D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area

By Dean S. Acheson BALSAM LAKE –

Looking for a scenic area for a picnic of someplace to drop a line? Consider the D.D. Kennedy Environmental Area/County Park – a 106-acre preserve along the Balsam Branch that flows through Polk County. Visitors will find a dam, millpond and well-maintained trails. The preserve is listed as a stop on the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail. The prairie habitat features native grasses and wildflowers, which attracts a large variety of birds. Signature species include Black-throated Green and Canada Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Interpretive hiking trails, including 1 1/2 miles of paved trails, weave through the preserve. Fishing is allowed from the bridge and handicap accessible pier. The park features a number of amenities including two picnic areas with grills, shelter and modern bathrooms. For more information, call 715-485-9294. The preserve is located at Kennedy Mill Avenue in Balsam Lake. From St. Croix Falls travel east 8 miles on Hwy. 8, turn south on Hwy. 65 about 1.5 miles, turn east on 115th Avenue about 1.5 miles to the park. Watch for the small, brown signs.

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