The View From the Ground, Hiking the Base, Roche-A-Cri State Park Part II

Recap: Roche-A-Cri State Park is located in central Wisconsin, just outside of the towns of Adams and Friendship. The park is named for the 300 foot towering rock formation in the center of the park, Roche-A-Cri Mound. Hikers can hike to the top of the rock, or explore the Native American petroglyphs on the base. The park also contains several miles of hiking trail through forest and prairie, offering hikers the chance to view the abundant wildlife found in the park, including several different birds of prey.

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Now for part II of the Roche-A-Cri hike. Read More

Campsite Review – Roche-A-Cri State Park, Camping Next to the Mound

A first time visitor to Roche-A-Cri State Park, my campsite selection was determined by whatever available information I could find online. In this case, as it often is, it was a map from the park website and Yelp reviews.

Helpful things to know about picking a campsite in Roche-A-Cri:

  • The campground is relatively small compared to other state parks so campsites can be close together. If this is a concern for you, pick a site spaced further apart on the map, as I did.
  • While not extreme, this was the loudest state park campground I’ve ever stayed in. My thought was being so small, it isn’t monitored by park rangers as late, but that might be completely wrong.
  • Pit toilets only
  • The left, outer side of the loop is the side closest to the mound. This makes for a unique campsite, with a steep slope up behind the site, but also means a hiking trail runs behind your site.

CampGroundRAC Read More

303 Steps to an Incredible View, Top of the Rock Trail, Roche-A-Cri State Park Part I

I recently had the chance to visit Roche-A-Cri State Park in central Wisconsin on a hiking and camping trip. Before the trip, I knew virtually nothing about this park other than it had campsites, hiking trails, and some sort of mound in the center. Was this mound a large hill? Perhaps a Native American burial mound? Who knew!

Driving north from Madison for an hour and a few minutes, getting there was simple. According to the map, the park is only a few miles away from Adams and Friendship. I knew that these towns were small, but I also knew that they were just big enough to make the park feel less secluded than I was hoping for. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t really an issue. Aside from a few ambulance sirens in the morning, the park was quiet and peaceful.

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Roche-A-Cri State Park surrounds and protects the 300 foot high rock formation, the Roche-A-Cri Mound. (Mystery solved, a rock!) At the base, the rock contains Native American petroglyphs in the shapes of canoes, birds, and geometric designs. While faded and somewhat difficult to make out, these are worth seeing, if only to appreciate their age. (I’ll touch on those more in the part II post.) Read More

Hiking Close to Home, Token Creek Park – Madison WI, Dane County

Having such a small window of time for outdoor recreation in Wisconsin, its not surprising that the summer and early fall months are busy. Busy as in, it’s rare to have a free morning on a weekend. Busy as in, every hour from 4pm on Friday through 8pm on Sunday is booked and accounted for. For this reason, it is important to find some go-to local hikes that can be done in an hour or two, without needing to spend an hour in the car just to get to the trailhead.

I’ve showcased a few of the local Madison hikes before on the blog. (Cherokee Marsh and Capital Springs being my typical quick hikes.) Wanting to shake things up, I searched for something different. This brought me to Token Creek Park, which, as it turns out, is unexpectedly close to my apartment.

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Hartman Creek State Park – Hiking in Uncertain Weather

Personally, I think the worst forecast for hiking is an uncertain one. A forecast claiming a 100% chance of rain is better than a 50% one, because at least that way you can plan ahead. (Of course, cancelling a trip because a weatherperson has that much confidence that it will rain, only to find a sunny day, is its own source of frustration.) This trip was on one of those “50% chance of an afternoon shower” days. As you can see from the clouds, the sky was a bully, threatening us all afternoon. Sometimes dark storms would just blow over, sometimes we weren’t so lucky.

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Hartman Creek State Park seems like a haven for bikers. Just look at the park map (linked below) and you’ll see what I mean. The bottom left corner of the map is a snake of bike trails, winding back and forth. The park has 6 miles of paths just for bikers, and 6 miles of path used for biking and hiking together. For hikers, the park offers about 10 miles of trail, some of it shared with bikes. On the western edge of the park, 3 miles of the Ice Age National Trail passes through the park. Read More

Hiking while Traveling – Griffith Park, Los Angeles, Mt. Hollywood Trail

This is a big moment for my blog, my first post focused on hiking a trail outside of Wisconsin! I was hesitant to write this as most of the feedback I’ve received so far has been from Wisconsinties looking for a trail within the state. I was worried they wouldn’t find this post useful for their own hikes. While this is probably true, the pictures from this hike were too stunning not to share.

In May I had the chance to travel with a friend to visit another friend living in Culver City. After a long day of travel, we were eager to move around, see the city, and get some exercise. My CA friend recommended exploring Griffith Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Read More