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.

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