The Park instigated a proscribed burn in the northern part of Big Prairie about a week ago. The blackened ground is a sharp contrast to the white, snowy mountains. New green shoots are already appearing through the scorched earth. A proscribed burn on Big Prairie is a safe way to introduce fire back into the landscape returning nutrients to the soil and controlling vegetation that has encroached into the meadow. We saw how successful this proscribed burn was on our bike ride through Big Prairie on Thursday.
Because the mountains are still clogged with snow, we were looking for adventure in lower elevations. So, Margaret and I decided to bike through Big Prairie while we had a gloriously sunny day. We started from the Polebridge Ranger Station and rode north on the Inside Road to the locked gate, a roundtrip of approximately 14 miles. The scenery from Big Prairie is spectacular with the towering snow-covered peaks of the Park to the east and the snow-covered ridges of the Whitefish Range across the river to the west. At one point, we stopped and named all of the Whitefish drainages and peaks that we could see from the Canadian Border south past Huckleberry Mountain. We also saw a beautiful lone wolf running nearby. It’s great to be in the North Fork in spring!