Last weekend we wanted to go hiking, but we had a limited amount of time. State park trails were out of the question, because even the closest ones were at least 45 minutes away. So on the hot and sunny Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, we headed over to a Washington County park nearby.
Glacier Hills County Park is just two miles East of Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary, and it is a perfect place to spend an afternoon hiking, playing in the jungle gym, hanging out in the picnic area, or going swimming in Friess Lake. It’s such a beautiful spot, many people choose this park to host weddings or have family photos taken.
Saturday marked the second or third time I’ve hiked this trail, and it was every bit as beautiful as the first time through. The beginning of the trail hub leads away from the entrance driveway, near the south end of the parking lot. It winds around to a grassy hill, strapped with a wooden bench and a breathtaking view of a great, green meadow, surrounded by a forest of trees. Even if you’re not into hiking, that view alone would be enough to draw anyone to this park.
I chose to hike the black loop. I would give this 2.6 mile (4.18 km) trail an “easy to moderate” difficulty rating. There were a few mild hills, but I think the hike would be manageable by most people.
I was really satisfied with the width and overall accessibility of the whole length of this trail. I appreciate the level of care that goes into keeping this park beautiful, and I find the trail maintenance to be a happy medium between manicured and overgrown.
Navigation was not an issue, and I’d encourage anyone to take a stroll down the black loop. The markings along the trail were easy to spot, and located fairly close together. There was only one moment along the path where we were questioning the direction. Of course, there were definitely areas along the way that made me want to get lost!
Free to enter, park, hike, play, and enjoy!
1664 Friess Lake Rd
Location & Directions
Here are the GPS coordinates to Glacier Hills County Park:
Directions from I-45:
- Head North on I-45 (towards Fond Du Lac)
- Take Holy Hill exit (Hwy 167) and turn left
- Drive 5.6 miles and turn left onto Friess Lake Road
- Drive .4 miles and turn left into Glacier Hills County Park
Here are the Bing maps directions to Glacier Hills, taken from the Washington County website.
Glacier Hills reference materials:
Where is your favorite hiking spot in Wisconsin?
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