Sign 14

Aspen/Birch Forest Area

GPS 92.90xx W, 45.0044 N

You are in the Aspen/Birch forest of Sunfish Lake Park, the trail to the North takes you to the big unnamed central pond via signs 21 and 20. The trail to the West takes you to Sign 15 and the Oak/Maple forest area.

Subtle Signs are Everywhere

According to a 1990 park survey completed by a Minnesota DNR plant ecologist, the hill slopes and upper crests of the hills in the park were probably not logged, are mostly natural and perhaps lightly grazed. How could he tell? The lack of old cut stumps is a clue that the area was probably not logged and the only old stumps are along the ski trails that were cut in the 1970’s. Hilly areas such as those that occur in Sunfish Lake Park were probably not logged due to the difficulty of logging among the steep hills. Because of the presence of several prickly bushes including prickly ash, wild gooseberry, and raspberry and blackberry vines, the plant ecologist also determined that the area may have been lightly grazed. These types of plants have woody stems and spines or bristles. According to ‘A History of Sunfish Lake Park’, during trail design an old trail was found that might have been a settler or old farm wagon trail. It became part of the trail system and was named Morgan trail after David Morgan, a Park Commissioner who laid out the trails. It heads west from this point and follows the top of the ridge, most likely an esker leftover from the glaciers that existed here over ten thousand years ago.  (ADD LINK TO THE REPORT)

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