“Where the Ice Age ends,
and your adventure begins!”
Gerstberger Pines Nature Trail is located a few miles south and east of Rib Lake, Wisconsin. The 20 acre park contains a unique three-fourths mile interpretive trail. Here you can learn about the plants, animals and history of this unique old growth forest.
To help preserve this special place, no motorized vehicles are allowed. While hiking, stay on the marked trails, do not pick flowers, plants or fungi, and please carry out any containers or litter.
The original parcel of land (originally 80 acres) was bought by Ed Gerstberger in 1892 from Wisconsin Central Railroad. It has been in the Gerstberger family until purchased by Taylor County in 1993.
From Rib Lake, take State Highway 102 east, to County Highway 'C'.
Turn south onto 'C' and watch for Fawn Avenue (first left intersection).
Drive east on Fawn Ave. to Turba Drive.
Turn south onto Turba Dr. to Gerstberger Pines parking area.
Walking to the sign post for Station 2, we hope you noticed the difference in tree sizes as you entered the forest. The first 10 yards of forest is regrowth, trees that are reclaiming the abandoned field land.
These trees are an estimated 20 to 25 years old. They are no doubt offspring of the old red oaks seen at this site.
Next, proceed to your left, and remember to stay on the trail as you follow the numbered sign posts.
Take a seat on the Leopold bench. The hemlock cathedral you experience is what the Native Americans and early white settlers experienced in this area. This is what Ed Gerstberger saw in 1892 when he purchased this land from the Wisconsin Central Railroad.
While you are listening to the birds, think of what the early settlers may have thought as they went about their work falling trees and clearing fields. Think about the value of this and all forests.
Think about the diversity this forest offers wildlife and humans. Gerstberger Pines Nature Trail is truly a special place.
Content for this web page is excerpted and summarized from Gerstberger Pines Nature Trail brochure. Text by Arlen Albrecht, University of Wisconsin-Extension & Russell Aszmann, Taylor County Assistant Forester.
Gerstberger Pines Nature Trail brochures are available on site, at Camp 28 tourist information center, the Rib Lake Village Hall, Pete's BP station, and C & G Mini Mart in Rib Lake. Send for a free brochure.
Photos from Joe Hebda during early October, 2004.