Colors of Autumn in Tamarac

Colors of Autumn in Tamarac

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge lies just north of Rochert, Minnesota, about twenty minutes northeast of Detroit Lakes. The US Fish & Wildlife website describes Tamarac like this:

“Tamarac lies in the heart of one of the most diverse transition zones in North America. Here Eastern deciduous hardwoods, Northern coniferous forests and Western tall grass prairie converge, creating a rich assemblage of both plants and animals. Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge was established as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife by Executive Order 7902, dated May 31, 1938.”

I went out looking for some fall colors on the roadside and found more than enough here. These photos were taken in the second week of October, 2015, on the hiking trail known as Old Indian Trail.

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

The inscription on the monument reads:

“This trail was used by early settlers and Indians to reach the maple sugar and wild rice campsite located at the north end of Tamarac Lake. It extended east to the Ottertail River and then brached to the south and north the south branch followed along the west side of the Ottertail to the centuries old Indian crossing and campground at the outlet of Rice Lake now known as Mitchell Dam. The north branch followed along the Ottertail River to the outlet of round lake. Five miles north of this location the heavily used Yellowhead Indian trail joined the Ottertail. Look for this trail at the marker near the ancient Sioux burial ground.”

“Most of the maple forests in the vicinity of Tamarac Lake were used by the indians until the 1930’s. The trees were gashed into the sapwood and the maple sap was collected in birchbark containers placed at the base of the trees look for swollen bases on the larger maple trees along the trail the clearing to the north of this marker is the original family settler clearing of Mr. Ole Dahl who occupied the site in 1905.”

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

I walked about half-way up the trail with my family and we encountered a dozen other hiking parties and photographers. This is a popular place in the fall.

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trail, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

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