Imp Lake Hiking Trail
The Imp Lake Trail threads its way through hardwood-hemlock forest and a treed bog, making a loop to return near its starting point. The trail was designed to be accessible for the first 0.8 mile, with a graveled path and a boardwalk across the bog. After crossing the bog, a small picnicking platform marks the end of the wheelchair/stroller accessible portion. The remaining 0.7 mile is a footpath over terrain that is more difficult. It passes an overlook of Little Imp Lake and ends on a road south of the trailhead.
The hardwood-hemlock forests surrounding the trail provide a variety of wildflowers to view starting in mid-May each year. Examples are baneberry, wood sorrel, bluebead, wild sarsaparilla, Canada mayflower, hairy Solomon’s seal, feathery false lily of the valley, nodding trillium, threeleaf goldthread, jewelweed, bunchberry dogwood, starflower, enchanter’s nightshade, jack in the pulpit, Clayton’s sweetroot, and bigleaf aster. Ferns are common, including intermediate woodfern, interrupted fern, cinnamon fern, sensitive fern, and lady fern. At the bog, one may see stunted tamarack and black spruce trees, Labrador tea, bog laurel, bog rosemary, leatherleaf, creeping snowberry, velvetleaf blueberry, pink ladyslipper, cranberry, cottongrass, sphagnum moss, and insectivorous pitcher plants. These passive-trap plants have funnel-like modified leaves, which fill with water. There are downward pointing hairs near the upper, dry portion of the leaves, so that an insect, attracted to the red lines on the leaves, cannot crawl out, but must enter the water to drown and be digested by the plant’s enzymes. Trapped insects provide nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients to the plants. The northern hardwoods - sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch, and basswood - around the trail provide a lovely color display in the fall.
Imp Lake campground is across from the trailhead, featuring two lakeside loops and 22 sites. Water is available and there are pit toilets. Fees are charged for overnight camping. There is also a free day use/picnic area and boat ramp. Imp Lake is an established no-wake lake. Loons are often seen on the lake. A variety of other birds may be seen, including bald eagles. White-tailed deer may also be seen in the area.
Note: Not all sections of each trail are approved for every activity listed for the trail as a whole. Please click on individual trail sections to see approved activities for that section.
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