Hiking the Parnell Tower Loop for Fall Colors
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. http://www.travelwisconsin.com/fall-color-report
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: