Northwoods history revealed through nature hikeSubmitted: 01/25/2020
Zack White
Zack White

Northwoods history revealed through nature hike
MANITOWISH WATERS - The North Lakeland Discovery Center and the Manitowish Historical Society held a collaborative hike Saturday. 

North Lakeland Discovery Center Naturalist Annie McDonnell said she enjoys the partnership with the historical society. During the snowshoeing excursion, attendess learned about Northwoods history.

"It's just a phenomenal experience to get outside and work with the community and a phenomenal resource like Jim Bokern," said McDonnell.

During the hike, attendees followed the historical trail of early Wisconsin pioneer Fayette Buck. 

Manitowish Waters Historical Society President Jim Bokern said he enjoys sharing Buck's story with others.

"It's exciting especially in this interdisciplinary format when we talk about natural history and the cultural history of the time," said Bokern.

Bokern said there are several supporting documents that back up the history of the trail.

According to those records, Buck ran a 75-mile-long trapping circuit every eight days that touched multiple communities in Northern Wisconsin.

"We have multiple maps and articles going back as far as 1895 documenting the trail," said Bokern. He said this was the beginning of the Northwoods.

"They were trapping and building early resorts, starting with tent camps, "said Bokern. "It really set the stage for the Northwoods experience that we have today."

Bokern said it is nearly impossible to authenticate the history of any given trail. Nevertheless, he said the historic trail fragments he's found play a hand in giving Northern Wisconsin its identity

"It really gives us glimpse into the past time that really helps us define this area and helps us define it as the Northwoods," said Bokern.

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