Fourth of July on the Ice Age Trail
Fireworks? Definitely. Ice? Not so much. We started the Loew Lake segment of the Ice Age Trail in the early afternoon. By the end of mile one, I was glistening as a result of hard work on a hot day—in other words, I was a full-on sweaty mess!
Let me paint a prettier picture. We were hiking the Ice Age Trail in the Pike Lake Unit of Wisconsin’s gorgeous Kettle Moraine State Forest. The Oconomowoc River flowed parallel to the trail for the first mile, or so. Tall grass and cat tails decorated the river banks, and bullfrog-inhabited, green, bubbly swamp patches separated the river and the trail. The frogs generously sang us a song as we passed through the area, so we snapped a few photos and kept on walking.
We hiked to a lovely soundtrack. Among the many voices were the calls of bullfrogs, the chirps of birds, the pattering of chip monk feet, and the random bang of fireworks in the distance.
After exiting the area along the river, the trail opened up to a spectacular field of tall grass, dotted with rainbows of wildflowers. To our right were patches of berries. There were quickly ripening raspberries low to the ground, and bushes of bright red round berries above them. To the left was a great field with a big, white farmhouse in the distance, and a line of old trees behind it. Way beyond them, was the beautiful Basilica of Holy Hill.
Easy/moderate for a few hilly spots
- No trail fees
- Vehicle sticker not required
- Variety of scenic views (Oconomowoc River, Holy Hill, etc.)
- Good level of trail maintenance
- Low traffic on trail
- Beautiful, donated wooden benches located in scenic viewing areas
- Horrible mosquito pockets
Location & Directions
Detailed driving directions:
- Take I-45 North
- Take County Line Road/HWY Q Exit
- Turn left (West) and follow HWY Q for 11.2 miles
- Turn right onto County Road K (Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive) and enter Pike Lake Unit parking lot
Which Ice Age Trail sections have you hiked?
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