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Moon Ridge Trails Area

This area makes up about 7,800 of the 34,433 acre County Forest. Like most of the County Forest, this area shows evidence of past glaciations. The rolling topography has scattered ponds, swamps, and wetlands in the low areas. Northern hardwood stands, composed mainly of red maple, basswood, white ash, and sugar maple dominate this area of the County Forest.

Since northern hardwoods are the major forest type, most of the tree harvesting done in the area is accomplished through selective thinning. Maple, basswood, ash and other hardwoods are capable of regenerating under their own shade which makes clear cutting unnecessary to maintain these stands. Stands of timber are thinned every 15 to 20 years removing defective, diseased, and over-mature trees. These thinnings can go on virtually indefinitely, with the end result being a forest in which all age and size classes of trees are present. In some areas, white pine have been planted under standing timber, in an effort to reestablish the original forest type of the area. There are a few smaller stands of aspen and birch, which will be harvested and regenerated by clear cutting. Although this practice is aesthetically less pleasing than thinning, and radically alters the landscape, it is necessary to regenerate these stands. These smaller clear cuts interspersed among the stands of hardwood, provide an excellent variety of habitats beneficial to a large number of wildlife (bird and animal) species.

Also present in the area are several flowages which provide habitat for nesting and migrating waterfowl and other wildlife. The water levels in these flowages are monitored and managed to best benefit wildlife. It is not uncommon to view multiple duck and bird species, as well as muskrat and beaver on many of the flowages. Osprey have been known to use these flowages also.

There are many trails and roads which access this area, some of which are gated to restrict vehicle traffic, and to reduce damage to the trail. Most of the trails are the result of past logging activity and are merely dead-end. Others loop and connect with other trails, which come back out to the Moonridge Trail. A segment of the Ice Age Trail, which crosses 20 miles of County Forest land, also winds its way through this area of the County Forest.

The County Forest is yours to enjoy. Recreational opportunities include hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, bird watching, mushrooming, and cross-country skiing. Other opportunities include firewood cutting and timber harvesting. Please be careful with fire and avoid littering. 

Located at 245th Avenue, 250th Avenue and 226th Street, in an area south of CTH M and east of CTH E.