from US 20, turn north on Mineral Springs rd; enter the parking lot marked “Chellberg Farm”; try to arrive by 12:00 ET; we will wait till 12:20, then depart on foot.