Birding · Lake · Wildlife
An easy trail for kids and strollers, with a picnic shelter and decent restrooms.
The main trail, which circles Best Lake, is paved, level or very slightly sloped, and easily used by wheelchairs or strollers. There is a shorter inner loop around the marsh.
Proceeding clockwise from the shelter on the main trail, you'll come to a Y. Right takes a short side-trip to the blind, which is well worth it, while left continues along the settling pond. Until the sharp southwest corner, the trail is mainly through woods, but after the corner, the remainder is mostly open.
There are several fishing platforms, mostly on the north side. On the east side, the boardwalk to the east leads to a parking lot, the bridge to the west starts the inner loop around the marsh, and straight continues around the lake and back to the shelter. There are two parking areas. The lot to the east is connected via a boardwalk. The restrooms and picnic shelter are adjacent to the central parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
Canada geese, mallards, tree swallows, and red-winged blackbirds nest here. Geese and ducks stay year round. Common loons, pied-billed and horned grebes, coots, and a variety of other ducks stop by during migration. Sightings of bald eagle, osprey, red-tailed and red-shouldered hawk, green heron, and kingfisher are fairly common. In winter, the settling pond on the south edge of the trail stays open due to runoff from the sand quarry, resulting a a large number of waterfowl gathering here. There are beaver living and working around the lake. The area south of the blind is popular with painted and snapping turtles. The marsh is home to many frogs and red-winged blackbirds. The west end of the marshy area has been planted with prairie species.