hiking
3 months ago

I came for the bison. I'm not a big fan of hiking in open prairies...I prefer wooded trails. But I was excited to try something new on a sunny but cold January day. The visitors center is a nice amenity, and I spoke with the nicest park staff there. She really helped me decide which trail(s) to do and how to enjoy the scenic views. After hiking about an hour, I saw the bison just on the other side of a fence that the park ranger told me not to cross. I watched the herd of about 12 bison for a while, then backed off a bit, then returned to watch them file out of their grazing area, passing through an open gate. They were quiet and calm; I never felt threatened. Really exciting experience!
The trail itself has virtually no markings. If you are not super good with an internal compass, you will need a map and some tips from the park ranger. I really think they need some trail blazes. I saw only one at the very beginning of this trail--a painted stone set in the ground. You can't really get lost since it's open prairie, but I would like to have more way-finding available.
The 4th star is for the bison and the wonderful park ranger.