Located just a few miles off of Ward Avenue, lies one of La Crosse’s true hidden treasures.
"Hass Property here was purchased with the partnership with the MVC and the City of La Crosse for the Bluffland Protection, and this property is a real gem,"Willie Bittner, WisCorps Operations Director, said. "It’s out on the south side of La Crosse and has a lot of spectacular views that you can see kind of north overlooking the city, overlooking the bluffs in La Crescent, and it’s a real nice deciduous forest with a lot of rare plant communities in it."
Even though the trail is off the beaten path, Hass Property’s wide pathways and easy accessibility are perfect for all ages.
"This is a great trail for families, you could even bring a stroller up here. Have one parent pushing a stroller, and have the other parent walking right next to it," Bittner said.
Those who choose to hike the trail will find beauty surround them, but one of the best features of the trail is actually something that can’t be seen, only felt. The dense canopy provides much needed shade on hot summer days, making the trail’s entire two mile, round trip length enjoyable. Bittner also says that part of that enjoyment, stems from the hike’s peaceful solitude.
"I send a lot of people here because if you are looking for a hike in the city of La Crosse where you don’t run in to a lot of people, this is the hike to go to,"added Bittner.
Hass Property will be a nice break away from your go-to hikes, but Hixon Forest Trails are not to be ignored. Even if you are an avid Hixon hiker, recent improvements and trail additions are creating fresh experiences.
"This is a year-round recreation area," George Arimond, Outdoor Recreation Alliance volunteer said. "What’s really unique about this area, is this is an urban forest. So you can walk from downtown La Crosse, to this area and you can go from an urban setting to a forest setting where it’s nice and quiet and relaxing,"
People think they know Hixon so well that it’s become an "old faithful" of sorts, but that’s not the case. Numerous small vistas along Hixon’s trails give views you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
"There are several of these vistas, and these of course are very different that just going to Grandads Bluff. You know you’re here by yourself or a small group of hikers and yet it’s quiet and secluded and yet you can see this gorgeous river valley," Arimond said.
Those gorgeous views are courtesy of a phenomenon the makes the La Crosse area’s landscape unique.
"We call this whole area the Driftless Region, because glaciers did not go through here so that’s what provided us with these wonderful, beautiful landscapes and these high bluffs," Arimond said.
After you blaze trails, it is important to clean your shoes and hiking boots to stop the spread of invasive species, such as Buckthorn from taking over.
"What makes Buckthorn a bad invasive is that it will start to take over the understory. Then you won’t see as many ferns or other plant communities," Bittner stressed.
For another adventure, make sure to check back next Wednesday for a new episode of Hometown Tourist, and a chance to make the La Crosse area your own.
Directions: Hass Property