Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Watkin's Mill Trail Hike - New!

The Heart of America Council has a set of new hiking trails called "Watkin's Mill Trail" with a wonderful patch available.

Watkins Mill's theme and history is based on the highly successful woolen business by a turn of the century, rural family in the central Midwest. The historic buildings feature a rare look at their life and times through a living history experience and tour of the mill including its Original equipment, still intact.

The trails are open year round. Cubs, Webelos, boy scouts, leaders, all are welcome participants. Both trails are a good length for younger scouts, about 4 miles, and one of few this length in the Central region. You can choose either the woodland / equestrian trail or the paved lake trail. Both are scenic and relaxing. We have both family and primitive camping available, but it's not required to earn the patch. W2 dens like it because they can do their overnight requirement and earn a cool patch on the same outing. It's also appealing to troops with younger boy scouts like 1st years, that can't yet manage a full length (20mi) trail hike. But the miles and historical tour count for Camping mb, 50 miler, Historic Trails, Hiking mb etc for all scouts and leaders.

Follow this link to read more and see the photo's of the historic mill, maps, living history exhibit and trails.

Guides are available on request but mostly we use a self-certifying system. The leader emails us the total number of scouts and leaders that hiked one of the trails and want the patch. They cost $3 each which includes shipping. When we receive the payment, we will mail out the patches.

Trailmaster Doug

More Info:

Length, season:
Choice of two historic, scenic and nature trails, 3.75 miles each, open all year. Mill tour and living history available only in season. Reservations suggested.

Off roads: All, both trails. Lake trail is paved; Woodland / equestrian trail is mowed grass; mostly gentle to rolling terrain.

Starting point:
Watkin's Mill State Park camping areas (2), mix and match with desired trail.

Ending point starting point of chosen trail

Points of interest:
19th century woolen mill with original mill equipment, original mill buildings, school, church, workshops. Living history farm experience in summer months. State camp ground with lake, picnic areas, beach (seasonal), fishing and wooded streams. Jesse James' farm GeoCache

Overnight camping:
Yes. Primitive area (5) groups; Family area (100) sites

Campsite facilities:
Primitive – firepits, outhouse, no water; Family - toilets, showers, laundry; Firewood for sale.

backpacking camp along the trail: None. Picnic areas along lake trail with tables

Trail camp facilities: None

Requirements for hiking trail: Have proper adult leadership, scout T-shirts encouraged

Groups permitted on trail: Open to the public. We share the paved lake trail with bicycles and other hikers. The woodland trail we share with very occasional equestrian trail ride groups. Both trails open 7AM to sunset.

Trail maps available:
Yes, in packet or see park website

Trail well marked: Yes, maintained by DNR

Trail marker design: state symbols

Guides available if requested:
Yes. Guided mill tours available on weekends, reservations requested ($). Visitor center open daily. Mill and visitor center are approx 1.0 mile from woodland trail and .5 mile from lake trail. Most hikers drive to the mill site before or after the hike. Mill tour is not required to receive patch, only adult leader's self-certification of completion of trail hikers.

Someone to meet hikers at starting point if requested: Yes

Available awards: colorful patch by famous designer through trailmaster. Not available at visitor's center. Allow mailing time after receipt of order.

Advance reservation required: None for trail hike. Family camping see Primitive area camping call 816-580-3387

For more information contact:
Please indicate how many participants completed one of the trails and how many patches you are ordering. Patch is worn as a temporary patch (BSA) on the right pocket. Other organizations have their own guidelines about trail hike patches.

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