Month: September 2014

Horicon's LeRoy Meats For Lunch While Visiting the Marsh

Pastrami sandwichFall boat, kayak, and canoe rides on Horicon Marsh are a great activity, especially in fall when the migratory birds are flying through the massive marsh. Generations have gone to see the fall goose migration along with all of the other birds and sites the marsh offers. While the marsh is what Horicon is famous for, there is a small business that is worth making the trip all of its own. By combining a trip to the marsh with a picnic meal of meats and cheese from LeRoy Meats, you have made a good day into a great day!

LeRoy Meats is a complete meat market with all of the things you would expect. With over 50 varieties of home-made sausages you have a main ingredient for some great sandwiches. In addition, they sell 50 varieties of Wisconsin cheese. Imagine all the combinations of sandwiches you could make with that selection! Fresh baked rolls and buns complete the basic building blocks for a great sandwich. If you would rather, have them make a sandwich for you, they know just the right combinations to make a delicious lunch. Food Network’s “Sandwich King” Jeff Mauro would love this place!

Custom cut meats allow for you to buy whatever size of meat you enjoy to take home along with hot sticks, jerky, cheese and variety of bacon to take with you when you go home. What a great memory of the trip, when you bring some of LeRoy Meats home!

Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast really has your breakfast covered with our hot gourmet offerings, so the trip to Horicon would best feature lunch or an early supper with fixings from LeRoy Meats. Their hours are Monday-Friday 7-5, Saturday 7-3 and Sunday 9-1 so you will be able to enjoy the marsh and visit LeRoy’s before or after you marsh experience.

A Trail of Color at Pike Lake State Park

The Kettle Moraine State Forest includes a Northern Unit in the Dundee area, a Southern Unit south of Delafield and the Pike Lake unit. The Pike Lake unit is a short drive from Hidden Serenity and features moderately challenging (primarily due to hills) hiking on groomed trails. The best time of the year, by far, to vOut of the woodsisit the park is during September and October. What makes this area so special is the geological formation the park sits upon and the kind of plants growing there.

This geological formation has two names, the “Niagara Escarpment” (which also includes Niagara Falls, Door County’s Peninsula, nearby Holy Hill and “the ledge” in Fond du Lac) or in this area, the “sub-continental divide”. Rain falling east of the divide flows toward Lake Michigan and eventually to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Rain falling west flows toward the Rock River and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. The trails at Pike Lake State Park are right on top of this geological feature giving a high viewpoint for fall color.

A panoramic view is available from several areas of this trail and the maple, beech and oak trees, along with sumac shrubbery will gain an impressive color as the days shorten. Nowhere is the view better than the observation tower at the top of Powder Hill, one of the highest hills in the area. By building the tower on the hill park employees added 55 additional feet to the viewpoint. For those of you who like to hike with a GPS, the tower is at N 43° 18.816 W 088° 18.655.

If you’d like to hike the trails of any of the Kettle Moraine Park areas, the best time to do it is during the week. Enjoy a relaxing coffee and comfortable peaceful surroundings at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast after exploring the trails and taking in all that color. Pike Lake State Park is on Kettle Moraine Drive in Hartford, just South of Highway 60.

Hiking the Parnell Tower Loop for Fall Colors

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.44.39 PM
Hidden Serenity is the best place to stay when exploring the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest. Our Location just north of West Bend, WI is ideal for the outdoorsy type. Here is a great suggestion for a person who just wants to hike a little yet see a lot!

The Kettle Moraine State Forest has a number of trails that allow the hiker to enjoy a day outdoors. Whether you are trekking the Ice Age Trail or looking for a short hike in the forest, Parnell Tower is worth seeking out. It is located just off the Ice Age Trail and also has it’s own parking area, so you don’t need to set aside an entire day to hiking.

The Parnell tower was rebuilt in 1988 as a scenic outlook. On top of one of the highest places in Southeastern Wisconsin (at 1311 feet above sea level), the tower adds an additional 60 feet of wooden structure on top of the hill. Reports from the area indicate that you can see for 25 miles from the top of the tower on a clear day so bring some binoculars for a closer look at distant sights! Looking to the east you could see the smokestack of the power plant in Sheboygan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Some have claimed to see Holy Hill to the Southwest, so that can be a challenge for you and your companions. Dotted on the landscape you can observe distinct glacial features of the Kettle Moraine Forest, contours of the farm fields and the ever-changing color of the leaves in the forest. Also notice the many dairy farms that make Wisconsin so famous.

Of course the best time of the year to visit the tower is in autumn when the trees are at their colorful best. This is typically from late September through mid-October, but with temperature, precipitation and wind all influencing the quality of the color it is a good idea to check ahead. Travel Wisconsin has a website with a fall color report, and you can pick any location in Wisconsin to find out the “percent of peak” of the color in a given area. Better yet, it gives a projected time for the “peak” to help you with your planning.

Parnell Tower is north of Hidden Serenity, west of Plymouth, and east of the Long Lake Recreation area. A google map will help you find your way from Hidden Serenity or just ask us, Sally or Chris, during your stay, we frequently make trips to see the sights ourselves. The drive is about half an hour from here. We recommend that you set aside at least an hour for the short hike to the tower and and back, the climb up the tower and the observation time. If you have another 45 minutes to spare there is a drive just north of the tower that is gorgeous! I’ll tell you more when you check into your luxury bed and breakfast room.

To check out the tower click here:

Beautiful Holy Hill in the Fall

One of the most recognizable buildings in Southeastern Wisconsin is the Basilica of Holy Hill in Hubertus. Holy Hill has a long history in the area, but was only recently designated a “Basilica” which is a special honor for a church that has a specific architecture. Holy Hill is located a short 30 minute drive from Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.

The inside of the two chapels at Holy Hill are peaceful places to visit and new stained glass windows adorn the 2nd floor chapel. The “upper church” is actually more than a chapel and seats over 1000 people. A gift shop and dining area add to the experience of the visitor.

The hill itself is a great place to view the fall colors in this beautiful area, but with the church on top of the hill, the sights are even more spectacular. The deck between the stair tower and the 3rd level church is a great place to view fall colors. There is also the possibility of climbing the staircase into the steeple of the upper church for an even better view. The “Scenic Tower” is open daily May 1 to October 31st with hours on Sunday: 1:30 pm – 6:30 pm starting later to avoid conflict with church service and hours Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6:30 pm. Since the tower is open and 192 feet tall (178 steps) it is closed during times of high wind or storms.

In September the annual Arts and Crafts Fair is a major attraction. In 2014, the fair takes place on September 20th, 2014 and is the 40th anniversary of the event! This year there will be 230 artists and crafters offering their creations. Music will be played and food is available for purchase.

Tree colors in the Holy Hill region peak during the last week of September through the 2nd week of October in a “normal” year. Holy Hill is located on State Highway 167 just east of County Highway K. For up to date information you can call ahead at 262-628-1838.

Many people plan a stay at Hidden Serenity and make a stop at Holy Hill on their way to the inn. Whether you make it part of a daily jaunt out from your lodging at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast or stop over on your way past, you will enjoy the sites, the food, and the peacefulness of this top rated Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast.