For a town its size, I have never seen one before with so many parks and recreational areas. Many of the parks are left in a quasi-natural state and one of the best is Schmeeckle Reserve, immediately north and adjacent to the University of Wisconsin campus. What led me to this area was that I was looking for natural hiking trails that would afford good photo opportunities and this did not disappoint.
This area is part of the greater Green Circle Trail which circles the town of Stevens Point and travels for 26 miles. Off the Green Circle are many lesser trails and spurs, one of which is called Lake Joanis Loop which is what I walked today. While it is only a mile in length it is part of the five miles of trails which are available as spurs in this 280 acre natural area. It was amazing to be essentially totally alone in such natural woods in the middle of the city! Wow, was all I could think! What a resource for this city. These trails meld with others, cover diverse habitat of forest, prairie, wetlands and oak savanna and are designated for bikers, hikers and in winter, cross country skiers. A portion of the reserve is wheelchair accessible and done on boardwalk.
Lake Joanis is available for canoeing, kayaking and shore fishing but not swimming. Today, other than a lone fisherman, only the Canadian geese were using it. It is a serene oasis right in the city. Wow again!