Continuing the slow recap of the mini-honeymoon adventure…
This post is a little out of order but that’s okay. Back to day two! After leaving Lake Wissota State Park to drive to Brunet Island State Park, we stopped at the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area on the way.
This is near an area where I camped a lot with my family as a child and it brought back some extra special memories.
This area isn’t like your typical contained state park. Since this is a “recreation area” it contains multiple trails, roads, and private property. With 23 miles of trail, including a segment of the Ice Age Trail, it can be hard to plan your hike. If you aren’t sure where to start, parking by the nature center is a great option.
Unfortunately we did not get to go into the nature center as it is closed on Mondays. It looks pretty cool, though! We ate a post-hike lunch on the picnic tables outside near a ton of hummingbirds. They were constantly fighting! I didn’t realize they were so mean to each other.
And it’s hard to beat the view from the center.
Directly behind the nature center is the trail access to the 4.5 mile Circle Trail, which contains the 1.8 miles Dry Lake Trail, and the shorter .7 miles Mammoth Trail. These trails also link the the Ice Age Trail. Whatever trail you decide to try, the fun all begins at the nature center.
We set out with wonderful intentions to hike the longest of the trails before realizing that the mosquitoes weren’t afraid of our bug spray. Like at all.
The first thing I noticed was how well marked the trails were. These trails are clearly very loved and someone has taken the time to help other people love them too.
The trail varies in terrain type and width as you travel. There are some hilly sections that will get your heart rate up a little as you walk.
This part of the trail curved out of the woods and into a grassy area. This was a nice break from the mosquitoes, but they were waiting for us when we got back into the woods.
This area has a bunch of lakes (which explains the mosquitoes.) This one was green but super still.
This bridge was a little scary to cross. As you walked across, it sank a little deeper into the water. I ran the last little bit to get off it. After this section we finished the last push uphill to the beginning/end of the trail. (Loop trails are the best, no backtracking!)
Overall this area was pretty neat. If I lived nearby or was camping nearby, this would be a great place for a relatively easy 4.5 mile hike. This area would be especially beautiful in fall with the changing color of the leaves and the very dead mosquitoes.