Every day we open the Welcome Center at noon and man it until four. This leaves our mornings free to explore, hike or bird or whatever. The Beaver Creek State Natural Area is well known and used for kayaking and canoeing. What is not as well known or used as much are its many miles of hiking trails. A complete network of trails is available to test all levels of hiking abilities. Yesterday morning we choose to check out the Beaver Creek Loop Trail. It’s an easy trail to follow and kind of forms a loop around the border of the trail system. We were delighted to find the trees and shrubs filled with singing Wilson’s Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and Swainson’s Thrushes. About half way around our route we came to this foot bridge that crosses Beaver Creek and connects to the Beaver Marsh Trail, a seasonal trail that is probably only accessible during the end of summer. On the far side of the Loop Trail we took an alternate route using the North Beaver Trail. This short connecting trail has a more remote feel to it and we saw lots of Elk signs, skidding hoof prints and fresh poop, that indicated we had missed seeing them by only minutes. As we finished the Loop we also spotted fresh bear scat. We are looking forward to exploring more of the many connecting trails soon. Click here for a trail map.